Repentance

May 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm (Uncategorized)

In Acts 5:31, we read that Jesus is “exalted to give repentance AND the forgiveness of sins.”  These two blessings come from that sacred hand which once was nailed to the tree, but is now raised to glory.  Repentance and forgiveness are riveted together by the eternal purpose of God.  But in order for forgiveness to happen, repentance must occur.  It cannot be that pardon of sin should be given to an impenitent sinner.  If the Lord were to say, “You love sin, and live in it, and you are going on from bad to worse, but, at the same time, I forgive you,” this were to proclaim a horrible license for iniquity.  If we believe in the holiness of God, it must be so, that if we continue in our sin, and will not repent of it, we cannot be forgiven, but must reap the consequence of our obstinacy.  According to the infinite goodness of God, we are promised that if we will forsake our sins, confessing them, and will, by faith, accept the grace which is provided by Jesus , God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My problem lies here.  In order for forgiveness to occur, repentance must also occur.  Hatred of sin and a sense of pardon must come together in the soul.  My soul – a heart of stone.  In a counseling class, we talked about how children who grew up in hurtful environments learn how to emotionally disengage and shut down to protect them from pain.  I did that..and still am that..In order for me to feel the repentance that is so necessary in my life, my heart of stone needs to be re-engaged.  I know what is wrong, I know what is sin in this world, and my heart breaks for the manifestations of sin all around me, the way it works in my friends and family.  But for myself, I do not experience the same brokenness for my sin.  Lord, I beg you to dissolve my heart of stone and bring me to the brokenness of sin in my life.  The will, the affections, the emotions, all work together in the blessed act of repentance for sin; and yet at the back of all that is our personal act, there is a secret holy influence which melts the heart, give contrition, and produces a complete change.  Please melt my heart God!  The Spirit of God enlightens us to  see what sin is, and thus makes it loathsome in our eyes.  So much of my life, I do not realize the sin that I live in.  Since I am not living in really “horrible” sin (so I think to myself) I feel like I am ok.  But the depravity of myself is so extensive!  The Spirit of God also turns us toward holiness, makes us complete to appreciate, love, and desire it, and gives us the impetus by which we are led onward from stage to stage of sanctification.  Lord, melt my heart, open my eyes, bring me to hate my sin, and bring me to holiness!

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