Welcome to Repentance – Steps To Christ, Chapter 2
Why does genuine repentance include sorrow for sin, turning away from it in heart, and can be obtain only from Christ.
Why we must come to Christ just as we are and claim His blood which alone can cleanse us from the defilement of sin and renew our hearts in his own likeness?
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19
We can’t repent without the Spirit of Christ
His grace only leads to genuine repentance. It includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We are not able to renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness. Moreover, until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life. There are many who fail to understand the true nature of repentance. They sorrow that they have sinned, and even make an outward reformation, because they fear that their wrong-doing will bring suffering upon themselves.
- the conscience will be quickened
- sinner discerns something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law
- conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart
- sinner sees the love of God and the beauty of holiness
- he or she longs to be cleansed, and to be restored to communion with Heaven
The prayer of David illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin
His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to excuse his guilt and to escape the judgment threatened that inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression. He saw the defilement of his soul and loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness, to be restored to harmony and communion with God.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:1, 2
Many think they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent
The Spirit of Christ leads to genuine repentance. Peter made the matter clear when he said:
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31
Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that his Spirit is moving upon our hearts. As we behold the Lamb of God upon the cross of Calvary, the mystery of redemption begins to unfold to our minds. Thus the goodness of God leads us to repentance. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is incomprehensible. As the sinner beholds this love, it softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition in the soul.
Do not resist and you will be drawn to Jesus. A knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead you to the foot of the cross in repentance for your sins, which have caused the sufferings of God’s dear Son. The divine message is addressed to you: Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17.
Do you long for something better than what this world can give?
Recognize this longing as the voice of God to your soul. Ask Him to give you repentance, to reveal
Christ to you in His infinite love and perfect purity. In the Savior’s life the principles of God’s law – love to God and man, were perfectly exemplified. The life of Jesus was benevolence and unselfish love. It is as we behold Him that we see the sinfulness of our own hearts.
Try to do as Paul did. He saw himself as God saw him. He bowed in humiliation and confessed his guilt. It is when we most fully comprehend the love of God that we best realize the sinfulness of sin. When we understand something of the infinite sacrifice that Christ has made in our behalf, the heart is melted with tenderness and contrition.
If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make yourself better
We can do nothing of ourselves. We must come to Christ just as we are. Do you expect to become better through your own efforts? Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Jeremiah 13:23.
On the other hand be aware of the following when people:
- think that God is too good to cast off the sinner
- make the faults of others an excuse for their own neglect of duty
- procrastinate to yield to the pleading voice of God’s Holy Spirit
- quiet a troubled conscience with the thought that they can change a course of evil when they choose
Christ is ready to set us free from sin, but He does not force the will
We have destroyed ourselves by our determined rejection of God’s love.
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Hebrews 3:7, 8.
Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed. Let this be your prayer:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.
Deal truly with your own soul. Be as earnest and persistent, as you would be if your mortal life was at stake.
Those who have experienced the love of Christ cannot be idlers in the Master’s vineyard. They will see opportunities for helping others in their steps to Christ. Partaking of Christ’s love, they will labor for the souls of others. Let every soul copy the Pattern, and become missionaries in the highest sense, winning souls to Jesus.
May we all Repent, Confess, Grow up into Christ, and Rejoice in the Lord.
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