Some Christians believe that because Jesus died on the cross for people’s sins, forgiveness is automatic. They skip the step of taking their specific sin to the cross because it’s already been handled. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness appropriated. Forgiveness is available to all who bring their sins to Jesus’ cross, but it is not automatically given out. It must be asked for to be appropriated. God graciously lets the innocent blood of Jesus cover our sin. Then He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. And we enter into a closer and closer relationship with God. Sin hinders our friendship with God. We may ignore the sin; God does not. Sin stops the progression of relationship. That’s why God designed a provision for our sin: so we can enter back into relationship with Him.
Psalm 51:6-7 reads with King David speaking for all of us, “Behold You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness.” Pursue truth about our sin, bring it to Jesus, receive forgiveness. Enter into the joy and gladness of relationship with God. Go and sin no more.
Of course, it’s impossible to never sin again. The good news is that there’s something we can do when we do sin. As Christians, we invite the Holy Spirit to point us in the direction of the path that takes us to Him. As we journey on this path, we walk with less and less choices for sin in our lives. In some areas, we can receive complete victory. Other areas take longer and we walk out the process of becoming less and less cluttered with sin. The fancy five syllable word is sanctification. Sanctification is a process. It’s like cleaning a glass jar filled with black gunk with hot water. It starts to flush out the black gunk and get clearer and clearer till there is no more black gunk in the jar.