Thursday March 9, 2023
Hello friends. I pray you are well. It's Thursday, which means it's almost Friday, and Friday goes by quickly, then it's Saturday...so, basically what I'm saying is "happy weekend." My bizzare opening reminds me of what my son (Sam) tells people when they ask how tall he is. Sam says "well, I'm 5'7 1/2, which is basically 5'8 and when you think about that, 5'8 isn't much different than 5'11, which is super close to 6ft, so, yeah, I'm 6 feet tall." Classic Sam!
Anyway, I have taken some time off of the blog to focus on my school and church work. I am rested and ready to get back at it. Today we are going to look at a couple of passages that deal with a very important part of living an authentic Christian life in Christ.
When speaking about living an overcoming life for Christ, this principle might be considered the most important aspect and unfortunately, this subject is not spoken of nearly as often as it should. For some reason, many (otherwise) decent pastors and churches that preach that Christ was crucified for the forgiveness of mankind,that it is by grace alone that we can be saved and that a person must confess and believe, in order to be a Christ follower…despite teaching these things (all of which are good) they fail to properly teach and preach this component of our walk with the Lord.
Perhaps you are asking what this principle is...well, it is REPENTANCE.
Revelation 2:5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the [d]deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
For those of you familiar with scripture, you know that repentance is a common concept throughout God's word. Despite this, pastors will rarely take an entire sermon and dedicate it to the important practice of repentance. In the book of Revelation we can find a group of letters written to various churches, 7 of them. The letters are written to the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and to Laodicea. These letters can be found in Revelation Ch.'s 2 and 3. The letters are written from Jesus to the people/leaders in the various cities. The letters address a number of subjects, but the main idea is that God is calling out the believers for their faithfulness and/or unfaithfulness. One common theme running through the letters is the idea of repentance. God instructs the people to repent and turn back to their first love...which was God.
So, what is so important about repentance? Most understand that we become believers by believing in Christ and confessing that we are a sinner, in need of a savior. When we take this small step of faith, we know little else. We recognise our need for God. The reason that the Bible talks about repentance so much is because repentance is different than merely asking for forgiveness. We are forgiven of our sins when we confess, but it takes repentance to truly change. There is no doubt that God honors that small mustard seed of faith and confession, but we are called to live a life of repentance. If a person takes that step of belief and confession, but does not live a life of repentance, then they are like the seeds thrown on infertile ground in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13).
So, what is the difference between confession or asking for forgiveness and repentance? Well, confession is us recognising our wrongdoing and admitting it, which is an important first step (and enough for God to honor). Repentance, however, is about life change. When we repent, we not only recognise our wrong, but we turn around and walk the other way, no longer continuing on the wrong path. Until a young Christian understands this, they will struggle with sin in their life. This is why teaching the principle of repentance is so important. I have yet to meet a Christian that really understood the concept of repentance when they first started living for Christ. Thankfully, God is so merciful and full of Grace that He gives us time to learn these important things. This is why our salvation is not based upon our righteousness, but on the righteousness of Christ. The goal though, is to learn to have a heart like King David, a heart of repentance.
3/11/2023 12:44:22 pm
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