Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Sweet Drink of Repentance

W. E. Vine’s Dictionary1 says metanoeo literally means to perceive afterwards, hence it signifies to change one’s mind or purpose, and it always involves a change for the better.

Bullinger’s Dictionary2 says metanoeo means, “to perceive afterwards, hence, to change one’s mind and purpose. This change is always for the better, and denotes a change of moral thought and reflection; not merely to repent of, nor to forsake sin, but to change one’s mind and apprehensions regarding it. Metanoeo denotes to reform, to have a genuine change of heart and life from worse to better.”

 Repentance μετάνοια (metanoia), “after/behind one’s mind

Bear in mind, that the mind is not only our heads or  thoughts, or a simple decision; but includes memory, emotion, will and imagination as components of human conscious. Realizing we have done something that has hurt ourselves, harmed others or grieved His Spirit is not a simple, mental construct, but in fact involves thoughts, emotions and consequent action (will). Repentance whether at our original conversion or as a believer is not a one step (light bulb effect). And it should not be reduced to such. In 2 Cor. 7:10-12 Paul declares to the Corinthians, who previously had been condoning sin in their midst, that their godly sorrow brought forth the fruit of repentance (not just their minds changing; as if our minds are a separate entity). He asserts that this repentance has led them to salvation and worthy fruit; not indicating they were born again by this repentance, as they were already believers, prior to it. This salvation Paul refers to includes sanctification…that is the life we now live by faith in Him, who gave Himself for us.  Instead, he is alluding to our development of character, growing up into all things in Him, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world and building up ourselves in our most holy faith. (Eph. 4:14-16, Phil. 1:9-11James 1:27, Jude 20-21)

10 “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing,  that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, whatvehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 

The fruit of repentance is purity, passion for Him, fear of the Lord, exoneration ……..

Are these not things the enemy would steal from you?

Being repentant is not admitting condemnation, but surrendering to His Love bought and poured out on the Cross. Only the enemy of our souls, would turn the sweet drink of repentance into something to avoid, because it brings LIBERTY and he loves bondage. When we boldly enter our Father’s throne of grace you can imagine the enemy (satan) squirming, ringing his claws, because his temptation of condemnation and guilt has failed (Heb. 4:16).Instead the repentant saint (and that is not an oxymoron), draws close to the only One from whom he/she can receive help and mercy in time of need. So to fear repentance, is to fear closeness to our Father, full payment from our Saviour and a living sanctification from the Holy Spirit.

In the New Testament there are accounts of repentance and the virtue it bears. Repentance was never a once off…well I confessed Jesus Christ in 1992 and so I am covered. There is no life in such a confession…for we must believe in our hearts; that is the seat of faith, our hearts. Heart transformation is won by relationship not regulation (2Cor.3:18). Words of and in themselves will not transform us from the inside out unless, it is the word of God, lived out by the Spirit of God.

Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the SPIRIT unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1Pet. 1:22)

Obedience to Him purifies (that is yielding to the Spirit….walking in HIM). This is not works in terms of earning our place in His kingdom, but works born of faith, born of righteousness, born of the Spirit (His fruit), born of love; bearing fruit that glorifies Elohim. And repentance is obedience to Him as saints; not from condemnation but from relationship….obedience leads to living holy. It is no wonder obedience and repentance  are  attacked so vehemently…for the enemy of our souls does not, at all costs want us obeying the One (Jesus) who made a spectacle of him….…for therein is our triumph over sin and flesh and demons. Without obedience we will not have a living faith…we will be living for ourselves, not Him. And the beauty of obedience is we simply yield to Him, Holy Spirit indwelling us…He does the transforming (from glory to glory into the image of Christ)….we do the yielding….our wills to His. That is entering His rest, not being legalizers (do’s and don’ts) or lust-lovers (following ever whim of the flesh), but being led by Him. Holy Spirit, if given the reigns, will lead us only to the righteous will of the Father, will refresh us with His living waters (even in the darkest of situations) and will hold our hands as the kindest of friends walking us into the light of Truth. He is not to be snubbed, ignored, mocked or blasphemed. He is to be trusted, deferred to, and led by. He is the Living God…all powerful, all knowing, always present. Not someone to trifle with or argue doctrine over. Yielding to Him, obeying His will is the safest place for any believer. And although we sometimes prefer man and human wisdom, including our own; nothing can compare to the legitimate Spirit of Wisdom and Truth, NOTHING. And nothing will satisfy our souls as He does, nourishing us with the depth of God…for without Him we cannot understand any of God and with Him we are led into all truth (1Cor.2:11-14).

