C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Full or Half-Hearted Repentance

I was reading an article today at Challies.com, entitled Real Guilt and Sinfulness, and the following words of the writer just stood out to me:

I have met countless people who consider themselves Christians and who admit to sin in their lives and feel guilt and remorse for individual sins, but who seem unable or unwilling to admit the incontrovertible fact that their hearts are in rebellion against God.

This statement really made me think about my life before Christ, but also my life after Christ.

I have personally known persons who would not outright claim they were perfect, yet at the same time have difficulty confessing they were at fault for a particular act; lest they could somehow limit or nullify their part of the blame, by focusing more attention on the action(s) of another who surely is more than or just as guilty as they. This can be easily seen in children, whether between siblings or friends, but is rather easily found in the lives of adults as well. I suppose this shows our tendency away from true repentance; for although we may inwardly feel guilt or remorse for personal sins (for whatever one may name as sin in their life), we still have a difficult, almost impossible, time testifying of our guilt before God without casting some or all of the guilt upon another.

As I look at the statement above, I can’t help but ponder the idea of whether or not we as Christians have kept some of our pre-Christian ideas or excuses. I would assume most professing Christians would acknowledge in our pre-quickening state, many, if not all, seldom saw themselves in outright rebellion against God, but merely making mistakes, doing bad things, and just messing up – like everybody does. We would do better next time. The reality is, I fear, we as professing Christians do not see our hearts as we really are when we presently act in rebellion against God. We may humbly shake our heads in agreement with the pastor that scripture teaches there are sins of omission and commission, but do we confess any act we do contrary to the truth of God is done in outright rebellion?

We know better, yet do it anyway! Is this not our heart in rebellion against God? How do we repent of such, when we are confronted with such a truth by the Holy Spirit or spiritual brother/sister in Christ? Do we confess the act, but digress from repentance of the fullness of our sin? Our act of sin is not simply a mistake, but a willful disobedience in outright rebellion against the Holy One we claim to have redeemed us from the very bondage of transgression we so eagerly return to embrace (for whatever cause)! We cannot simply wink at sin, as if it is merely a mistake done in ignorance, or slide it under the rug with our light consideration of it; for all too often we know we are in disobedience, and follow through with the act with a heart and mind steadfast against God!

May God help us to see sin as it truly is, and give us a desire for true full repentance from it!

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John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.