WHAT REMEDY IS THERE
FOR THE SINS THAT REQUIRE
MORE THAN THE INITIAL REPENTANCE?
Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
These verses are written to the Romans, but they are inserted by God into the Bible, for they apply to all Christians.
Some of them in Rome had been ‘reprobate’ in mind, thinking nonsense, not common sense truths. Now, we are directed in Romans 12 to come to Jesus. We are to present ourselves, body, soul, and spirit to God. We are to be a ‘living sacrifice’ wholly given to Him. We are to put on His holiness, no longer dirtied by past sins, but washed in Jesus’ blood, be forgiven of our sins, and now (through Jesus) be ‘acceptable.’
This ‘presentation’ of ourselves to the Lord and to His transforming power, is the definition of REPENTANCE.
Then we can break from the world that once was the place of defiling. There are old places, former friends, that would like to draw the former reprobate back into the thoughts that once defiled them. If we do these things, there comes a ‘transformation’ by the ‘renewing of the mind.’ I would far rather have a ‘renewed’ mind than a ‘reprobate’ mind. Both come from God. When mankind wanders away from giving God glory, when they swell up in self pride, when they reject God and His ways, there comes a ‘reprobate’ mind.
When reprobates, filled with nonsense thinking, turn back to God, repent of their sins, become cleansed in the blood of Jesus, refuse to be conformed to the old ways, there comes a ‘new’ mind that replaces the ‘reprobate’ mind. That transformation of thinking is ‘repentance.’ It is not a ‘one time’ saying of ‘I’m sorry’ with no change in thinking, no change in transformation from the sinful thoughts and deeds.
Repentance is the choice to ‘present oneself to the Lord so that He can begin a process in us to have a renewed mind.
Far too long, some have not preached this simple gospel message. Many have joined in the parade of reprobates, and pat them on the back calling them normal. No, a reprobate mind is not normal. The Word of God is clear, and we need to preach the truth.
The word for ‘transformed’ is metamorphoo, from which we get the word ‘metamorphosis’. Transfiguring one from the corruptness and perversion of a sinful mind can be done with a ‘transformation. Just as a caterpillar can enter a cocoon, and emerge later as a beautiful butterfly, the reprobate can enter through repentance and faith in Jesus, a process of transformation, and transfiguring into a renewed mind of common sense truth.
Titus 3:4-8 (KJV)
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
The work of God is His ‘kindness and love.’ It is not ‘works of righteousness’ that we do that saves us. It is the ‘washing of regeneration’ a ‘renewing’ of the Spirit upon us. We are justified by ‘His grace’. Reprobates can become ‘heirs’ in Jesus.
Salvation is the entering of this process. Christianity is the life following, being transformed, more and more, by Jesus, into His image, to the possessing of His way of thinking.
The church, (or should I say many in it) have ceased to ‘affirm constantly’. This is a ‘gospel message’, not a bad, hateful message. Jesus wants to redeem, cleanse, heal, restore, bless, and make reprobates become ‘heirs’ in heaven. This is good news. We do not hate the ‘reprobate’, we preach good news to them.
Transformation begins with an ‘event’, but it continues with a process. The event is a salvation from sin. The Lord loves all people. He sent Jesus to die for our sins. Repentance is what opens the door for the blood to flow in cleansing manner over our lives and minds.
Revelation 3:19-20 (KJV)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
Sin needs repented, and God is willing to forgive those that repent. Repentance is a lost word in many areas. It is still a necessary feature to deliverance.
John spoke to Christians in I John. This was not written to sinners, but to those already saved. Notice the often use of ‘we’, and I know that offends some, but they can take it up with the Lord Who inspired John to write these exact words, speaking of the process of repentance that goes on in every child of God after salvation. If we deny this passage, we have no ‘truth’ in us. The ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ here speak of all Christians.
1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
At repentance, Jesus forgives and cleanses from all sin. This is a miraculous beginning to transformation. At the moment of salvation, the process begins.
This process is like the process of the caterpillar in the cocoon. I cannot explain all that happens in that cocoon, but the butterfly that emerges is far different than the caterpillar that entered. In the same way, there is a process in our salvation, that continues after the event of salvation. That process is a constant refining, purifying, cleansing from effects of this sinful world. When we stand before Jesus, the ‘butterfly’ we have become is far different than the caterpillar of the reprobate mind.
The reprobate, nonsense mind is forgiven and the spirit of man is given new life, making the person a new creation in Jesus. Old sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. Yet, the body of the former sinner is still in a world of temptation, and their mind still remembers to drawing of the former ways.
Just as an alcoholic gets into a twelve step program and follows a process of maintaining sobriety, there is a process of mind cleansing, and temptation conquering that is in the process of the reprobate mind continuing in victory over the former ways.
Preachers who preach that “it is all right’, the world which insists “it is good”, and politicians who seek votes by affirming the reprobate mind, are great hindrances and need avoided. Former friends in that reprobate mind need witnessed to, not entertained.
Children need taught that the message they are getting from television, from public school, from some political leaders, and even from some in pulpits is not just errant, but heretical and a doctrine of devils.
The Bible needs to become a daily sustenance of spiritual food. Prayer warriors who encourage Godly living need to be found. Friends who are compassionate, not critical, need to be often consulted. The process of defeating daily the ‘old man’ (as Paul put it) is a process that continues throughout life. REPENTANCE is that process. Thank God for REPENTANCE.