Question:

I once was living a very sinful life. I wasn't going to church. I was committing fornication with my girlfriend as well as many other sexual sins. I was willfully and deliberately sinning.

Over the winter break I realized that if I did not change my way of life, I knew where I was heading. I was baptized when I was real young and decided that I should get baptized again to ensure my salvation. I was raised in the church, but I went into the military and fell away. I was very sorry for what I had done and for the way I was living. I followed the outline of the steps that I should take: hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized, and obey.

After I was baptized, I committed fornication with my girlfriend, again. I had a talk with my girlfriend and told her that we must stop all sexual sins including the touching and long hugs and kisses. I told her what is at stake -- both of our souls. We have since stopped our sexual sins and we have decide that only public places are where we should meet.

She must have noticed a change in me and wanted the same thing. I talked to her and showed her what we both needed to do to go to heaven. She was baptized a couple of Sundays ago in the church of Christ.

I have read many of the articles that pertain to me and my situation from the web site. My question is: since I have sinned since I was baptized did I not fully repent? Should I be baptized again? I know that if we sin we can go to Him and ask for forgiveness. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:8-2:1).

I have sinned in other ways such as losing my temper and cursing. I asked for forgiveness for them, but I somehow feel that, since I have sinned against my body and the body of Christ, I should do something more. I realize that I have doubts and I have talked to my family about these things, so that I can be healed. They mentioned to me that I have a very serious doubting problem and that I need to go to God and address the doubts as a sin and ask for His strength and guidance. Another doubt is I remember a minister saying that if we sin willfully, that sin is on the level of the unpardonable sin. So is my fate sealed? No matter how much I want to change, am I already condemned?

Please help me! Do you have any other suggestions that I should do? Is there something I'm forgetting to do?


Answer:

Let's start with some basic ideas. Becoming a Christian is entering into a covenant with God. Covenants are lifetime promises. Baptism serves several purposes. Yes, it washes away sins (Acts 22:16) as you start a new life serving God (Romans 6:3-7), but the core of baptism is that you entered into a covenant with God. In this sense, baptism serves a purpose similar to what circumcision did in the Old Testament. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13).

A Jew did not have to get circumcised again each time he violated his covenant. A husband doesn't have to remarry his wife if he commits adultery. A person's sin does not nullify the covenant made. It continues to exist. Getting baptized multiple times doesn't make you any more a part of the covenant than you were the first time you entered the water.

The fact that you repeated your fornication after you were baptized does not necessarily mean that you did not properly repent of it before you were baptized. It merely means you have a weak area and Satan took advantage of it because you wrongly assumed at the first that getting baptized was going to remove the desire for sin, or at least lessen it so that you could more easily resist it. Now you know first hand why Paul warned, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).

Being a Christian is not about being perfect. It is about your attitude toward sin, which you have been properly displaying. You didn't fold because you sinned again; you made changes in your life to battle sin. You have to do the same thing with your temper and your language. You've entered into a war that is going to last the rest of your life. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). You have to stop letting yourself get overwhelm by the work you need to do and simply focus on the next improvement you need to make in your life. "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (I Peter 2:1-3).

There is no unforgivable sin, there are only sins that have not yet been forgiven because the sinner is too stubborn to repent. ""But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23). People have taken passages that warn that getting involved in some sins will lead to an attitude that you might very well not want to repent, and so cannot be forgiven, and twist them to say that God is somehow violating His nature and refusing to forgive some people.

God wants you as His child, so don't give up just because the journey is hard at times.