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28 March, 2013

The Doctrine of Repentance – Part 8

I apologize for the length of this study. It turns out that I still have what seems to be three more post to go before I can finish it.  I think this study is necessary to go through because when we allow God to deal with our soul and bring us to the place where we are holy, every word of this study will make sense to your soul. What is astonishing is the way He views even the tiniest sin and you are astonish by the way you start viewing sin too. It is beautiful, because you know there is no way on your own you would ever see sin in this manner. You also realize how far you have come. So please this week is a week of repentance, a week to truly examine what His cross truly means to us.

It is a reminder for us true Christians to see how lucky we are to have been embraced by His grace and found redemption in Him. God does not care about our empty rituals, lip service, empty hearts, and our empty practices as a remembrance for His voluntary death on the cross for us.  He cares about our repentant hearts. Not just agreeing with Him, while agreeing with Him over our sins is good we need to take it deeper. He does care about what our faith amount to.

If you have been a Christian over a few decades and you find this repentance study a little bit annoying, then it simply means you are missing a major component in what you call Salvation. Instead of getting upset or dismiss the study, tomorrow to commemorate the anniversary of His death for you and me so that we might have life in abundance, you might want to adopt a different approach, a different attitude and this time go to Him with a repentant heart for the limit you have put on Salvation, for your stubborn heart and your wilful ignorance.  Search your heart my dear friend, do not let Satan influence your thinking process anymore and go forward in claiming your LIFE in Him.

When Salvation has touched your soul, you find this is truly a day of thanksgiving for the true Christian. When I was not a practicing Christian and I did not understand what Salvation meant according to His standards, I used to cry and feel sad because they killed Him. Now that Salvation has reached my soul, I know I do not need to cry because of His pain on the cross because it did not happen to Him. But I cry with a heavy heart because I am happy I died with Him. His voluntary death for me is a good thing. I cry with a heavy heart because I know how much I do not deserve Him. I cry with a heavy heart because of the depth of His love for humanity who does not even deserve Him. I cry with a heavy heart because I am still in awe that such a sinner like me can find so much grace in such a Holy God. – The only response to all that, is to give Him our all in return because He deserves it.

May this Easter weekend is truly the week-end where your heart embraces His sacrifice with no reserve and truly repents for your friendship with sin.
With all my love,
MJ Andre

By Thomas Watson, 1668

The Nature of true repentance

(7) In every sin there is folly ( Jer. 4:22). A man will be ashamed of his folly. Is not he a fool who labors more for the bread which perishes—than for the bread of life! Is not he a fool who for a lust or a trifle—will lose heaven! They are like Tiberius, who for a drink of water forfeited his kingdom? Is not he a fool who, to safeguard his body, will injure his soul? As if one should let his head be cut, to save his shirt! Is not he a fool who will believe a temptation of Satan—before a promise of God? Is not he a fool who minds his recreation more than his salvation? How may this make men ashamed—to think that they inherit not land—but folly (Proverbs 14:18).

(8) That which may make us blush, is that the sins we commit are far worse than the sins of the heathen. We act against more light. To us have been committed the oracles of God. The sin committed by a Christian is worse than the same sin committed by a heathen, because the Christian sins against clearer conviction, which is like weight put into the scale, which makes it weigh heavier.

(9) Our sins are worse than the sins of the devils. The fallen angels never sinned against Christ's blood. Christ did not die for them. The medicine of his merit was never intended to heal them. But we have affronted his blood by unbelief. The devils never sinned against God's patience. As soon as they apostatized, they were damned. God never waited for the angels—but we have spent upon the stock of God's patience. He has pitied our weakness, borne with our rebelliousness. His Spirit has been repulsed—yet has still importuned us and will take no denial. Our conduct has been so provoking as to have tired not only the patience of a Job, but of all the angels. The devils never sinned against example. They were the first that sinned and were made the first example. We have seen the angels, those morning stars, fall from their glorious orb; we have seen the old world drowned, Sodom burned—yet have ventured upon sin. How desperate is that thief who robs in the very place where his fellow hangs in chains. And surely, if we have out-sinned the devils, it may well put us to the blush.

Use 1. Is shame an ingredient of repentance? If so, how far are they from being penitents who have no shame? Many have sinned away shame: "the wicked know no shame" (Zeph. 3:5). It is a great shame not to be ashamed. The Lord sets it as a brand upon the Jews: "Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush!" (Jer. 6:15). The devil has stolen shame from men. When one of the persecutors in Queen Mary's time was upbraided for murdering the martyrs, he replied, "I see nothing to be ashamed of!" When men have hearts of stone and foreheads of brass—it is a sign that the devil has taken full possession of them.
There is no creature capable of shame but man. The brute beasts are capable of fear and pain—but not of shame. You cannot make a beast blush. Those who cannot blush for sin, do too much resemble the beasts. There are some so far from this holy blushing that they are proud of their sins. They are so far from being ashamed of sin, that they glory in their sins: "whose glory is in their shame" (Phil. 3:19). Some are ashamed of that which is their glory: they are ashamed to be seen with a good book in their hand. Others glory in that which is their shame: they look on sin as a piece of gallantry. The swearer thinks his speech most graceful when it is interlarded with oaths. The drunkard counts it a glory that he is mighty to drink (Isaiah 5:22). But when men shall be cast into the fiery furnace, heated seven times hotter by the breath of the Almighty—then let them boast of sin!

Use 2. Let us show our penitence by a modest blushing: "O my God, I blush to lift up my face" (Ezra 9:6). "My God"—there was faith; "I blush"—there was repentance. Hypocrites will confidently avouch God to be their God—but they know not how to blush. O let us take holy shame to ourselves for sin. Be assured, the more we are ashamed of sin now—the less we shall be ashamed at Christ's coming. If the sins of the godly are mentioned at the day of judgment, it will not be to shame them—but to magnify the riches of God's grace in pardoning them. Indeed, the wicked shall be ashamed at the last day. They shall sneak and hang down their heads—but the saints shall then be as without spot (Eph. 5:27), so without shame; therefore they are bid to lift up their heads (Luke 21:28).