61-TWO WAYS OF REPENTANCE
A Right Way and A Wrong Way
Hebrews 12:16-17 (NKJV)
lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
Esau sought repentance but failed because he sought only to gain back what he lost and not because he recognized he had offended God. He never repented because He saw the wickedness of his own heart.
Job 33:27 (NKJV)
Then he looks at men and says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it did not profit me. ’
Psalms 51:1-17 (NKJV)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
David realized his sin was against God. Although he sinned against Bathsheba and her husband and against his people, the bottom line, he sinned against God and His law first. In this, his repentance was received.
What does a forgiven heart look like?
Evidence of a Changed Heart
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What DILIGENCE it produced in you, what CLEARING OF YOURSELVES, what INDIGNATION, what FEAR, what VEHEMENT DESIRE, what ZEAL, what VINDICATION! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
-2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (NKJV)
When we are touched by the Fear of God leading to true repentance, we are confronted with the nature of our sin which is born of our selfishness. Seeing this in all its uncleanness against the purity of selflessness displayed in Jesus, we become keenly aware of the dangers of allowing these kinds of thoughts and actions in our lives again. Where we gave no thought to what we said or what we did before, now our attitudes have changed. Now we are ever more careful how we think & what we do, always mindful of the source or our thoughts, words and actions. What DILIGENCE! What CAREFULNESS did this experience work in us!
Carefulness (diligence-Diligence is a zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work, exemplified by a decisive work ethic, budgeting of one’s time, monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness, and putting forth full concentration in one’s work.
The carefulness or diligence is due to a heightened sense of awareness of one’s own vulnerability to view and act selfishly. The stark contrast of Jesus’ selfless life and our own selfishness provides sufficient motivation to weigh each thought and/or deed to determine whether they are proceeding from selfishness or in accordance with God’s will and purposes. Every thought is captured to the obedience found in Christ. As Jesus stated, I only do what I see my Father do.
CLEARING OF YOURSELVES
After repentance, you are no longer counted among those who walk in & approve of the godless life style. Because you are now able to see the consequences of your own thoughtless selfish actions, you now distance yourself from all appearances of evil. You’ve chosen now to associate yourself with men and women who are likeminded with a healthy Fear of the Lord.
Because you are now able to see the essence of sin, there is now a holy indignation or hatred of sin. You are able to see not only the cause of sin but the consequences and the price that Jesus paid on the cross for our selfishness. There is now an intolerance within yourself towards sin and anything that leads up to it. You are now keenly aware not to even entertain thoughts of temptation knowing that by entertaining such thoughts leads to the wrong kind of actions that lead to death.
Oh for the holy fear of the Lord. Without holiness no one will see God! This fear is not only just that experienced as a child before his father but is understood through the lens of His great love for us. We know both the Goodness of God but also the Severity of God in that no sin is acceptable in His sight. We now know the punishment of sin and the righteousness of His judgment in that we have come to agree that we were indeed worthy of all condemnation. It is this Holy Fear that has instilled in us an even greater love and appreciation for the sacrifice the Father allowed in giving His only Son to pay for our sins.
Along with this confrontation of ourselves with sin’s true consequences, the fear of the Lord, comes an overwhelming desire to know this One who paid so much for our lives by sacrificing His own. Who would do such a thing for me when I was such a wretch? What manner of man is he? How could someone love this much? The desire to know Him and to worship Him becomes an all encompassing hunger and thirst that can only be quenched by our daily partaking of Him. And even this ‘daily bread’ is not enough and a nearly unquenchable fire has been stirred in us so that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection.
“Gotta Tell Somebody” is the title of a song by Don Francisco. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwNwTqI-y4
It is a song about the raising of the dead daughter of Jairus and the impact that it had. I encourage everyone to listen and enjoy the beautiful artistry of story telling in song. This is a wonderfully moving song that inspired me to action to tell of the wondrous things that Jesus did for me. What Jesus did is so momentous, it is nearly impossible to not tell others. For years I just could not shut up as I wanted the whole world to know what He did. I’m still having much difficulty in shutting up.
Now that we can see clearly, we can see how it was through the devil’s enticements that we were deceived. It is through the subtleties of his deceptions, preying upon our fears, our wants, our desires, our weaknesses that he had gained access to fuel the fires of our own selfishness. Now we are able to see the judgment of God against all the powers of darkness and through Jesus’ sacrifice, death and resurrection, God has released to us, those who believe on His name and have been changed by the washing of His blood, the authority over all powers of darkness, all powers and principalities, all spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. That through the Name of Jesus we can execute judgment against all the works of darkness!
Because of all that has been worked as a result of true repentance, we are made free from the laws of sin and death and made alive together unto the resurrection and life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Together, as one body, redeemed from the earth into the heritage of the First Born among many brethren, we are seated with Him in heavenly places. We no longer have to walk in the perspective of earth but He has granted to us the perspective of Heaven!