GOD'S ESSENTIAL "R"s (1)
We are very aware of the three “R”s when it comes to education
Reading, Writing and “Rithmatic”
Although some would say these are not the foundational essentials in education anymore, God has some essential “R”s that have never changed and never will. Sadly, they are neglected or watered down or disregarded in the modern church, I have written about these “R”s numerous times but feel impressed to write again, like the old song, :tell me the story often for I forget so soon”!!!!! Let me list them:
There is similarity between some of them, but I will emphasise different aspects of these essential truths.
Charles Spurgeon writes “Repentance is the discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it, a change of mind, of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what he once hated, and hate what he once loved”.
In simple terms Repentance is:
A change of mind
A change of attitude
A change of direction
A change of affection
We are not capable in ourselves to repent, it is a work of the Holy Spirit that puts grace and faith in our hearts, (Ephesians 2:8-9) usually as a result of hearing the preaching of God’s Word, or being witnessed too, that will cause us to realise (perhaps for the first time) we are sinners and on the way to hell, the Holy Spirit then sweetly draws us to that place of repentance, the glorious result is we are born again of the Spirit and receive the assurance our sins are forgiven and our destiny is eternal life in heaven (1John 5:13).
Repentance must then become a LIFESTYLE, as we inherited a sinful nature as a result of Adam’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden, we now have a new heart to live for God, but still have this “bias” towards sin, and sadly the reality is we do still sin, so continued repentance in the life of the believer is essential as we seek to correct the bias, and lay hold of all that is available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and His continued Intercessory prayer Ministry on our behalf. For example the Psalmist says (118:27) if we have sin in our hearts God will not listen to our prayers, so we need through sincere genuine repentance clear the decks of any unconfessed sin every day when we come to the Lord in prayer. Part of inheritance as believer is INSTANT CONSTANT ACCESS into the presence of God, we can come BOLDLY to the Throne of Grace to find grace and help in time of need (Heb. 4:16)
I mentioned recently Basilea Schlink the late German Lutheran nun, who wrote the book “Repentance the joy filled life”. The Bible clearly teaches that we can come to that place where we need not sin (not that we cannot) most of us have not, and few seem to come to that place before death, so until then Daily Repentance and all that is means must be an essential part of our life and lifestyle.
I thank God today, that as a ten year old boy God gave me the ability to repent, God the Father saw me in eternity past, and laid all my sin on His Lamb (Jesus) who in God’s heart was slain even before He created the world. Hallelujah what a Saviour”.
John Piper declares, “Repenting means experiencing a change of mind that now sees God as trueand beautiful and worthy of all our praise AND ALL OUR OBEDIENCE Amen.