I wanted to ask if a truly saved person can fall into the sin of fornication, adultery or murder…. Wouldn’t the Holy Spirit deal with a truly saved person if he/she is tempted? Please explain in detail. Thanks and God bless you!

Yes, a truly saved person can indeed fall prey to such sins. A good example is King David. He was truly saved and yet committed the grievous sins of adultery (2 Samuel 11:2-5) and murder (2 Samuel 11:6-17). Because of his sins, God sent Nathan the prophet to rebuke David and he repented (2 Samuel 12:1-13). Nathan told David that the Lord had taken away his sin, but that there would still be negative consequences for it (2 Samuel 12:13-14).

It’s important to realize that, like believers today, David was indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We know this because, in Psalm 51 (David’s psalm of repentance), He prays that the Lord will not take His Holy Spirit away from him (see v. 11). Of course, today believers are permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17), but this was not so in David’s day. Hence, David’s request in Psalm 51:11.

Of course, the Holy Spirit will certainly convict us when we sinand it is God’s desire that we so depend on the Holy Spirit that we do not sin (Galatians 5:16-26). Furthermore, God always provides a way of escape when we are tempted (1 Cor. 10:13). Thus, if we avail ourselves of God’s provision, and rely on the Holy Spirit, we can resist our fleshly desires. We need not fall into such sins as fornication, adultery or murder. And we need to be ever mindful, and appropriately fearful, of future judgment (2 Cor. 5:11). But if we do sin, we have an advocate who pleads the blood of Christ on our behalf (1 John 2:1).


Michael Gleghorn

© 2007 Probe Ministries

Dr. Michael Gleghorn is both a research associate with Probe Ministries and an instructor in Christian Worldview at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University, a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theological Studies (also from Dallas Theological Seminary). Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children: Arianna and Josiah. His personal website is

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