Thursday, April 22, 2010

True Repentance - part 1

Repentance is a lifetime discipline necessary for a holy life. Daily a must for a Believer.
Rediscovering HOLINESS IS REPENTANCE . Realizing that I have fallen short of the glory of God and it is only grace that can make up the difference? The sorrow that comes when we realize that we have been called to holiness and we have to live according to God’s will.
2Co 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
A Godly sorrow which brings repentance.
Walking in holiness begins with repentance. That being the case, then maybe we should start thinking about repentance differently. Maybe we should start thinking about it as a discipline of our faith – a lifetime discipline necessary for a holy life. Maybe we should even think of repentance as a daily discipline.
It is recognizing that what we are doing is damaging our relationship with God and so turning away from the behavior, the attitude, the habit – whatever it is – and taking up a new way which promotes our relationship with God.
The classic example of repentance in the Bible is that wee little man Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was real snake of a man – if I may say so. Tax collectors in Israel got the job by bidding on it, in essence selling out their countrymen for their own personal gain. Rome didn’t care how much tax was collected – just so that they got their fair share. So tax collectors were notorious extortionist and ol’ Zacchaeus was no exception. But when Jesus ate with him – something no self-respecting Jew would do out of fear of being defiled – and literally graced his life, Zacchaeus underwent a change of heart. Not only did he stop what he was doing – a legalized form of stealing – he also gave half his possessions to the poor and even made restitution to people he robbed through taxation. So what can we learn about repentance from our man Zacchaeus?

Well, first of all repentance requires that we realize we have disobeyed God. We have violated his law, offended his moral purity, tried to cast off his yoke of authority. This only happens when we stop deluding ourselves . that what we are doing really is not so bad when compared to others. God is not concerned about degrees – he is concerned about sin. The gossiper is just as guilty in the eyes of God as the murderer. The pornographer is just as bad as the adulterer, the fornicator and the practicing homosexual.
Repentance requires that we cultivate a hatred for sin, as God hates sin. How? By the consistent study and meditation upon God’s Word. By continued prayer that God will change your heart to be like his, to hate what he hates and love what he loves. By confessing your sin not only to God, but to a trusted brother or sister in Christ – an accountability partner. Nothing teaches you to hate your sin more than having to admit in front of another.
We like things to grow, don’t we? We mark the growth of our plants, our animals – we’ve already mentioned kids. We mark the growth of our checkbooks – at least we want to, sometimes that doesn’t work out so well. We mark the growth of our reputations, But when it comes to Spiritual life and Holiness we just ignore it or may be we are too busy to follow.
So what’s it going to be? Will you settle for a life that is serviceable, ignoring some sin where you can, working around it where you must or will you go for what is best, uprooting everything so that you can start clean – confess your sin and then purge your life of circumstances or influences that draw you into it? Only one way will lead to the holiness God desires from all of us. Remember, repentance is a prelude for holiness.
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.