Posts tagged ‘repent and believe in the Gospel’

In what context are we… NOT TO JUDGE?

Prov 26 (Old Testament)
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Very often when I correct people on their lifestyle choices, I am supposedly schooled on what the Bible teaches concerning YOU SHALL NOT JUDGE. I happen to understand that people find their security in numbers (not in God) and when I express my disagreement on homosexuality, abortion, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, I suddenly see people who claim to believe in “live and let live” turn fascist, from a sense of insecurity that undermines the sweet lies they have been living by, which helps them maintain their complacent and lukewarm nature towards the truth about God (Rev 3:16). The road to damnation is indeed broad (Mat 7:13) thanks to the fall of mankind in Adam, and for the many who swim against the flow by the redeeming power of Christ, these are labeled by the world as homophobic, Islamophobic and haters of humanity, but God has already warned us in His word (Prov 26:4 & Mat 7:6) of the kind of backlash we would suffer in coming after him (John 15:19). This is the cost of discipleship which we are to take into account when we take that decision to carry our crosses and follow Jesus (Luke 14:26-33), lest we be the soil where our spiritual growth is choked by the worries of the world being unable to bear fruit in Christ (Mat 13:22), which brings God-the-Father to prune these away in His time (John 15:1-6). Surely the cost is great (Mat 5:11-12) but the harvest is priceless (Mat 13:44) [afforded to us who persevere by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ (Phil 3:14 & 4:13)] and justifies the cost in every way because the Triune God Almighty is deserving of such sincere worship in truth and in Spirit (John 4:23-24).

Mat 7 (New Testament)
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Taking a look at the Mat 7:1 presented above, we see that the context in which we are told not to judge is in the sense that we are to practice what we preach. Take for instance, liberals in the USA who speak out against “gun violence” because the death toll in 2018 is so far 2,213 with 3,772 injuries on the whole while these same liberals actually support abortion, where these licensed murders across USA alone is 166,971 in 2018 so far. So, when you consider the reasons for abortions are: 0.3% in cases of rape, 0.03% in cases of incest, 0.1% in cases of risk to maternal life, 0.8% in cases of risk to maternal health, 0.5% in cases of fetal health issues and 98.3% being elective due to socio economic reasons; you understand how much these liberals value their fun and how little they value their God given responsibilities, which as opposed to gun-rights is not in the interest of helping civilians defend themselves in the case of a threat. So, for the liberal fool who does not fear God (Prov 1:7) it really is no big deal to hide a mountain behind a molehill by justifying abortions with reasons like rape, incest and maternal health. Now, if liberal hypocrisy allows them to do that, it therefore is well within their lifestyle of double standards to vouch for gun-control to make their self-righteousness look good being estranged from God and all truth. However, it is as the Bible says in Prov 8:36 about these humanist fools that: those who hate God eventually love death in any and every form.

Ezek 3
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Eph 2
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It’s amazing to see the extent to which people are self-centered that they will actually use the “Word of God” to excuse their sin and hear nothing that will make them feel uncomfortable in their sin. To add to this, you also have foolish sympathizers who will senselessly side with the #LGBT and every other apostate religion saying, it is not for you but for God to judge. On the contrary, in bearing witness to the Gospel we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as called upon by God to judge these godless fools that they may repent unto Christ and not perish forever in the fires of hell (Acts 2:38). Also, knowing the kind of hypocrites unbelievers are, these same people who tell us to keep our mouths shut concerning their sin are very capable of telling God on the day of judgement that there was no one to correct them and show them what is right when they were alive and well upon the earth, else they would have turned from the sin and believed the Gospel. Surely, God is sovereign and God is good, and it is in His sovereignty and He decrees us to speak out against the sins of the world (Ezek 3:18-19/Eph 2:10) and call them to repentance that they may believe and live a holistic life, delighting no longer in their sin but in the righteousness of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

Numbers 11 (Old Testament)
16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

Luke 10 (New Testament)
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

If you look at the scripture mentioned above you will understand that preaching of Gospel is based on the understanding that you one must repent in order to believe in the Gospel and unless one does not realize his/her sinful nature before the divine majesty and holiness of God, there really is no truth in the saving faith a person has received. Remember, Jesus came to called call sinners unto Salvation and not self-righteous fools, who are wise in their own eyes (Luke 5:32). So, we who are filled with the Holy Spirit are not called to tell sinners of the wonderful plans God has for their lives despite their sin as though God Almighty exists to wait on their every need in exchange for some religious attention. Instead, we who are filled with the Holy Spirit are given a living spirit to pursue the righteousness of God and His Gospel, and in doing so, call out the grave nature of the people’s sin that they may repent and turn to God, for as much as God is glorified in His good justice as He does so in His great mercy, it is in His mercy in which He delights, because it is by the power of His resistible grace that He draws people unto Himself in Christ, propitiating/overcoming their sinful nature by the power of Jesus’ blood and in doing so conforming their nature to His own likeness, because that is how we were made… in His image (Gen 1:26/Rom 8:29).

Rev 13 (look at this in the context of John 16:7-15)
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

I would like to conclude by simply saying this, the thoughts of the world and ways of the world, is nowhere compared to thoughts of God and ways of God, which as Isaiah 55:8-9 describes is as different as the high heavens over the earth. So, for a person who is fallen in Adam, who is a god to himself/herself, he/she naturally likes to use every wicked instrument in his/her arsenal to rise over and belittle his neighbour, and we know that is wrong because the truth is no man/woman is God, except of course for Jesus who is the God-the-Son incarnate as Man to be that unblemished sacrifice for all sin. For most part when Christians point out the sins of people in this godless world, they perceive it as belittling and what further agitates them is that there is absolute truth in that discerning judgement, which the unbeliever finds it very hard to deal with. So, the unbeliever finds it very hard to die to that that god-identity he/she has of himself/herself (John 12:24-26) and prostrate (bow out) before God and His righteousness revealed in Jesus (John 1:17) who truthfully is God. Yes, the Christian lifestyle is one that is set against the grain of this unbelieving world but God has promised in His word that He is going to reclaim this world to Himself in His time (Dan 2:31-45 & Col 1:16-20) and unbelief is only here to make hay while the sun shine because God sovereign making the rain fall and sun shine on the righteous and the unrighteous alike (Mat 5:45).

God’s will in the groaning of a living spirit: Repentance!

“Repentance unto life is the saving grace wrought in heart of the sinner by the spirit and word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins and upon the apprehension of God mercy to such as are penitent, he so grieves and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with Him, in all the ways of new obedience.”

The above passage on repentance is taken from the Westminster Larger Catechism, question 76. Today many of those who refer to themselves as Bible believing Christians have picked up a doctrine of grace where the Moral Law is made redundant. Such is the antinomian, who believes that the grace of God is given him to live as he pleases in Christ because that defines freedom to him/her. From Romans 3:20 & 7:7, we learn that the knowledge of sin is in our understanding of the Moral Law because repentance requires that we come to terms with the filthy and odious (inciting hatred) nature of our sins and the Holy Spirit Himself makes this possible by interceding for us with groaning too deep for words.

Romans 8
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

2Cor 7
10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

When we read the term Law in the Bible, we ought to understand, which aspect of Law the Bible is talking about in that particular context. There are three aspects to Biblical Law: Ceremonial Law, Moral Law and Judicial Law. The Ceremonial Law was a set of ceremonies (meaningful rituals) given Old Testament Israel, which all pointed to Christ and His redemptive work. The Judicial Law on the other hand was given the State (to the Judges for law & order Num11:16) to govern society and protect it from individuals or syndicates which would cause it harm. The Moral Law on the other hand, is the very nature of God given to the believer that he/she may look into it like it were a mirror (James1:22-25), so as to thereby work willingly on his/her nature in being conformed to the likeness of Christ (Rom8:29). In helping the individual see his own wretched self as God sees him/her, this person is brought to repentance upon the apprehension on God’s mercy available in Jesus Christ alone. Without the Moral Law, there is neither the realization of sin (Rom7:7) unto repentance nor a standard of righteousness in heeding unto Christ (Jn14:15). Taking a look at Rom 7:9-10, 15-17, 23-25 and 2Cor7:10 in the context of Jn12:24-26, we realize that the transition of passing from living to suit ourselves to living for God, requires us to die to ourselves, which is accomplished in repentance.

Gal 5
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

1Tim 1
8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

A look at the above verses helps us realize that this is written in reference to the Judicial Law because those who live by the Moral Law have nothing to fear from the Judicial Law. Let me give you a Biblical example: in Mat5:27-28 Jesus teaches us, not to even be entertained from the ogling of women, to this effect He is teaching us to guard our hearts and minds against adultery. So for a man who guards his mind from adulterous thoughts, such a man need not fear the judicial law, for he himself is God-fearing, abiding in Christ i.e. living by the standard of the Moral Law (Jn15:6-10). Besides, there is no judiciary in the world that has outlawed love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and those who practice this in their Christianity are righteous having nothing to fear from the Judicial Law, which is put in place for immoral people.

