Repentance

Tuesday, November 28                         

Repentance is not an emotion; it’s an action of the will.  When we sin we violate God’s standard and fall under condemnation.  That might or might not involve emotion, but it puts us in a position of being alienated from God.  Restoration is a process that includes the following sequence:  knowledge of the breach of fellowship with God, admission of guilt, seeking restoration by confession of sin, receiving forgiveness (and knowing it), and then repentance.  All of that will include emotion, but emotion by itself will not bring restoration.  Repentance means to turn away from the sin.  That’s taking action.  But it can’t be done in our own strength. Even though it’s a work of God, we somehow have a part in it.  We are admonished all through the Bible to repent, to be on guard, to take heed, and to draw on God’s power to deal with sin.  Because these admonitions are in the imperative, it’s easy to assume that it’s all up to us.  There are other Scriptures that refute that assumption.  Phil. 2:12-13.  “. . . continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”  So we have a paradox here.  God does it all, but we somehow have a critical part in the process.  I think it was D. L Moody that said “Do everything as though it were all up to you, and trust God as though it all depended on him.”  I like that and I think it’s Biblical.  That attitude or mind helps us to deal with sin before we sin as well as after we sin.  God will do his part, but we have a part to play, too.

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