“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? ” – Rom 6:1
“By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” – Rom 6:2
There are three factors which prevent a true believer from continuing in sin, and they all begin with the letter “C.”
(1) CONFESSION—The believer who sins does not need to continue in a state of sin because he may CONFESS his sins (1 John 1:9) and God is faithful and just to forgive his sin and cleanse him from all unrighteousness.
(2) CONVICTION—God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells in every believer, will bring conviction of sin that should lead to humble confession. If it doesn’t, the conviction continues. The Holy Spirit makes His grieved presence felt (Eph. 4:30). The true believer can never be comfortable in his sin, even as righteous Lot’s soul was vexed in Sodom (2 Pet. 2:7-8). We can thank God that He makes us miserable when we are not right with Him. When we are disobedient we are unsettled, unpeaceful, unhappy. Thank God it is so!
(3) CHASTENING—If the sinning believer does not respond in the right way to God’s conviction in the heart, then the Father will chasten His child whom He loves (1 Cor. 11:31-32). Maximum chastisement can even result in the physical death of the believer (1 Cor. 11:30). As a good human father will not permit his child to continue doing wrong, so the Heavenly Father will not permit His child to continue in wickedness.
R. Gene Reynolds in his helpful book Assurance—You Can Know You’re A Christian said the following on page 73:
A person who is living sinfully, who knows he is living sinfully, who enjoys living in such a manner, who intends to continue that sinful way of living—that person does not have the Holy Spirit living within him. The very fact that he is ‘comfortable’ about his sin is proof of the Spirit’s absence. His spiritual vital sign registers ‘no life.’
The First Epistle of John reinforces Paul’s question and answer:
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:9-10
“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” – 1 John 5:18