No Forgiveness Without Repentance

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Micah 6:8 is a short verse, and is packed with instructions to become a better person. This post could be entitled, ‘How to become a better follower of Christ’, or ‘Improving our walk with Christ.’

“…there is no forgiveness without repentance, and that repentance is but a name, unless there be a ceasing to do evil, and learning to do well…” (Benson Commentary. Biblehub.com)

I have written many posts that focus on forgiveness. There is no end to the process. With each reading we learn more about forgiveness and repentance. They are tied to justice, compassion, kindness, mercy, humility, and sacrifice. These are traits Christ modeled during His walk on earth.

If we want to walk with Christ, it requires more than simply testifying that we forgive, we mush repent and as Benson wrote, cease to do evil. We must replace evil, e.g., being self-righteous, and self serving and become servants, and ambassadors of the Lord. This type of action does not determine salvation. We cannot acquire it to what we do, it is not by our work, salvation is a gift from God. HOWEVER, it is through our work, actions, and practices that we become closer to God because we must think on these things before we act, this links us to God’s instructions in a deliberate way.

We cannot expect justice until we act justly; we cannot expect compassion until we have compassion for others; we cannot expect kindness until we demonstrate kindness through our actions; we cannot expect a merciful society and world until we demonstrate mercy in our daily walk; we cannot expect the world to be a humble place until we demonstrate humility towards others; we cannot expect others to sacrifice until we work to strip ourselves of being self-righteous. Walking with Christ is more than trying to keep in step with His walk. He was sent to earth to model what it means to possess God in our hearts.

We are one people, culture and race create diversity, but does not negate oneness. We are all God’s children. A friend put it this way, Christ came to earth, modeled His purpose, was Crucified, said to the thief, ‘on this day you will be with me’. He did not take time to evaluate if the thief was worth saving, no, He takes us as we are, that is our salvation. The way in which we choose to live life demonstrates that receiving Christ is more that reciting scripture, it is acting the intentions set forth in scriptures in our daily walk. Our faith is demonstrated through our actions.

If our actions do not align with our faith, it is incumbent upon us to ask for forgiveness, repent, and cease doing evil. We are asking God to forgive us. This happens when we experience the need to repent from the heart, not the mind, meaning we truly experience the sorrow our actions we committed that are not aligned with God’s Word. This is Godly sorrow, heartfelt sorrow, not a sorrow we experience momentarily before we repeat the act we are seeking forgiveness for.

You can ask for forgiveness, but until we truly repent, the forgiveness is fleeting (because) there is no heart felt godly sorrow. Godly sorrow creates the process of change. It weakens and eliminates the evil we demonstrate in our walk, we continually become new creatures in Christ as we strip away our carnal behavior.

Resources: Bible hub.com; Photo – Vikas Nirmal, Twitter

GOD IS IN CONTROL IN DIRE TIMES

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Aprayerdiary.net

We see all forms of violence occurring throughout the world, and many pose the question – where is God? God is ever present, He is our sovereign Lord, but you must remember the evil one (Lucifer, was exiled and fell from heaven to earth and is the king of earth. He is the king of chaos, hate, pestilence, pandemics, war and all things that bring troubling times to us. We must remember that in these times God is still in control. When we look back in the annals of time, and in the Bible, these things occurred while Jesus walked the earth. It is this evilness that caused the very people that cried ‘Hosanna’ that became Palm Sunday that also yelled ‘crucify him’ prior to what became Easter. We live in a battle between good and evil. There are strongholds of evil, but there are prayers that can break those strongholds. There are prayers of protection, such as the 91st Psalm. Please read and memorize this scripture each morning and before bed. Let it become a habit and protect those around you.

We cry for normalcy, a return to what felt comfortable. Normalcy changes as the world changes. Only one thing remains the same – God is in control.

Heart highlight.com

Psalm 91 NLT –

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.91.1-16.NLT)

God is in Control

Lord God, I pray for Your protection as I begin this day. You are my hiding place, and under Your wings I can always find refuge. Protect me from trouble wherever I go, and keep evil far from me. Nov 3, 2019 Biblestudytools.com

gshow.wordpress.com/category/psalm-1830

List of Scriptures that show God is in Control:

Browse the full Bible verses below. https://www.womansday.com › life)

Prayers of Protection

15 Prayers for Protection That Will Keep You Safe At All Times – Woman’s Day

20 Powerful Prayers for Protection. Crosswalk.com, Feb. 20, 2020

Bible Verses About Protection. Christianity.com. https://www.christianity.com/bible/bible-verses-about-protection-41

Holy with a lower case ’h’. We can attain holiness through our walk.

