How to proceed with the fornicators who repeat this sin?

After publishing the article “Is there forgiveness for a girl who fell into the sin of fornication?” I received the following question:

And if she repeats this sin again and again, what should we do with her? Or rather, how many times does the Lord Jesus allow her to commit the sin of fornication…?

The Lord Jesus does not allow anyone to commit the sin of fornication or another sin. He sacrificed Himself for our sins and calls us to live in holiness. The great truth about living in righteousness is …

The born again does not live in sin

There is a big difference between the person who sinned once and the one who lives in sin. To repeat it again and again means to have a sinful lifestyle and this is a strange thing to a true Christian’s life and identity. And true Christian is not the one who calls himself so, or who thinks this about himself because he was born of Christian parents. True Christian is one who wholeheartedly believed in Jesus Christ, repented, received forgiveness for his sins and was born again by receiving the Holy Spirit. The Apostle John wrote the following profound and important truths about the difference between born-again Christians and those who just think they are “Christians”.

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:1-10)(NASB)

I want to draw attention to some important truths about the true (born again) Christian’s attitude towards sin:

  • True Christian purifies himself of any attitude or action, or sinful influence and he should do this according to the model of the Lord Jesus, who is pure.
  • True Christian does not sin because the Lord Jesus has freed him from sin.
  • True Christian does not have a sinful lifestyle, because he met the Lord Jesus personally by being born again and because he abides in the Lord Jesus, in His teaching, studying the Scriptures.
  • The one who claims to be God’s child, that means a true Christian, but lives in sin, that one is of the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning.
  • The seed of God that abides in born again Christians does not allow them to sin.

But, someone will say

But if they apologize? … and sin again

Will God forgive them? God forgives the people who apologize sincerely and wholeheartedly return and move away from their evil ways. The girl who fell into the sin of fornication wrote and asked for a solution, because she is sorry for her falling and she wants to restore her life. And if someone lives in immorality and asks forgiveness, and then again commits adultery and again asks forgiveness and again commits adultery and so on indefinitely, such a man should not expect forgiveness because he did not put any price on it and his demand of forgiveness comes only from his lips. In the Corinthian church there were some who attended the divine services, thought they were Christians and continued to live comfortably in sin. The Apostle Paul wrote them:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)(NASB)

Next he writes about true Christians, some of whom have lived in different sins listed above, but do not live like this anymore:

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)(NASB)

I am also asked …

How to proceed with those who repeat this sin?

There is in the same Epistle of Paul to Corinthians a specific case in which the Apostle Paul tells other Christians in the church what to do with the immoral man who lives in the sin of immorality:

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)(NASB)

God help us to live in righteousness, like good children of His and to confront with the truth of God those who claim to be Christians but live in fornication and other sins. And let those who are not born-again rush to enter the New Covenant with Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness and victory over sin.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru