A Word for the Week
Have you ever thought about the difference in remorse and repentance? That subject came up a few days ago in a conversation about Judas being remorseful that he had betrayed Jesus just prior to hanging himself. (Matthew 27:3-4) The KJV says--"he repented himself" while the NKJV says "he was remorseful".
While remorse may precede repentance, it is not a substitute for it. To be sorry for committing sin can be the response that is driven by the dire consequences that are to follow, not divine conviction. There are many who are sorry over sin after they have sinned who are not sorry enough to forsake it and be forgiven.
When a person understands that sin is an offense against God, then that person's humble response of godly sorrow produces repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:10) That is what men like Pharoah and Judas missed and men like David grasped. All were sinners but not all were saved!
William S. Plumer, a highly regarded Bible teacher in the 1800's once wrote--
"We never see sin aright until we see it as against God...All sin is against God in this sense; that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that set at naught...Pharoah and Balaam, Saul, and Judas each said, 'I have sinned'; but the returning prodigal said, 'I have sinned against heaven and before thee'; and David said, 'Against Thee, and Thee only have I sinned.' (ref. 'Demolishing Strongholds' pg 145)
Sin robbed the prodigal of everything he had been given by his father and in humility WHEN 'he came to himself', he repented and returned to be restored. Sin separated him from the best he once enjoyed and forgiveness freed him from the worst he had experienced. But he had to be willing to return in humility and repentance to receive the blessing of a son and cast away the burden of a slave.
While sin often affects those closest to us, our sin is first and foremost against God. David's sin against God involved adultery with Bathsheba, another man's wife; the murder of Uriah, the woman's husband; and the death of 4 sons, not to mention the continuing turmoil in his household or the lies and deception involved in an attempt to cover it up.
There are many in this world and most likely many who are associated with a church today that are sorry over their sin but are not sorry enough to forsake it and be free of it in Jesus name. As long as a person remains unwilling to repent and forsake the sin that is against God primarily, freedom from 'it' is forfeited and power over 'it' is short-circuited.
Is there something in your life that is bringing sorrow into your soul? Maybe you have asked forgiveness for it a 100 times, or maybe even a 1,000?
Are you willing to truly repent and be free from its grip in the power of Jesus' name?
Are you willing today?
Confess your sin to the One who is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) He will IF you will!
Johnny Hunt makes a statement in his book on 'Demolishing Strongholds'-- pg 186 that's worth repeating, remembering & reinforcing. It is simply this;
"I want God to help me to feel BEFORE I commit sin the way I feel AFTER I've sinned."
Embracing that discipline will prove to be a much better deterrent toward sin!
Bottom line, less sin, less sorrow, greater joy and God's peace! That's not just a better way to live, it's the only way to live!
May the Lord bless His work of salvation and sanctification in each of us this week!
1 Corinthians 15:58