THE CONTINUITY OF REPENTANCE

FRIDAY

When you think about it, the follower of Christ is in a constant attitude of repentance. You are constantly changing your mind. You begin following Christ by changing your mind about who He is and what He did for you (He is the Son of God who took the punishment for your sins). You change your mind about the Bible (it is the Word of God that teaches us about the Person of God, the nature of our salvation and convicts us of sin). And when you change your mind, it manifests itself by changing your behavior out of appreciation for His work on the cross – you turn away from doing that which is displeasing in God’s sight as revealed in the Word of God, the Bible. In fact, as we expose ourselves to God’s Written Word, His Spirit will convict us of our wrong thinking and behavior and prompt us to repent in our thinking and behavior. We repent because we appreciate His sacrifice on our behalf. So repentance is not a one time act, it is an ongoing mark of the follower of Jesus. We should repent everytime God’s Word and God’s Spirit convicts us of sin.

Another way of discussing this topic is to use the term conformity. We are chosen to conform to the image of Jesus:

NAU Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

The followers of Jesus are NOT to be focusing on themselves and conforming to their desires:

NKJ 1 Peter 1:14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

Instead we are to allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing our minds through God’s Written Word:

NIV Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is interesting to note that the word used in both 1 Peter 1:14 and Romans 12:2 means to be shaped by. Our own desires and the world system is not to continue shaping our thinking and behavior. Rather, we are to be shaped into the image of Jesus. Although perfection is not obtainable in our thinking and behavior here in this life, it is certainly the hope we will attain when we enter the presence of God as believers in the Person and work of Jesus.

NEXT WEEK – ABIDING: A COROLLARY TO REPENTANCE

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