Does God Forgive Sexual Sin?
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | September 12, 2016
What happened to Purity Girl? I was the poster child for it. I wore the ring, I knew the rules. Yet here I was.
Unlike other sins, sexual sin affects the body, emotions, mind and spirit (1 Corinthians 6:18). Sex was designed to be a thrilling experience in marriage, in which context the physical-emotional-spiritual connection is fulfilling. But when removed from that context, sex has the power to twist our self-perception, spiral us into deeper sin and separate us spiritually from our pure relationship with God.
Is there hope for those who have sinned sexually? The gospel proclaims a beautiful truth: Forgiveness and restoration are available to everyone who calls on the name of Christ! But in order to find complete healing and freedom from sexual sin, we need to grow in the following ways.
Acknowledge that God sees illicit sex as sin
To “forgive,” as it pertains to sin, literally means to cancel a debt to holiness. Jesus had the ability to forgive because first, sex outside of marriage is a sin. If it weren’t, there would be nothing to forgive! Second, Jesus used the most powerful motive to obedience: love. I’ll talk about that more in a minute.
The first step to forgiveness and restoration is acknowledging what we did was wrong. If we’re only sorry we got caught because our parents will find out or because the church will think differently of us, then we aren’t truly repentant.
Repent of sin
Repentance is not merely behavior reform or something we do in a one-time salvation decision. It is a change of heart, purpose and behavior. Confession of sin is our demonstration of faith beyond salvation into a daily relationship with God. If we say we are one with Jesus—which is the heart of Christianity—we can’t hold onto Him with one hand and our sins with the other (1 John 1:6-7).
Accept His grace
The consequence of sin is separation from God—which God defines as both spiritual and eternal death (Romans 6:23). Paul clearly articulates this in Romans chapter 6:
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:22-23)
You have been SET FREE from sin! Grace has been extended to you instead of judgment. Now you need to walk in that forgiveness daily. You must pray for the strength to believe it and receive it. You must cling to it, hope in it and trust it. And you must trust the Giver of Grace, who loves you and extends forgiveness for the very reason of keeping His relationship with you, the apple of His eye!
Repentance does not guarantee obedience. We have to choose to align our lives with the heart-choice of repentance. This is where the standards come into play.
When God gave Adam and Eve “rules” in the beginning, obedience was how they maintained a relationship with Him. When they held that relationship in high esteem, they didn’t break God’s law. But the moment Eve entertained the question “Did God really say…?”, she asked, “Is God really worthy to be trusted?”
And the moment she ceased to trust God, she broke His standards.
Our physical standards are a reflection of our commitment to stay close to Christ. Purity doesn’t just happen, especially for those of us weak in this area. You must be on guard. You are a target of Satan, who knows your weak points. Be aware, be dedicated and, above all, stay close to Christ.
Live according to your identity
You are no longer captive to sin! You are holy and righteous in God’s eyes, as pure as before your fall. And if you fall again—RUN back to Christ!
The fact that God is not only able but willing to make us pure in His eyes is the very core of the gospel message. God gives us grace for today, grace for tomorrow, grace in the moment and grace for eternity. We don’t deserve it. We never can. The point is not US deserving it, but GOD loving us enough to see past our unworthiness. We should be overwhelmed with His goodness—and let it motivate us to walk in purity at every opportunity.