There are some that claim their hearts are already pure (because they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus), but He says to keep yourself in the love of God, which implies you can be outside that love as far as choice, and behaviour and relationship. We can choose malice or wrath or foul words (Co. 3:8). We put on love the bond of perfection. We have a part to play and are not automatons of God, but His children and all children can be wilful. Simon in the Book of Acts was a believer and baptized, yet the carnality in his heart belied this. He desired to purchase for money the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter was astounded by such audacity:

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money  “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”  

Repentance was more than strongly advised by Peter to Simon; it was expected. Peter was speaking to a believer, as Paul spoke to the Corinthians. Admitting our wrong does not suddenly thrust us out of the kingdom and back under the law; it brings us into liberty with Him, open and ready for His help. Paul himself, claimed he was not “already perfected”, but he pressed on…

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press onso that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:orgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

And yet we are told we are perfected forever by the one offering…Jesus Christ…how are we to reconcile this (Heb. 10:14)? That offering on the Cross was the final sacrifice for the penalty due all mankind. It does not indicate that we never make a mistake, sin or act on our own wills, after we are believers (1John 5:16, 1Cor.11:31). As we yield to His Spirit we walk out His sanctification in us (Gal.5:16-20). This is a living faith in the flesh, that we live by faith in Him who gave Himself for us. And now, He indwells us, the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). Obedience to the Holy Spirit leads us to live out the righteousness Jesus so humbly provided by His death and resurrection. We are being renewed day by day (2 Cor.4:16). There is no penalty (condemnation), but if we care not about our actions and how they affect others, including God, we have seared our consciences (1Tim 4:1-2). Guidance, promptings, wisdom from the Holy Spirit is then unduly ignored. We are grateful, rejoice even that Jesus took the penalty we deserve, but does that mean, if we wound people by our choices or hurt (grieve) Him, we should run along fancifully? No…certainly not! Repentance for salvation is a one time occurrence and genuine repentance will bear the fruit of the new creation, new man. But to suggest that we never have to change our minds (including more than just a thought) again, nor are we ever going to regret what we may have done in deed or word, is to live in a fantasy land and does not bear witness of a living faith. We wake up, breathe, walk, eat, work, talk, laugh, daily; we are living beings indwelt by the living God as believers. Surely we must commune and interact and know Him and His will and desires for us. Second hand knowledge will never suffice; someone else’s manna predigested for us will never do. We didn’t just receive a one time ticket stamped “Redeemed for Eternal Life ~ Admit one”…this is a living relationship and if we are not careful even those espousing no need for obedience, repentance and even faith will have swayed their  followers, into legalism. “Well did you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart?” “Yes.” “You’re in.” We are living epistles written not in ink but by the Spirit not on stone, but the flesh, that is the heart. The Spirit written on our hearts…….righteousness, truth, holiness, all His character traits. It is our hearts that are key. Can we resist such glory? A simple yes will suffice. Is it worth such resistance, a simple no, is enough. Repentance produces a changed view in our consciousness, towards ourselves, others and God; this consequently leads to a change of action. We are told it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. Is this not also for the believer (Rom. 2:4)? Do we as His children not also receive such goodness? When we are secure in His goodness towards us, repentance is as natural as breathing and establishes not fear in our hearts; but rather a blessed assurance of our acceptance in HIM.

And because He is the same today, yesterday and forever…..A broken spirit and contrite heart He will not despise.  (Psalm 51:17)

 

My love affair with the Lord began on a small island off of Australia. He revealed the depth of His love. Opened my heart to what the Cross actually achieved and what He had to pay to accomplish such a final solution. Separating Himself from Himself for me (on the Cross). I fell in love in that instant and I was finished…finished looking for God, finished fighting Him, finished listening to any other possibility. Radically saved, I have never been the same….much like Paul, I was chief of sinners and forgiven much I have only one choice, to love much.

He has taken me all over the world and continues to do so…from Africa to Asia and many as yet, untravelled places. My ministry is all Spirit led, even to the point of giving Him my mouth to use as He sees fit, moment by moment. Whether teaching or preaching, He determines what is said, what is needed by the hearer and what will move their heart, heal their bodies and give them liberty. He has had me write articles, e-journals (on knowing Holy Spirit personally) and present weekly live Skype teachings on the subject of His (Holy Spirit’s) choice. Healing has been another area He has had me focus upon.

My online live and in person healing ministry has produced such amazing miracles, (from malaria to cancer being healed), I sometimes wonder if I was even involved. But that is the greatness of our God. Teaching other believers their birthright in healing has also been a privilege. So whether I am in a Western country or the rural areas of Africa, believers learn about Holy Spirit and is essential role in their lives as a Person, the truth about grace and the Gospel and how to minister healing to their own families and neighbours. It is a full life and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Triumph Ministries.

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