Saturday, October 31, 2020 -
In today’s churches, great emphasis is made on the forgiveness God provides each person through Christ’s blood which was shed for us. Christ’s shed blood was absolutely necessary to remove the guilt of one’s sin when one repents of his sin. As David demonstrated in I Chronicles 21:8, repentance is a necessary precedence to forgiveness.
Yet to repent means to make a behavioral about-face. It means to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24). John 3:15-16 says that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. Yet the Greek verb “believes” is the present active participle, which indicates it is not merely just praying a prayer of “I believe”, but rather is a lifetime of believing that we are choosing. Indeed, the moment we decide to deny ourselves through repentance, accept Christ’s shed blood as atonement for our sin, and follow Christ, we immediately begin a new life in Christ that will last an eternity. Our life immediately begins to change noticeably from a life of sin to a life filled with the Spirit, which Galatians 6:22-23 says is evident by our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we read and study His Word we become sanctified in truth (John 17:17, 19). We become a new creature; the old things pass away, and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:15).
This is the sanctification process that we must pursue through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27; 16:7-11) and His Word (John 17:7; Ephesians 6:17). Romans 12 provides many examples of the evidences of this sanctification in a Christian’s life. If you call yourself a Christian and your life has not noticeably changed to the point where you are pursuing Him, then I suggest you take a good look at what you are clinging to in terms of the hope of your salvation.
Simply put, did you truly repent of your sin to the extent that you deny yourself, no longer living for you, but for Him? Or was it merely a prayer you said as more of an insurance policy or a get-out-of hell-free card? Because that doesn’t work! God knows your heart. He knows your sincerity. Your new life will become evident to you and to others. His Word will take on new and vivid understanding. He will begin to change you and will continue to transform you until the moment you are with Jesus. And then you too will be like Him! Truly and completely sanctified!