The Gift Of Repentance

In an age where repentance is hardly acknowledged as a necessary means of salvation, my title may come off as paradoxical to some. Many view the idea of repentance negatively. It creates a premise that we are fundamentally evil. This used to be a commonly held belief in the church. But today many have lost sight of it and have turned to some hippie version of Christianity. They believe all is mellow and all people are good at their core.

                       Everyone Needs Repentance

The truth is, we are not good at the core of our natural selves. The heart of man is desperately wicked. We are born that way. It’s in our DNA because of the original sin of Adam. No one had to teach us to sin. We were talented sinners from childhood and only external restrictions held the monster within us at bay. 

For some, this monster is more formidable than others. But the fact remains that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Ironically, perhaps the ones with greater monsters are more fortunate. They cannot delude themselves out of the reality of their wickedness as easily and if they ever do find true repentance, they love more because they are forgiven more.

So if we can come to grips with the fact that we are all born with a monster within, that all are desperately wicked, and that we have bombs within us, waiting to explode in evil, then suddenly perhaps repentance can be acknowledged as a most precious gift from heaven. 

                 He Didn’t Have To Make A Way

Do we fully realize that our heavenly Father could have left us in this condition and would have been completely just in doing so? And yet Jesus left all the splendor, honor and comforts of heaven to come to the earth He created. And mankind whom He also had created, rejected Him and mocked Him and eventually crucified Him. He did it all to reconcile fallen man back to his original position and to ultimately bring glory to the Father.  

But none of this is possible without repentance. The provision is there—what are we going to do with it? Even if someone creates a feast fully available for us to partake of, we can still die of hunger if we do not sit down and eat. In the same way, there are practical steps necessary for us to receive for ourselves these wonderful provisions Jesus made for us on the cross.

                          Practical Applications

We need to turn our backs on our natural man, repent of our own way and of the many sins we have committed, admitting they are an affront to a holy loving God. We need to accept what Jesus did for us at Calvary, receiving His blessing for our curse. His righteousness for our iniquity. Jesus’ glory for our shame. His acceptance and forgiveness for our rejection and bitterness. 

If we do these things, we can receive life and have it in abundance! And if we fail to complete the transaction the first time, God in His mercy will lead us back to the cross by the Holy Spirit to take care of more business we missed when we first came. It is an ongoing process. One the Holy Spirit—our helper—patiently leads us through. He who began a good work in us will eventually bring it to completion. He is faithful!

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