Exodus 34
6 Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;
7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Exodus34:6-7, is referred to the Magna Carta of Christianity because it captures the essence of what the Bible teaches concerning God and His Salvation in just two verses. Verse 7 in Exodus 34 comes across as something of an oxymoron when it says: God keeps lovingkindness for thousands and forgives iniquity, transgression and sin while by no means leaving the guilty to go unpunished. The only way this can be explained is when we consider the role of Jesus as our Saviour. The Son of God added to Himself the complete nature of man (except sin) being born of a virgin and presented Himself as an unblemished substitutionary sacrifice for all sin. We must understand that each of God’s attributes is perfect and so God doesn’t compromise on His justice so as to have mercy. You may feel inclined to believe, that God could have just as easily spoken out forgiveness and it would have been done but the truth is God does not function like the world (Is55:8) because when He says something, it is backed by what He is going to do. Such is also with prophesy, where God is not simply looking into the future and telling you what will come to pass but He is instead telling you what He is going do that will define the future as He says it, such is His Sovereign nature. So unlike the world, which speaks that which is only most convenient to them in a particular moment, God speaks in verse 7 of Exodus 34, to indicate the work of the Lord Jesus Christ who bore the wrath of God in its full measure while carrying the sins on all God’s people in His body (1Pet2:24). For those who die outside God’s mercy presented us in Jesus Christ, no matter how old and senile they were or even if they died in their unwitting adolescence, they will for eternity pay the wages of every sinful thought and deed in the deserving fires of hell because whom they have sinned against throughout all of their natural lives is God Almighty (Jn15:25).

Psalm 51 (read in context of 1Jn4:20 & Mat25:41-46)
3 For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.

The fear of hell can never drive an individual to true repentance and neither is repentance produced in and off oneself. Repentance is and has always been according to the will of God (2Cor7:10/Jn1:12-13). We ought to understand that Salvation lies in one turning to God, which is accomplished in the Lord Jesus Christ because for so long as we are living for ourselves, we cannot say we are genuine believers but when we have died to ourselves (Jn12:24-26) and are a new creation in Christ living for the Lord (2Cor 5:17), then in such a case, Salvation is not on the count of the fear of hell but from the fear of God (Ps85:9), whom we love. It is this genuine love for God that excites our hatred for immorality while catalysing our passion for righteousness, according to God’s good pleasure, taught to us in Christ (Jn1:L18/Col1:19).

Psalm 13
5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Romans 10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Repentance therefore is the groaning of the Holy Spirit at work in our weakness in teaching us the things of Christ and producing in us the fruits of the Spirit, as the Church is like a Bride being prepared to meet her Groom, that is Christ. It might interest you to note that just as Adam is mentioned as a son of God in Lk3:38, so from the knowledge of the fact, that creation is made for God’s glory, and as Eve was brought to Adam in Gen2:22 to which Adam replied in verse 23… this bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh… she shall be called woman because she is drawn out of man. So it also with His Church, which constitutes the body of believers, born of Christ’ Spirit (Jn3:3, 16 & 15:26/Rev21:2) because God is Spirit (Jn4:24). These are not God’s people primarily from their own choosing but because their circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit (Rom2:29/Col 2:9-12) and not of hands (will of man).

“All true repentance arises from the sight of a dying saviour – One who has died for us. Terror may produce remorse, only a sense of forgiven sin will ever produce true repentance. True repentance is after all only love weeping at the foot of the cross. True repentance is the soul sorrowing for sins that have been so freely forgiven because of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.” – T. V. Moore

“We must remember at the beginning of repentance is a sense of God’s mercy. When men are persuaded that God is ready to give pardon they then begin to gather courage to repent, otherwise perverseness will ever increase in them and how much so ever their sins may frighten them they will yet never return to the Lord.” – John Calvin

To conclude, I have quoted above T. V. Moore and John Calvin on the criticality of apprehending God’s mercy made available to us in Jesus Christ. So, taking our cue from 2Cor7:10 we learn that the groaning of a living Spirit, whether that be in Repentance or Sanctification is according to Sovereign will of God unto salvation.

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