Sin and Salvation
Some Protestants or “Bible only” Christians boldly say that once they believe in Christ as their Lord and Personal Saviour, all their sins are forgiven, including their future sins; thus their salvation is assured. Their view may come from their belief that through Christ they are declared righteous – the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed on them to cover their unrighteousness, which (to them) includes their future sins. To them Catholic teachings like confessing sin to priests, penance, purgatory and indulgences are unscriptural and meaningless, i.e. they make what Christ did on the cross insufficient. To support their belief they may quote the following verse:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. ….. but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous;
1 John 1:7, 2:1
However while this verse says that Christ’ blood cleanses us from all sins and He is advocate with the Father, there is condition attached: if we walk in the light. It is not something automatically guaranteed to believers in Christ. Scripture does testify that committing sin affects our salvation:
For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it had conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.
Scripture also says: He who commits sin is of the devil (1 John 3:8) and whoever does not do right is not of God (1 John 3:10).