Monday, March 26, 2007
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
- Jesus Christ (Luke 17:3)
Quit saying, "I'm sorry..." I'm sorry. You're sorry. The fact is that we're all a bunch of sorry, pathetic sinners, and the majority of us like to think or act like we're not. If you look closely, "I'm sorry" can be used as an excuse rather than an apology without conviction and repentance. It's saying, "Well, I know that I stole from you, but, you know, I'm sorry..." Translated it can mean, "Since I am sorry, since I am pathetic, it makes it alright to steal from you because that's just the way I am." A murderer could say, "Well, yeah, I killed that man, but you know, I'm sorry. I'm just sorry and pathetic. ...Oh, well - that's me!"
Now, while it is proof that there has been a work of humbling of a person for them to say, "I'm sorry" it is not a turning away from the sin that caused there to be a need to realize this truth. Do not get the two confused, because it is very dangerous, and it has caused many people, including myself, to think of ourselves/myself more highly than we ought when we are still dead in trespasses and sins. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry." say "I repent." They have two totally different meanings. They are even used in two totally different texts. "I'm sorry" is a adjective describing yourself. "I repent" is an action you do. Sorry is an adjective, but repent is a verb.
While the following example may be expicit, it is needed to exlimpify the reason repentance is necessary after godly sorrow. A young man has a child about 1 to 2 years in age. He also has a terrible problem with wrath. One day he comes back from an outing filled with rage. He becomes so filled that he unloads his wrath upon the child. He begins punching him in the face repeatedly... harder and harder and harder. After about 2 minutes, he comes to his senses and feels remorse for what he is doing and for what he has done, but he continues to abuse the child nonetheless. He starts to realize what he has been doing the last few minutes and sees how pathetic of a person he is for doing such a thing, but all the while he continues punching the child in the face with his fist. Does realizing that he did wrong help the situation? Yes, but it did not alleviate it. It was only when he stopped punching the child, stopped hurting the child, and turned away from abusing it the child benefitted from his remorse. The same is true with our souls.
Do you see the difference? Do you see why repentance is necessary? It's the difference between a Christian and a professing Christian or a worldling. The Christian has the Holy Ghost living inside of them, and at a time, they have come to say and continue to say when they've been convicted, "Lord, I repent." which means they have forsaken their sin. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and it is the death of a soul when it is finished (James 1:15). A Christian has turned away from sin and turned to the Lord. In turn, the Lord forgives.
The worlding or professing Christian (Carnal Christian as it is called these days), loves the term, "I'm sorry" but hates the word "repent". They love the excuse they find in realizing they are pathetic, but they stay in their sin and love the darkness and try to justify themselves by looking to it as an excuse. Look at the phrase, "Carnal Christian". Is that not a term that has been made to promote an excuse to begin with?
Look at how the New Testament scripture records the Lord using the word repent:
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
- Jesus Christ
Are you going through a rough time because you have realized your transgression and are mortifying the deeds of your flesh? (Rom. 8:13, Col. 3:5) Be thankful then because the Lord is loving you and He won't stop what He started. He is loving you by bringing you to the realization that you are sorry, He is bringing godly sorrow. Now be zealous, therefore, and repent.