Could you explain "continual cleansing?"

Question:

Could you explain "continual cleansing?"


Answer:

Continual cleansing is the concept that Christians are Teflon-coated, so sins don't stick them; instead, the blood of Christ continually cleanses them of all sins, even if they don't ask for forgiveness. It is based on a misunderstanding of I John 1.

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 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" (I John 1:5-10).

"Cleanses" in I John 1:7 is in the present active indicative tense indicating on-going action for an indefinite period of time. However, it is qualified by "if we walk in the light," which is in the present active subjunctive mood. It too indicates an on-going action for an indefinite period of time. In other words, as long we we walk in the light then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

The same is true in I John 1:9. If we continue to confess our sins, then God continues to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What isn't present, however, is any idea that this cleansing is happens even while we are sinning. John is describing what happens during the entire course of a Christian's life. However often we might sin, forgiveness of sin is available, if we confess that we have sinned and if we correct our behavior so that we return to walking in the light. God won't give up forgiving up, so long as we don't give up walking in righteousness and confessing when we do wrong.

But if a Christian is actively sinning, then he is no longer walking in the light. There is no forgiveness until he returns to the way of Christ. If a Christian has sinned, but refused to admit it, then there is no forgiveness until he releases his pride and admits his inadequacies.

Thank you for clarifying, I have some more questions regarding this.

Since we must repent of our sins and confess to God, does that mean a Christian is immediately lost if he sins and does not live to repent?

Also what about ignorant sins? How does God hold us when it comes to those?

Thank you for your time

When David sinned and Nathan confronted him, Nathan listed out a series of consequences that would result from his sin. When David repented, Nathan told him, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die" (II Samuel 12:13). The implication is that David would have died if he had not repented. David certainly was not in a saved state before his change.

The time we live that allows us a chance to change is a gracious gift from God. "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). Without repentance from sin, we perish.

Regarding sins of ignorance, see: Can a sin of ignorance keep us out of heaven?