Posted on: April 10, 2012 at 00:37:07 CT
Historically speaking, Christians believe that forgiveness comes through a relationship with Jesus based upon his sacrifice, in which he voluntarily accepted the penalty for our sins. We earned death. God freely offers us life through Jesus. When the message about Jesus, the Son of God, being crucified for our sins, being buried, and being raised from the dead is accepted by faith, that should lead to a change of mind toward sin, ourselves, and the world, also known as repentance. Baptism initiates the believer into this new relationship, being buried and raised with Christ to live a new life with Him. In 1st John 1 the apostle John writes to Christians about this fellowship, or shared life, that we have with Jesus as His disciples, describing it as walking in the light.
"verse 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 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, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."
Obviously, from the reading in vs 8, walking in the light is not a sinless life. It is a way of life, however. It involves stumbles and the resulting scrapes and bruises, but we confess our sins and persevere down that road relying upon the One who is there in the light with us. So, yes, Christianity is a way of living, and one that involves confession of sin and continual forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.
Some Protestants, however, believe that salvation is an irrevocable state based upon a single saving faith event, regardless of what follows. This can lead to the beliefs that you are describing.