Once born again, a believer is forgiven from his sins in the past. The sins committed from the physical birth to the time of spiritual birth are dealt with at the cross. When a person repents and turns to God, his sins are forgiven. So all the sins we had in the past are all forgiven. We become pure and ready to enter heaven at any time by God’s grace. So that phase of our lives (Adamic) is closed. It is over.
Living a new life with the Lord begins right after the birth. Sadly, we still have the sinful nature in us because it is attached to our frail human body. Thus, we, believers, can still commit an action of sin OCASSIONALLY. 1 John 1:8 “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” It is important, however, to note the word “occasionally”. A person who is saved may sin occasionally, BUT an unsaved person sins habitually because of the absence of the Holy Spirit.
God dealt with our past sins at the cross. Now, He deals with Christians’ occasional sin the same way a father deals with his children. Being a part of God’s family, God disciplines His children. Hebrews 12: 6-10:
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.
So how does God forgive us if we sin during our Christian life? Can we go back to the cross? No! Repentance from our past sins is done. Remember our first book from Adam’s line is over. We are living a new life! We only repent once and we only need a Savior once! Salvation is once for all. It is not repetitive. Likewise, birth is once for all. So once saved always saved!
During our Christian life, we no longer need a Savior. What we need is an Advocate to plead for us before the Father. And the Lord Jesus is our Advocate! 1 John 2:1 “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”
So to be forgiven, we need to confess our sins. 1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Glory to God! “He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world” (1 John 2:2) Through confession that results to forgiveness, we maintain fellowship with the Father (1 John 1:7) and we might share in his holiness (Hebrews 12:10).