Is it possible to sin after you have been filled with the Holy Spirit?

There are instances recorded in the Bible where a person who has been filled with the Holy Spirit at one point chose to sin later on. An example of this is King Saul, who was once converted and filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 10:11,13) but later chose to follow his own ways. He lost his faith in the process and thus committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 13:14). And as a result, “the spirit of the LORD departed” from him (1 Samuel 16:14).

God created humans with the freedom of choice. This means that we can at any time chose to reject Him. This freedom of choice is so important to God for without it He cannot have a meaningful love relationship with us.

Christianity is a moment by moment decision to walk with Christ. Jesus said that our salvation is based on the condition that we continue to abide in Him (John 15:4). “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). And Paul speaking of this decision said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).

Our responsibility does not end when we get filled with the Holy Spirit. “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

The Bible teaches that people can certainly be lost if they abandon their first convictions: “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die” (Ezekiel 18:24).

Finally, Jesus gives us the assurance that if we continue to follow Him and walk in His path, He will finish the work He has begun in our lives: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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