Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stop trying to repent without GOD!

One thing  I have observed in Christian circles is the never ending dilemma of wanting to repent before coming to God.  God offers another prescription.  I was pondering this during one of my recent podcasts about Christians and Iniquity.

In the following verses a pattern emerges that we are to seek God and then He grants us the ability to repent.

Matthew 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

This is probably the first scripture that got me to meditating on this precept.  A sincere desire for righteousness precedes being filled.  Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)?  Jesus Authors the Word that we stand on and then He Finishes the work.

John 8:31-32  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  (32)  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Note that in order to become a disciple one must first continue in the words of Christ.  Then in turn one can know the truth.  And THEN one is made free.  A specific chronology of events is presented.

2 Timothy 2:25-26  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  (26)  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Note that God grants repentance to the knowledge of the Truth that makes us free.  Only then the believer receives the ability to recover themselves out of the snare of the devil.

James  4:7-8  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Again one can see a  possible chronology of submitting to God and then being able to resist the devil.  Drawing nigh to God is emphasized.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The theme continues.  Seek God's face through humility and prayer.  God's character is the same yesterday as it is today (Hebrews 13:8).  If this lines up with the other scriptures we see the character of God will then grant repentance, forgive sins, and heal.

Apparently the theme as laid out in scripture is come to God and He will clean you up.  One can never get Holy enough to come to God.

If that were possible, we wouldn't need a Savior.

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