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There is a lower case ‘h’ – holy. We who have been reborn, Christians, learn to live in holiness.

~ Lisa Blair

When people hear the word holy, whether it be with a capital or lower case h, we think of something unattainable, something that dilutes the concept of fun and living a fun life, something beyond our reach. But holy, lower case, simply means the established relationship between our Holy God and his children. (Holy, Holiness. Biblestudytools.com) 

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV. biblegateway.com

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“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:16-17 (https://bible.com/bible/116/gal.5.16-17.NLT)

As Paul writes in Galatians, these two forces are in contrast battle. They are the forces of good and evil. Our former carnal life is a life of sins, self indulgence and satisfaction. Our new self is that of love and looking for the good we can share with others. Once we are renewed, we acquire the characteristics of Christ. We begin to envelope them into our being, we become holy. We no longer absentmindedly hang out, drink until we are drunk, do drugs, curse, or other things of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21); you begin to walk the line between sin and holiness leaning towards holiness. You begin to evolve. Once you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior you begin your walk with Him. You acknowledge the Holy Spirit nestled in you,  and you receive His guidance, you are led by the Holy Spirit. You put down the old and pick up the new. You become a new being. It is the Holy Spirit who nudges you, who whispers in your psyche, who causes you to feel uneasy or guilty for little things such as telling a lie to a friend or loved one, taking advantage of people, taking office supplies, to making an illegal u-turn, or more noteworthy sinful actions. You begin and develop a new life embedded in the fruit of the spirit.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-26.    https://bible.com/bible/1171/gal.5.23-26.MEV)

As born again Christians, we already have been washed clean, but that is not the end. Once washed clean we must absorb the characteristics of Christ and become holy, set apart from our past, our carnal life.

Scriptures – being washed clean.

 “Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”

Psalms 51:2 NLT (https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.51.2.NLT)

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

1 John 1:9 NLT (https://bible.com/bible/116/1jn.1.9.NLT)

“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me— now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

Psalms 51:7-10 NLT (https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.51.7-10.NLT)

connectusfund.org

Another Day

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This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice in it. We experience the day living one of two ways. READ THE POST.

~ Lisa Blair

We experience Life one two ways, and both ways are optional. You can either live life being pounded like the cement by the trappings of this world, or you can choose to live this life with Christ and rejoice in the day knowing we are not bound by the trappings of this world, we are simply passing through. With this context the world cannot destroy you. You will not fall into a depressive mood when hearing the news, you will not fall prey to culture canceling, you will not become a victim of others hatred toward you, why? Because this is the day the Lord has made. He created it for you. Because man has free will and the world is a sinful nature we will experience the things of this world. However, also as Christians, when we received Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, we were no longer bound by eternal sin. If we do something that is outside of the Christlike nature, we can repent and ask for forgiveness, and then move on. God will separate from that which you are asking forgiveness as far as the east is from the west. This does not mean that you may not suffer the consequences of your acts and thoughts however it does mean as in the case of Paul, you can overcome them, you can withstand them, you can walk through them because the Lord is at your side.

Repeat to yourself as you go through your day, ”this is the day the Lord has made and I am rejoicing in it”. It will change your continence and the atmosphere around you.

Scriptures

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12 NLT)

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (https://bible.com/bible/116/gal.5.1.NLT)

““Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin…”
‭‭(https://bible.com/bible/111/act.13.38-40.NIV)

Learning to Walk

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As infants we learn to walk upright, during this process we fall and stumble until we gain our sea legs. The same is true as we become mature Christians. Learning to walk worthy of the Lord is a process.

~ Lisa Blair


For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a]10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Col 1:9-10 NIV

As I read Colossians 1:9-10 I sought commentaries to further learn its essence. I found Chuck Smith’s sermon notes to be most beneficial. These are my take aways.

The Outline Points are:

(I recommend reading the full set of notes.)

  • That you might be filled with the knowledge of His Will.
  • That you might walk worthy of the Lord.
  • That you might be fruitful in every good work.
  • That you might increase in your knowledge of God.
  • That you might be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power.

Reference – A Prayer for the New Year, Sermon Notes, Chuck Smith, Blueletterbible.org

Image – LABPhotos