“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The repentant life

“A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Is. 53:3). “Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?” (Matt. 17:17).

It was not in His death solely that Jesus carried our transgressions, but all through His life. Everyday He dealt with people who had no redeeming faith in God and thus remained perverted and sunken in sin. And day by day He unburdened His distraught soul before His Father. Repentance for our sins was ever in His thoughts.

His whole life was an act of propitiation for sin. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17). “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” (Matt. 17:5). “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (Jn. 12:28). These three statements by the Father give evidence that while in childhood and as an adult and all during His ministry up until just before His crucifixion, Christ’s life had been filled with repentance for our sin and that His death and His life together formed His propitiation to satisfy God for us.

We must strive to unite with God through constant communion with His holy word. It is only in this stance that we can escape the lure of temptation. But if we fail here and become subjects of temptation and sin, we must repent of all our sin. But, if I don't feel like repenting, how can I?

We must return to the holy word of God and receive its conviction of sin and the repentance of it. Through the scriptures, in its words, resides the infinite power of the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance. We hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the sacred scripture, “For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” (Prov. 8:35). “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but,” through the divine power of the scriptures, “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:26,27). We can only abhor sin to God’s satisfaction when the word of God slices into our hardened nature, awakens us to desire for holiness, and gives us confession and repentance.

Thus, by going back to the Bible we can return to the correct disposition toward righteousness and then be justified before God as we repent of our departure from His righteousness. Through the ministry of Jesus in His heavenly sanctuary, He gives us “repentance…and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31). We must go back to the word of God and come into Jesus’ presence.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1Jn. 2:1). “To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26).

Repentance brings with it the deadness to sin and a humbling obligation to God and to Jesus for all that they have done to instill in us a loving and pure in heart, and thus be able to have eternal life after the great controversy with sin is past. Christ’s love to God and to man, His righteousness which never once bowed to temptation, is restored as our standard, and the guide of our heart and life.

Communion with God returns also. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1,2). We boldly come to the throne of God, forgetting those ugly things of our past, and reaching forth to those beautiful things that are before us. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19-22).

We are indebted to God; we are His slave forever. Our one desire is to never rise up in rebellion against Him again.

We see ourselves in the words of the psalm, “Yea, Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up His heel against Me;” and we are forever struck with God’s pain. (Ps. 41:9). We can never forget the relationship God wants to have in us and which He has opened up to us, and the trust we have wickedly scorned and presumed upon and trampled upon.

Now we are sorry for sin and willingly relive the words of David, “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened.” (Ps. 40:6). We see in the ancient practice of Israel our experience with sin and repentance. “If the servant shall plainly say, I love my Master…; I will not go out free: then his Master shall bring him unto the Judge [Christ]; He shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his Master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve Him for ever.” (Ex. 21:5,6).

Never to leave God again. This was the experience of the apostles.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” (Eph. 4:1).

“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.” (2Tim. 1:8).

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer.” (Philemon 1:1).

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto Him, after He had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out My transgressions.
Wash Me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse Me from My sin.
For I acknowledge My transgressions: and My sin is ever before me.
Against thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did My mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make Me to know wisdom.
Purge Me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make Me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from My sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in Me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast Me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto Me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold Me with thy free spirit.” (Ps. 51:1-12).

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.” (Tit. 1:1).

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.” (Jas. 1:1).

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” (2Pet. 1:1).

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.” (Jude 1:1).

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” (Rev. 1:1).

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” (Rev. 15:3).


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