On September 4th, Pastor John Piper answered an intriguing question through his web ministry service desiringGod that many Christians have: "Does each of my sins cost me an eternal reward?" Piper gave a rather straightforward and simple answer: No.
Piper explains in his recorded answer that while the question is a valid one, Christians must remember that "None of us loves God perfectly the way we should. In our best deeds, there is something to regret." Therefore, humans cannot avoid sinning altogether, nor can they attempt to outweigh the number of sins by the number of good deeds performed. Thus God does not keep a "Heavenly Ledger" in which he balances good deeds with sins.
In his response, Piper urges to look at the Bible closer. One will find that the bad cannot possibly outweigh the good so long as one is a believer in Jesus. Piper employs Matthew 10:41-42:
"The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."
Piper explains that nowhere in the text does it hint that should one sin after giving a cup of water, that their good deeds will no longer be rewarded. Furthermore, he then brings up Ephesians 6:8 which states, "Whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free." Piper points out that the verse does not "mention here that he really won't receive back for doing the good deed if there are more bad deeds." Piper further clarifies "good works in the life of a Christian are rewarded because they are beautiful, and their beauty is owing to the beauty of God's regenerating and sanctifying grace in the life of the Christian."
Finally, Piper finished by expounding on this idea and stating, "when we are rewarded for those good works, it is the workmanship of God that is being celebrated. And that workmanship does not cease to be properly rewarded because there are other remaining sins in our lives."