Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Path of Repentance

We continue to drill down through the Three Phases of Salvation, into Sanctification, and finally, with a focus on repentance.

Repentance & Renewing Your Mind

There will certainly be more to be said about all of the aspects of falling into sin and returning to obedience but here is a quick outline to use as a guide when we do fall. The path of repentance is the process of recovering from our sin and is the mechanism of renewing our mind.

The Path of Repentance

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Falling Into Sin

So, let's say we fall into sin. Jesus takes up our case and presents it to our Father. 

The Path to Repentance - Sin

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Conviction

The Holy Spirit then immediately brings conviction.

The Path to Repentance - Conviction

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Godly Sorrow

This conviction brings sorrow. If we have a worldly sorrow we remain in our sin and ineffective. If we have a Godly sorrow it will bring us to repentance... every time! 

Sorrow can be as quick as, "Wow! I know that is not who I am in Christ and I want to be like Jesus!" It can also be as deep as the sinner who falls to his knees crying out to God, "I am a sinner and so far from you!" You will most likely find a deeper sorrow for a deeper sin. It all comes down to how much you hate a particular sin.

An important thing to note here, is that sorrow is not repentance. Sorrow is it's own work. Repentance is it's own work as well. They go together but are not the same thing.

The Path to Repentance - Sorrow

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Repentance

Repentance has a specific meaning. It means to change your mind. This makes sense since the process of sanctification is a work of renewing the mind. So, what do we change our mind about? The answer is our sin. When we have sorrowed over our sin, we then want to change our mind about that sin.

Looking at our sin, we know that is not what Christ has called us to be. He called us to be like Him. So look at that sin and say, "That is not who I am in Christ!" Then get in the scriptures and discover who Jesus has called you to be in that aspect of your life. 

It's important to be honest about the sin and equally important to find the scriptures that detail who you are as a new creation in Christ. Take the time to clarify how you will walk with the Lord, moving forward. You want an end result that is, "a changed mind." You want to be very clear about your repentance.

Please, note that repentance is not sorrow. You may still have sorrow in your heart at this time but understand that sorrow and repentance are serving two distinctive functions.

The Path to Repentance - Repentance

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Confess Your Sins

The next step is to confess our sins to the Lord. This should be very straight forward. At this step, we have the strength of Godly sorrow and we are clear about our sin and clear about who we are in Christ.

Confession is another function that is many times taught as being repentance but it is not repentance. It is a completely different function.

Repentance is changing our mind and specifically changing our mind about our sin.

Confession is the conversation with our Lord and Savior about getting right with Him.

The Path to Repentance - Confession

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Forgiveness & Cleansing

The Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of the sins we are confessing. We are are made right before God.

Our Justification never changed but our walk with the Lord did. Our Sanctification is where we affected. Now we're back in step with the Lord. Now we can walk right into the throne room and make our requests and petitions, and fellowship with the Lord.

The Path to Repentance - Forgiveness

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Again I Say, Rejoice!

Please, do not skip this next step. It isn't covered all that much but is an important part of reinforcing our walk with the Lord. Celebrate your forgiveness! Find a way to experience the joy that comes with forgiveness. Remember, you are going to live forever. That's pretty good news. :-)

Also, note here, that there is another function happening as you spend time rejoicing. The scripture here tells us that our sin is put out of sight. This correlates to what Paul said in the book of Philippians. 

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. - Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

The Path to Repentance - Rejoicing

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Equipped to Obey

You're all set! You have come full circle, from sin to obedience. This process can take 30 seconds or it can take 20 years. Unfortunately, if we chose to stay in our sin, we remain ineffective in our lives as Christians. 

Some sins you are going to be able to recover from very quickly. There's is not a minimum or maximum time we have to spend at any step. However, you will find that for deeper sins you will spend more time in sorrow and repentance, and that's ok, too. Our Father diligently watches over us as we thoughtfully move through the process of repentance.

If you need that work, then spend the time but understand we were not designed to live in those steps. Move through them and do them right, In addition, let's move past them as well and move forward in our walk with the Lord. :-)

The Path to Repentance - Obedience


The Path to Repentance - A Final Thought

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Take Action!

How can I better understand the Path of Repentance?
Take 30 minutes and do a quick search on the scriptures for each step in the process. As  we are informed by scripture we get a clearer picture of what these steps look and feel like. 
The next time you fall into sin focus on each step and walk with the Lord through the process. Start with something small and that will prepare you for other things that have a bigger impact.
Here are few resources to help develop your thinking and putting on the mind of Christ:

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept: 

“The Path of Repentance is the process of recovering from our sin and is the mechanism of renewing our mind.”


In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks.

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