My lead-in title comes from 1 John 2:1, "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" John says that his writing and encouragement is to help us keep from sinning. However, if we do sin, we have Jesus Christ as our advocate who is before the Father. Being a human being, my thought is...it may be just a little bit presumptuous to think I would never sin. I mean, come on, I am human!
God's goal is that we never sin. However, He became one of us in the form of Jesus Christ to bear all of our sins, and yet not commit sin Himself. When Jesus died on the cross he not only broke the power of sin over you and me, but He satisfied the penalty our sins demanded of you and me - separation from God the Father. When Jesus bore our sins He took them on Himself and bore the consequences, even though He Himself did not sin and was NOT guilty. What that did for you and me was to provide forgiveness of our sins through Him and Him alone. In and through Christ we are the righteousness of God. (See 2nd Corinthians 5: 21).
What does this mean for you and me? It means that when we come to Jesus, He forgives us of not being in right standing with God because of our sins. His forgiveness makes us become the righteousness of God (which means we are in right standing with Him). Our sins are forgiven and our guilt is gone.
So what happens when I sin from that point onward? Remember 1st John 2: 1? "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." The key is to confess our sins to Jesus, the Advocate with the Father. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1st John 1: 9) This is one of the most precious and powerful promises of God I have ever experienced! To truly believe and trust in what He said is to never fall away from Him. As a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit is now in you. He will convict and remind you of what is right and wrong. When we sin, He points that out to us, reminding us that Jesus is our Advocate with the Father. Genuine confession of our sins as believers causes us to be forgiven and cleansed of ALL unrighteousness.
Any time you and I sin, we will be confronted with guilt. It comes along with the sin. However guilt doesn't come from God. It comes from satan. Even when sins are confessed, and we are forgiven, the devil will come and attempt to condemn. You must remind Him of the powerful scriptures in 1st John, and that you are forgiven. Many believers want to lay down when sin is committed because of the guilt incurred. But you must stand up, confess your sin, receive the forgiveness promised, resist the guilt and move forward. Why? Because God is waiting to fulfill His promise to forgive! His forgiveness will propel you forward!
And finally, God's forgiveness is not a license to sin. But we will sin. Sometimes by mistake. Sometimes willfully. But remember...if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One. And if we genuinely confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. It's His Word!