Believers understand that although all our past, present and future sins are forgiven when we receive Christ as our savior, we continue to sin! That's because we still possess a sin nature that draws us into sin (James 1:13-14). Yet, the Bible calls us to grow in holiness. Praise God that we are eqipped with both the Holy Spirit and the Bible to aid that growth. It's because we have the Bible that we can know that the LORD calls us to do "our part" in this process by choosing to live an increasingly holy life. Consider the specific instructions that we receive in Paul's letter to the Ephesians:
(Ephesians 4:17-24) "17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
Here, Paul instructs us to "walk not ... in vanity... " (17), put off... the old man" (22), "be renewed" (23) and "put on the new man." We understand that all of this is possible because of the cross and the regeneration that occurs when we place our faith in Christ. With that said, you can't help but see that, in this passage, the LORD is instructing us to be very intentional about choosing not to sin. We should, of course, pray that the LORD will help us not to sin. But, importantly, we need to do "our part" by choosing to "put off... the old man" (22), "be renewed" (23) and "put on the new man."
We are responsible to choose to receive Christ (to be sanctified positionally before God). And we are equally responsible to choose to live a holy life (to be sanctified practically before God). Both are possible because of the Holy Spirit. But we are still responsible to choose.
Let's choose to follow the Lord's instructions of Ephesian 4:17-24; Let's choose to grow in Christ!