This is a rampant false teaching in the Christian community these days but it is not found in the Scriptures. First we need to understand that the English word repent is Biblically defined as ‘change your mind’. It is true that 90% of the time when the word REPENT is used in the New Testament, it is regarding changing your mind about how to be saved. For unbelievers it means to change from self righteous works and religious rituals and Law keeping for Salvation to believing on the finished work of Christ on the cross, paying the punishment we deserved for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2, John 3:14-18). Yet, as believers on the other side of Salvation we too need to repent, that is change our mind, about many things. We are saved and forgiven our sins but we need to renew our minds and change how we think about our sins and how we live for God.
There is no yo-yo fellowship with God. God does not turn away from you when you sin and turn back towards you when you do not! I hear believers and pulpits saying this a lot and it is just not found in Scripture. The Holy Spirit does not walk away from you when you are dealing with sin; the Holy Spirit works to help you overcome the sin. The Holy Spirit will discipline you when you sin in His great love for you.
There are only two kinds of people:
- Those IN THE SPIRIT and
- Those WITHOUT the Spirit.
Apostle Paul puts it this way,
“But ye are not in THE FLESH, but in THE SPIRIT, if so be that the SPIRIT OF GOD dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:9-10 KJV)
This RIGHTEOUSNESS is not of ourselves and is not attained by our works. This righteousness is what we BECAME from the moment of our conversion to being a believer in Christ’s finished work on the cross to save us.
“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Philippians 3:9 KJV)
From the very moment of belief on Christ, and the atonement He provided for us on the cross, a person is SEALED by the Holy Spirit forever.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV)
From the very moment of belief on Christ in Salvation God MAKES US a NEW CREATURE which both Jesus and Apostle Paul calls ‘THE SPIRIT’.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
This is not about us externally making ourselves a new person in self righteous efforts. Salvation is not of ourselves in self righteousness (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is all about how from the moment of belief on Christ to forgive us our sins and how God MAKES US a new creation called THE SPIRIT and SEALS us for all eternity as being IN CHRIST. We do not do this – only God can do this and that is exactly what the Bible teaches us that He did.
Jesus says to believers,
“…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world…” (Mathhew 28:20 KJV)
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29 KJV)
We are always IN THE SPIRIT as believers because the Spirit is dwelling within us! We do not lose our fellowship with Christ because we are in Christ and He is in us…forever. And nothing will change that!
Does that mean we just go and sin all we want? Do we use the Grace of God as a license to sin?
Apostle Paul tells us, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2 KJV)
We have are a new creation with a NEW nature called ‘The Spirit’ now and so why walk by our old Flesh nature?
Walking by the Flesh will leave a believer unhappy. Why? Because our new Spirit, which is the new us God made us to be at our moment of conversion, will war with The Flesh and we will feel miserable and guilty.
Was that sin already paid for on the cross? Yes. Did God turn away from you in surprise of that sin? No. Nothing surprises God! God foreknew every sin we will make in our life from the very foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) , both before and after our Salvation. Yet He still sent Jesus to die and pay for all our sins. God is right there with you. He is not in judgment against you because Jesus already paid for that sin on the cross. Jesus paid for ALL THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD (1 John 2:2) and it was a sufficient payment to God.
However, we do reap what we sow still. The consequence of what happens in your Earthly life for that sin are still real. I mean, if you steal and are caught you will still go to jail if you are Christian right? If you commit adultery you will still have the consequences of that action. Your wife may leave you, your kids despise you. God will discipline you. Not a pleasant situation to be in.
But to say you will lose fellowship with God is not true. God made a CHANGE in you and it was a heart change of our very nature. He translated you from The Flesh as your nature to be The Spirit which is the very seed of God. Temptations fly our way every day in this fallen world. Even with Christ dwelling inside us we still have that old bad thinking of the Flesh nature that we had before we got saved by belief on Christ, even if that is no longer our NATURE. Our Salvation happens in a moment of time but our sanctification by the renewing of our minds by the Word of God and by the Holy Spirit takes a lifetime as we are in process to become more like Christ. We cannot be perfect and without sin until we receive our new glorified resurrected body which will not have The Flesh nature. That is why Paul writes,
“…flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV)
Yet Paul tells us that at our physical death our Spirit goes to be with the Lord. Why? Because our Spirit is Holy Righteous and Redeemed but our body needs to be resurrected still.
That is why Apostle Paul tells us to “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 KJV)
The more we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and not our OLD Flesh nature. The more we renew our mind by reading and studying the Word of God, the less we will fall prey to the lust of the old Flesh nature. And some temptations are strong indeed. They may not disappear from your life with immediacy. It may take time, sometimes a lot of time, to overcome their temptations.
Just know and understand this; God loves you. God forgave you all the sins of your life (future ones too – they are all future from the cross right?). You are completely and utterly SECURE in Christ. Christ is in you and you are in Christ and Christ in in the Father and so we are one with God. As Christ is seated in heaven, so are we seated with Christ. Focus on Christ and He will change you from the inner man and that will work outward into your life.
Your fellowship with God will last and grow forever.
Jesus promises you,
“… I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)