By Nassa Ouakoubo
To the question of whether you must forsake your sins to be saved, the answer is no! You do not have to stop sinning to be saved. Nobody can stop sinning! By nature, man is incapable of doing good which can make him acceptable to God. Let's see what the Bible says in Isaiah 64.5:
We are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousness is as filthy rags.
Then God Himself has found the solution in the gift of His Son Jesus. He took your sins upon Him and these sins have led Him to the death of the cross. He suffered death which was reserved to you. Now there is only one thing to do: believe in Jesus for eternal life. After that God is not, and will never be angry against you. Faith alone is sufficient for God to accept you and set you in His blessings. There is no more anything to add to the work of the cross! Read what the Bible says in Romans 4.5:
And he who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
See very well what is written there on your behalf. It is not the just, but the sinner who believes that God makes right. The Bible says in Hebrew 11.6, "...But without faith it is impossible to please Him ..."
God does not command you to keep the Law of Moses, but to believe in His Son, if you want to please Him. God in this time does not command anyone to obey through the Law, but rather to obey through faith in Christ (Romans 1. 5). No more will God judge man in general on the basis of his disobedience to the Law, but on the basis of his lack of faith in Jesus. Thus the sinner is one who does not believe in Jesus and the just is the one who believed in Him the JUST. No one will go to hell because of his sins but because of his lack of faith in Jesus.
Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus alone. Here is a dialogue that took place between the Pharisees and Jesus in John 6:28-29:
They said to him, what must we do to do the works of God? Jesus answered them; God's work is that you believe in him whom he has sent.
Many legalistic Christians do not preach the Gospel of God's grace through faith, so be careful. They will suggest you to do something by yourself. For example they will say:
To The prostitute: "If thou wilt be saved, abandon this evil life you live!"
To the smoker: "If you want to escape hell, stand away from the cigarette!"
To the alcoholic: "If thou wilt be saved, stop drinking alcohol"
To the thief: "If you want to go to heaven stop stealing!"
If the sinner could be saved by his good works, Jesus would not have come to die for him. Come to Jesus just as you are, with the distorted picture of you, your sins, your diseases and even your vices. It is not the just that God saves, but the unrighteous who believes in Jesus (Luke 5.31). Jesus has become your salvation by taking on Himself your sins; believe in Him if you want eternal life with God.