What does the Bible says about repetitive sin?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 27 2016 9392c26e b658 49ab a30a 5785ed2c3c64 Rafael Sanchez

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
When Peter asked Jesus, "How often shall my brother or sister sin against me and I forgive them? Until seven times?" (thinking that he was being generous), Jesus replied, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven," (with the implied idea of an unlimited number of times)(Matthew 18:21-22).

Jesus then went on to tell the parable of the unmerciful servant who refused to forgive the small debt that he was owed by his fellow servant, despite the incalculably larger debt of which he himself had been forgiven by his master (God, within the meaning of the parable), after the servant had pleaded for the master's mercy.

To me, this implies that the amount of sin for which God is prepared to forgive us is unlimited, conditioned on two things: our own contrition, and on whether we forgive others. Even the Lord's Prayer contains these two conditions ("Forgive us our trespasses [the condition of our own expressed contrition] as we forgive those who trespass against us [the condition of the extent to which we forgive others].")

Christians should avoid deliberate sin, especially such sin of a repetitive nature, since it can cause the heart to become hardened to the point where it no longer turns to God. And God has every right to allow the individual (even Christians) to incur the natural temporal consequences of that sin, or to discipline the individual Himself (even drastically, as with Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)), in this life.

However, as long as individuals sincerely seek God's forgiveness (even for deliberate, repetitive sin), and forgive sin in others (especially when committed against themselves and even when done deliberately and/or repeatedly), I do not believe that God's forgiveness has limits or consequences with respect to the possible loss of eternal life or salvation (although it may affect the rewards that we receive from God in eternity for our service to Him in this life)(1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

March 28 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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