The compassionate attitude of Father God toward one of His children who has gone astray is clearly revealed in Scripture. He declares in Jeremiah 3:14, “Return home, you wayward children,” says the Lord, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel—one from this town and two from that family—from wherever you are scattered.”
Likewise, in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, we see that as the lost son returned home in a repentant state, the father ran to him to receive him back (Luke 15:11-24). This illustrates the mercy and love of the Father toward His children. According to 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So amazing is our Father’s love toward the backslider that one might think the riches of His mercy almost allow Christians a license to sin. Romans 6:1-2 reveals otherwise: “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?”
There are consequences to living in sin, or “sowing to the flesh.” Galatians 6:7-9 says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
When a believer lives in sin he begins to harvest the negative consequences of his actions instead of the blessings that are provided him through Jesus. Living in such a contradictory state is not God’s best for His children. Jesus has provided us the ability to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Because of this, we should run to Jesus, not from Him when we fail. God wants us to succeed, and He promises His help if we will receive it!
Now that we have been redeemed from the law of sin and death through Christ (Romans 8:2), our responsibility is to receive His empowerment to walk after the Spirit rather than our old sinful nature. When we remain in Christ and receive His empowerment, backsliding will not be an issue.