Posted by: pastortomvabeach | April 9, 2012

Thought for the Week April 15, 2012

I trust that you celebrated and remembered the most significant event in recorded history last week and week-end. Did you every stop to think that if there were no resurrection there would be no Christianity? Our faith will not stand without a living Savior and because He rose from the dead His early followers gave their lives to proclaim the best news ever. That news resonated with people around the globe and the world has been turned upside down by Jesus! Aren’t you glad that is so?

Let’s finish the discussion on repentance. We understand that the concept means to have a change of mind, emotions, and will with regard to the way we are going, which apart from Christ is away from God and towards a life of more and more sin. To repent means to consciously accept my wrongdoing, be sincerely sorry for it, and to forsake the sin and lifestyle turning to God.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not complete without repentance. It is essential and indispensable for salvation. One cannot say they have faith in Jesus Christ without turning from what He tell us is sin. Repentance is urged in the Old Testament, If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways… then I will forgive their sin. (II Chronicles 7:14) Proverbs 28:13 reads He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

In the New Testament John the Baptist, Jesus, Himself, and Peter and Paul in the book of Acts, all preached that we must repent. In fact, Paul says that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). This is significant because it is universal in scope. There can be no doubt that repentance is an ineradicable part of the gospel message.

We must stress again that to repent is to have godly sorrow (II Corinthians 7:10-11) which results in actually turning from sin. It means more than regret, which we all have when we face the consequences of wrong actions. Real repentance is sorrow because of wrong done to God and is accompanied by a genuine desire to abandon that sin. Repentance results in a genuine commitment to pursue a life of following Jesus, which He said included denying oneself and taking up the cross daily (Luke 9:23).

The last thing we must know about repentance is that it is not a work we do in order to be saved. Repentance like faith is a gift that God gives us as part of His grace. Acts 11:18, as Peter told the story about Cornelius’ household being filled with the Holy Spirit, he said, Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life. “Granted” is the same root word as grace. We are able to repent because God gives us that gift.

The stress in the New Testament about working out our salvation (Philippians 2:12) and presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) all relate to living in a continual attitude of submission to God will which keeps us as far from sin as possible. Paul encourages us in Galatians 5:16 that it is possible to live without sinning. How do we do that? Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Think about that, walking in the Spirit means living with my heart “turned” towards God and away from sin. It’s about a life of repentance when you boil it down. The Spirit keeps us directed in the right way.

If you look at your life, where does repentance come in? Have you ever come to a place of turning from sin, consciously? Have you decided to walk in submission to the Lord and His Holy Spirit? If you did it once, have you made it your lifestyle? It’s the only way to really live a Christian life, in the grace of repentance and faith, filled with the Holy Spirit! Just a thought.

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