The growth group my husband and I are leading has really been awesome. It’s been challenging to say the least, especially as we discuss the book “Secrets of the Vine.” It is an in depth look at the parable of the vinedresser in John 15.
In our last session, we talked about what does it look like for a believer to bear fruit and how can we know if our spiritual lives are productive. And the conversation took a turn toward God’s discipline on those in sin. It is clear the God disciplines us for our sinful actions bit not for the reason most think, which is punitive. Rather he disciplines us as a way to make us stop hurting ourselves and restore our intimacy with him.
Ironically God’s first wave of warning or discipline doesn’t always get our attention. We tend to wait until the pain is so unbearable before we repent. But why?
In looking over my life, the reason I did not stop whatever sin was in my life is because I did not want to. Though I did not want to outwardly look like a “bad” Christian or sinner, I did not yet truly desire truth in my inward parts so that I could be a “good” Christian. “…For the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) In other words, my repentance was not true repentance.
Oswald Chambers writes,
Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying. “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorry for having made foolish mistakes – a reflex action caused by self-disgust.
Self-disgust falls vastly short of true repentance; it has nothing to do with God and a desire to please Him. Self-disgust is merely a strong dislike for your own actions. We have done more than just brought shame to ourselves, but we have committed the greatest offense against God. As David said (Psalm 51:4), “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done this iniquity in your site.
What is repentance?
But it is only when we are keenly aware of the value of repentance that we begin to mature in our walks. It is through conviction by the Holy Spirit that Christ’s character begins to form in us. Repentance is the foundation of the Christian life.
Are you aware that forgiveness by God is the gift of salvation? To forget this is to allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine where you are today.membership wordpress plugin for you.