Sunday, June 17, 2012

Repentance and Humilty

                There is no such thing as a perfect person or a blemish free Christian. Many people outside of the Christian faith believe that Christians are not allowed to make mistakes. This is very far from the truth. We are not to seek sin or continue to live as we did before we knew God.  God understands that as humans we may stumble and fall. That’s why he sent his one and only son to die for us; so that we may be forgiven and have a way to the Father.

“The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where
sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as
sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign though
righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

-Romans 5:20-21

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to
God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,
so that we may serve the living God.”

-Hebrews 9:14

                Just because we have accepted the Lord into our lives does not mean that we are automatically accepted into the kingdom of our Father in Heaven.

“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’
will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does
the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”

Matthew 7:21

                The difference between a believer of Christ and someone who has not yet received Him as their savior is that we know the difference between right and wrong, sin and righteousness. We recognize this and the Holy Spirit convicts us when we do something wrong. Without our spirit committed to God, we cannot receive the Holy Spirit to grasp us when we start to slip away. When Jesus died for us, sin could no longer come after us but we could still seek sin. After we are saved by the grace of God and our faith in Jesus Christ, we are less likely to fall into sin but it still happens.

“Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in his
sight by observing the law; rather, through the law
we become conscience of sin.”

-Romans 3:20

                But it doesn’t just take believing in Jesus to be saved from our sins. We must also have repentance and humility. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins, and mean it from our hearts, he will forget our sins.

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.”

-Isaiah 43:25

                In Luke 18:9-14, a Pharisee and a tax collector went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee prayed about himself and was not humble; he did not admit to any sin but rather raised himself up higher than everyone else. The tax collector however confessed that he was a sinner and begged for mercy. The tax collector was justified with God for he humbled himself. This is how we are to be. We should not exalt ourselves before God or before men.

“If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now
that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

-John 9:41

                   This is a difficult passage to understand but let’s look at it logically, bearing in mind that Jesus was talking about spiritual blindness. Jesus is not saying that people who are physically blind are innocent of sin, as if God overlooks their sin because of their disability. The Bible teaches that everyone will be held accountable for their sin (Romans 3:9-19). Jesus was not speaking about sin in general but about the sin of spiritual pride. Those who were spiritually blind and did not claim to understand spiritual truth were not guilty of the sin of spiritual pride, but those who were spiritually blind and yet claimed to be spiritual leaders were guilty, and Jesus said that their guilt would remain.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor,
but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.”

Luke 5:31-32
                There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance. The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3). Metanoeo means to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and heart and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised. Evangelical repentance consists of a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; an actual hatred of sin (Psalm 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Corinthians 7:10) and turning from it to God; and a persistent endeavor of a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments. The true penitent is conscious of guilt , of pollution, and of helplessness. Therefore, he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Psalm 51:1; 130:4). We must have a change of heart to have true repentance!

                As I said earlier, through Jesus’ blood we are saved; he was the sacrifice to the Lord and with him our sins were buried. We have been forgiven.

“If we have been united with him like this in his
death, we will certainly also be united with him in his
resurrection. For we know that our old self was
crucified with him so that the body of sin
might be done away with, that we should no longer
be slaves to sin-…”

-Romans 6:5-6

                However, not all men are forgiven just because of Jesus’ death for us sinners. You can pray and ask for forgiveness but do you have true repentance? Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Christ and your savior and changed your heart and life accordingly? If not, I urge you to do so today so that you can receive the full grace of God and have the joy of knowing that you will have everlasting life not full of gnashing teeth and fire but rather of the light of God in Heaven. Say a prayer like this and mean it from the bottom of your heart:

Father God in Heaven,
I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to you that I am
a sinner and I’m sorry for the life I’ve lived; I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only Son Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on
the cross and died for my sins so I may have everlasting life in your
kingdom. Right now I confess Jesus as my Lord and savior. I believe
with my heart that you raised Jesus from the dead. From this moment
on I live for you. Transform me so I may bring glory and honor to you
alone and not myself. Use me as you see fit. Thank you for your
unlimited grace that saved me from my sins. Amen.

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