REPENT AND LIVE

Repentance: a change that involves completely turning away from sin and turning to God. 

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
    but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.   2 Cor. 7:10

Repentance is a Confession of Your Realization of Guilt

R

What is Sin?

John Piper described sin like this:

It is the Glory of God not honored

The Holiness of God not reverenced

The Greatness of God not admired

The Power of God not praised

The Truth of God not sought

The Wisdom of God not esteemed

The Beauty of God not treasured

The Goodness of God not savored

The Faithfulness of God not trusted

The Commandments of God not obeyed

The Justice of God not respected

The Wrath of God not feared

The Grace of God not cherished

The Presence of God not prized

The Person of God not loved

That is sin

FAKE REPENTANCE

A person who claims Christianity but does not: 

Change his/her ways,

Does not show remorse of the sin,

Attempts to justify the sin

Continuously repeats the sin

Looks for others to accept the error of their ways

Blames others for their sins especially the one it effects the most (besides themselves)…

Is guilty of leading a false Christian life.

There is No Compromise in Repentance

Jesus was not in the business of compromise, He demanded Repentance. It is a well-known biblical fact that Jesus sat and met with publicans, harlots, and sinners. Certain groups openly living in what is biblically considered sinful lifestyles use this to justify their boasting sinfulness by saying that Jesus accepted them as they are. They are so wrong and here is why:

I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentanceMatthew 9:10-13

Go, and sin no more.    John 8:11

Jesus sat with the people teaching them about the Kingdom of Heaven. In many Parables, He spoke to them about the difference between those who repent and leave their sin, those who repent and continue in their sin, and those who do not repent.

Jesus was sent so that those who live in sin would convict themselves of their sins so they would repent and change, not continue in it.

If a person claims to be a Believer in Jesus and continues to sin, that person is not a Christian. To live a Christ like life apart from sin is what we should strive for.

Some may ask, “How can we try to be Christ like in this day and age?” Good question and it is very difficult. That is why we can literally call this a time of tribulation where evil is seen as good and good is seen as evil. We are tormented and tested daily with the  evils and the distractions of the world. God gave us the answer though:    

Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.  
Jeremiah 6:16

In this modern age with every convenience and distraction we need to humble ourselves and change our ways. Yes it will be hard and yes it will be challenging, but faith and trust in God while staying in His Word will get us through it. We need to refresh, repent, and renew our commitment to God with no more delays.  

Rob, Servant of God

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Preparing for Worship: Didache 14

This is the 14th out of 16 Teachings of the Apostles found in what is known as the Didache, a writing that is said to have originated in the Community of Believers in Christ before Paul was sent on His journey. 

This teaching of the Apostles has some difficulties. As Christians today celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sunday, the early Christians celebrated on God’s Sabbath Day. There was no change to the day before Sunday was established as the Lord’s Day by the Roman Catholic Church.

Up to this point everything taught in the Didache has been clearly in accordance with what we know from what Jesus taught in the Gospels. Not much is known about all the teachings during the 40 days He spent with the Apostles after being raised from the dead but we can guess He discussed with them worship as well as deeper life lessons. This discussion on the Lord’s Day mixes certain Tabernacle and Synagogue traditions that continued to be practiced because of being a sect of Judaism. There are pieces missing from this translation that leave much to conjecture and leaves the reader curious to find out if the document was at one time tampered with.

On the Lord’s day, gather yourselves together and break bread, give thanks, but first
confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure.
However, let no one who is at odds with his brother come together with you, until
he has reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be profaned.
For this is what the Lord has said: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my
name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the of hosts. . . . For I am a
great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name is reverenced among the nations.” DIDACHE 14

So the first two lines are in concert with the Gospels which we know to be true. Jesus tells us to confess our sins before we enter into His courts with praise. We should have no outstanding issues with anyone that clouds our minds with things that set us apart from God. According to Matthew, Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” (Matt.5:23-25)

In the Gospels, Jesus never spoke of worshiping Him but maintaining worship of God. In fact the only thing that Jesus said to do in His name was to baptize. The thing I have issues with here is Jesus saying the incense offered to His Name. This is meant for God alone. To offer this causes Jesus worship. Incense was used in the Jewish Temple practices to call upon the Lord of Hosts. It was also used to confuse the demons so they would not enter the Lord’s presence.

What do we do with this knowledge. First we do recognize that Jesus returned to the Father as the mediator between us and God. Secondly, we recognize that Jesus is the Word incarnate so we do worship Him but only as the Savior and final sacrifice needed to reestablish the right teachings of the Word which has returned to God’s presence and joins Him when called through the incense. Thing is though, God is ever present thanks to that great sacrifice so the incense is only needed to cleanse the place of the evil one. Yes we celebrate Jesus as King but one that does not demand our worship but invites us. Staying in God’s Word provides for worship in every moment of every hour whether in darkness or light.

So how do we correct this? Every time we gather together, let no one who is at odds with his brother come together with you, until he has reconciled, so that your offering may not be profaned then confess your sins so that your offering may be pure, break bread and give thanks. For our God is great and His Word is what gives us life. In other words, truly forgive those who wronged you and ask for forgiveness from who you have wronged.

Forgiveness between mankind is an integral part of receiving God’s forgiveness because of our sins against Him. His Grace and Mercy provide for that forgiveness but we still are accountable and need to be in obedience to His Word. The Word is from God and our very breath is also of God. He is our oxygen, our blood, every muscle. Without Him we are just skin and bone, dust, and will return to the earth and die in darkness. With God there is hope. Where are you?