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Archive for the ‘Repentance’ Category

Repentance

So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day].

–Acts 3:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)

When I repent, I am turning from my sin–I am changing direction and going in exactly in the opposite direction. Repentance is a complete reversal–a u-turn.

In the turning from the sin, I am turning to something–to someone–to Jesus.

I am able to turn at any time to Jesus because He is always near.

When I turn, I run like a child to His open arms and He scoops me up.

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Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.  And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”  This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.   So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”  

John 8:2-11

OBSERVATIONS:

Where is it taking place?

  • In the temple, the center of religious teaching, the (only) place where the presence of God dwelt on earth

Who is involved in the story?

  • Scribes and Pharisees – religious leaders and experts in the law
  • Adulterous woman – found in the “very act of adultery” and so has violated God’s law  (Exodus 20:14)

Why do they bring her to Jesus?

  • Pharisees and scribes thought they could trap Jesus.  Either He was the Messiah, sent from God, or he was a fraud.  If He was soft on the law, it was proof He was not Messiah.  Jesus had been meeting with sinners, eating with tax collectors and thereby showing a very lax view of God’s law and those who violate it.
  • They were trying to discredit Him.

Who’s missing?

  • Adultery is a 2-person crime – Where’s the man?

Old Testament imagery?

  • Jesus writes with His finger (same way God wrote on the tablets at Mount Sinai)
  • Maybe He was writing out the 10 Commandments
  • Maybe He is writing their names next to the various commandments – the scripture says that they are convicted
  • Jesus proves that He is God by knowing secret sins of people whose sin is not well known
APPLICATION

Remarkably, Jesus could have, with His obvious knowledge of things, condemned her, but He chooses not to be a witness against her.

Similarly, God is not in the business of, nor does He desire to be a witness against you.  Rather, God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Romans 5:8)

This is not to say that Jesus (God incarnate) is soft on sin.  He knows the law.  He wrote the law.  Don’t be confused or misled, one day (maybe sooner than you planned) He is coming to judge.  Come to Him now, when His purposes towards you are forgiveness and restoration.  Later His purposes will be only judgment

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  John 5:24


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Repent?

The idea that we need to repent is not new.   In the Old Testament, God speaking through the prophets, called the people of Israel to repent.  Jeremiah 25:5; Ezekiel 14:6, 18:3   After 400 years of silence, John the Baptist came telling people,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”  Matthew 3:2   From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus  preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew 4:17  Jesus was emphatic about the fate of one who failed to repent.   “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. ”  Luke 13:3 and 5  In time, this became Peter’s message also.  Acts 2:38

What does “repent” really mean?  Is it the same as saying sorry?  Is it the same as asking for forgiveness?  Repent has elements of both being sorry and asking for forgiveness, but it is more.

Repentance:

  • Requires you change your mind about your sin
  • Requires you change your direction (turn in the opposite direction from the sin in which you were engage)
  • Requires you take sides with God against yourself about your sin
  • Requires you obey when Jesus says, “turn to me”
At its core, repentance is a change of heart coupled by a change in direction.

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