repentance is found not in ourselves but in the love of God
Luke 3:10-14 And the people asked him, saying, "what shall we do then?" he answered and said to them, He who has two coats should give to him who has none, and he who has food should do the same.
Here is a description of some of the "fruit worthy pf repentance" - compassion, love, honesty, truthfulness, contentment, a lack of greed.
These are some of the things God demands in those who would repent and live in fellowship with Him - things often ignored by many who profess to be servants of God
Repentance seems to be a controversial topic in the church right now as to whether repentance is only for non-believers or also applies to believers. I say that it unequivocally applies to both in different ways. In this post I am dealing with what I would call a ‘Lifestyle of Repentance’ for the believer. No I am not talking focusing on sin and living in ‘sin consciousness’, but walking in a humble Christ centered life consistently demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit.
We have relationships with many different people: working, school, friend and family relationships. All have different levels of intimacy and commitment. However, the most important relationship that we have is the one we have with God. Our relationship with our heavenly Father is the key to living a fulfilled and meaningful life in this body. There are many things in this world, which can hinder our relationship with Him from growing into full maturity.
Repentance is an important key, which will help keep us Christ centered and our relationship with the Father growing. Just like any relationship, at times there will come difficulties, which will test the strength of the relationship. When it comes to our relationship with our heavenly Father the problem is not He, but our hearts. In my previous post I wrote about what I call ‘diseased areas’ in our hearts or souls that need to be healed, delivered and set free. I have discovered three main areas that hinder us from growing in the grace of God, which are emotionalism, hedonism and legalism. Living in a lifestyle of repentance will help keep our hearts humble, adaptable and changeable which will cause us to grow in the grace of God.
Let’s first look at emotionalism, which is living our lives based on feelings and circumstances. When we base our lives on feelings and circumstances then we are not rooted and grounded in grace, but are up and down with every wind that moves our feelings or affects our circumstances (Ephesians 4:14). The result of a life based on feelings and circumstances is insecurity along with instability in our relationship with God.
Hedonism is basing our life on ease and pleasure. When having an easy and pleasurable life becomes the focus of what we do, Mark 4:19 says that our hearts become thorny and will not grow in grace. Hebrews 11:25 talks about the passing pleasures of sin. Sin brings temporary pleasure, but also spiritual death. In Luke 15 Jesus told the story of a young man who wanted his inheritance and spent it all ending up in slavery because of his desire to live a life of ease and pleasure. The result of a life based on ease and pleasure is slavery to sin, which hardens our hearts to God (Heb. 3:13).
Legalism is basing our life on works and self-denial. Paul said in Galatians 5:4 that we sever our relationship with God and fall from grace, when we are trying to be right with Him based on a code of conduct, or the law. Denying ourselves for the sake of following Jesus is a must; however, self-denial is a different story. Colossians 2:18 says, “don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial.” When self-denial becomes our focus for being acceptable to God we have departed from the grace of God the result of a life based on works and self-denial is a relationship based on legalism, or guilt and shame.
At times every Christian will struggle with emotionalism, hedonism and legalism. As long as we live in this world we will struggle with these areas and all the sins of the flesh found in Galatians 5:19-21 are rooted in these three areas. If we find ourselves overcome by any of these areas the only way to get free is repentance. Repentance simply means to turn around. However, the basis of godly repentance is found not in ourselves but in the love of God.
Repentance is simply responding to the Holy Spirit’s loving conviction, which draws us back to the Father. The Holy Spirit will remind us of the work of Christ on the cross and the commitment we have made to Him. Repentance is turning away from what has our attention and turning back to our covenant relationship or identity in Christ resulting in open fellowship with our Father. I John 1:9 says that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
To ‘grow in our salvation’ our lives must be based on the solid foundation of Christ. In Ephesians 3:17 Paul says, “I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.”(N.L.T.). Repentance is turning away from the works of the flesh and identifying with our true identity as sons and daughters of God. It is only as we learn to live from this new identity that we can truly grow in the grace of God.
repentance is found not in ourselves but in the love of God Reviewed by Kannuri JOEL on 11:30:00 Rating: