If Jesus forgave all my sins when I became a Christian, why shouldn't I continue to sin?

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He takes away all of our sins forever. Everything we have done, everything we will do, is washed by His blood. His sacrifice also makes a fundamental change in our hearts. We are no longer enslaved to sin. First Corinthians 10:13 promises that whatever temptation we face, God will provide a way out. And yet, still, every Christian will sin. We are incapable of living a completely holy life on earth.

So why not sin? If Jesus has taken our sins away and we will continue to sin no matter how hard we try, why not give in?

Such an attitude displays a selfish and misguided understanding about our relationship with God.

Forgiveness of sin is not the end of our spiritual journey. It is the beginning. It is the starting point of a whole new life. The Creator of the universe didn't save us so that we could continue in our old life, but He rescued us from having to live in sin and brokenness. God's rules show us how to live this new life—to best live out of our new nature:

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

With forgiveness of sins comes the title "child of God" (John 1:12). We are adopted into God's family, and we need to learn how to live in such a family. Refusal is like moving in with someone and acting as selfishly as humanly possible. That's not family; it's a sign that you don't care about anyone but yourself.

Philippians 2:14-15: Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

Paul points out something interesting in Romans 6:1. If receiving forgiveness of sins is receiving God's grace, then won't we get more grace if we sin more? That's kind of like saying "If my mom lovingly takes care of me when I'm sick, shouldn't I get sick more often?" A godly mother will not love or care for her child any less if he is well. She'll just care for him differently. He'll have greater freedom to explore the world, and come to her willingly in joy, instead of weakly calling for her from his bed.

Likewise, God doesn't withhold grace from those who are obedient. He gives them a different type of grace. One that results in power and effectiveness. One that reaches others with the Gospel so that they, too, can be saved. It is a great grace to be able to call to God in our sin and ask for deliverance. But it is also a grace to be able to call to Him in joy when we are not in sin. Jesus equated obedience to God with joy when He told His disciples, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:10-11).

Romans 6:2-14 explains why we shouldn't sin even if we're forgiven from a theological viewpoint. When we accepted Christ, we became a new creation. We received a new nature. We were "buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

Salvation is much more than a golden ticket that gets us into heaven after death. It is a transformation that alters our entire being. We need to live out of our new selves. To refuse is to choose to be a spiritual invalid—alive, but weak, useless, and contrary to our very nature. It shows an incredible lack of faith that God knows best and ungratefulness for Jesus' call in our lives.

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