RE-Pent Notes to complete July 19th Sermon

Isaiah 1:18-20
18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.  Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
19 If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.
20 But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
 
1. What is the Deepest Need of Your Life/Nation Right Now?Hebrews 10:26-31 NLT Christ or Judgment?
a. Honesty b. Faith c. Surrender
Soul Searching
Step 4: Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
 
2. What is repentance?
The Greek metanoia is simply the changing of one’s mind.
The Hebrew word shub (pronounced “shoov”) is more picturesque.
It means turning, as in turning around. the about-face. “Transgression” (pesa) is an act of rebellion or disloyalty.
It is like trespassing where a “No Trespassing” sign is posted.
“Iniquity” (avon) is a crooked or perverse act,
an intentional twisting of legal or moral intent.
“Sin” (hatach) is missing the mark. Here the idea is that even though we want to do God’s will, and even try to do it, we fail—
All sin is against God.
 
3. What does repentance involve? Conditions for Repentance
How should a Christian practice repentance?
Luke 13:1-5 NLT A Call to Repentance
 
4, Understand that repentance is a Work of God’s Spirit
John 16:7-8 NLT “when he comes, he will convict the world of sin…”
We need the Spirit; As we have seen, repentance is a work of grace.
a. the Spirit must teach us the Word of God
Unless the Spirit opens our hearts and minds to the truth of God’s Law, we’ll never be able to appreciate the standards of holiness and justice God.
b. the Spirit having shown us the Law of God, convicts us
of any situations, sentiments, thoughts, or practices in our lives that are contrary to the holiness of the Law of God
c. Spirit takes up another work in us; He begins to make us willing to do what God wants, to live as He desires, to make ourselves
Ezekiel 36:25-27 NLT
d. Finally, Spirit of God enables us to declare our repentance to God. Identify sin: Confess sin: Changed mind about sin:
(I believe this is where I finished on Sunday)
 
5. In order to Understand repentance we must first understand the Mercy of God Romans 4:13-16 NLT
13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham
and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law,
but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.
14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law,
then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.
15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it.
(The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)
16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift.
And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according
to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s.
For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
We cannot repent until we receive the mercy of God,
shown to us in the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined the phrase “polyphony of life” as a metaphor for the various melodies of life that captivate or consume our affections.  The invitation of Christ, he observed, does not come in such a way as to injure or weaken other loves, but always to provide a kind of cantus firmus to other melodies lest they run us adrift or out of tune.  The cantus firmus, which means “fixed song,” is a pre-existing melody that forms the basis of a polyphonic composition. I hear it all the time in my i-tunes collection, some of my favorite old songs, being redone electronically or to a different style of music, swing, jazz, whatever. Though the song introduces twists in pitch and style, counterpoint and refrain, the cantus firmus is the enduring melody not always in the forefront, but always playing somewhere within the composition.

Love of God was the cantus firmus for Bonhoeffer, the soul of the concerto and the clarifying essence for a life of various sounds and directions. “Where the cantus firmus is clear and plain, the counterpoint can be developed to its limits… Life isn’t pushed back into a single dimension, but is kept multi-dimensional and ployphonous as Bonhoeffer would say. (from Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.)

So it should be in our lives, if repentance is real then the mercy of God should resonate in our lives in all that we do. It may take many forms depending on our personality, gifts, and graces. But in the music of our life, the refrain of God’s mercy must be heard in all that we say and do.

It is both brave and essential to listen to the various melodies that hold our lives and shape our affections, and to ask what is the guiding principle (song) behind it all. The invitation of Christ is one that will engage all of life. The fully human Incarnate Son could make no lesser request.
His invitation is that of fullness of life, a diversity of loves and desires shaped and flourishing around a firm cantus firmus . In this love, all things their find their coherence; the broken fragments of lesser songs are remade, re-tuned, and restored. So it is when Jesus is at the heart of our lives, the cantus firmus of His love for us becomes the music or our lives. We begin to see not only our lives, but all of life through the eyes of God’s mercy.

6. Real repentance seeks another path to walk,
One that follows Christ, walks in “all the ways of His commandments.”  We will not repent of our sins until all these conditions are met.  And, as often as they are met, we will repent, and thus discover again the starting-point of saving faith.

Repentance does not earn salvation; (Works)
but no salvation without works that follow our new walk with Christ as Head.

Westminster Confession
“As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.”  Repentance is thus an avenue for great hope, relief, and joy, and a new beginning each day for knowing the salvation of the Lord.
The Confession continues,
“Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavor to repent of his “particular sins” the ones that have captivated his life, the ones whose cantus firmus is of the world. When we begin to practice repentance like this, then the salvation we have in Jesus Christ will begin to flourish.

Repentance unto life!
Without Repentance there is no saving faith, no growth, and none of the good works that characterize true repentance.
Without these we may not expect to see the Lord, to know the righteousness, peace, and joy of His Kingdom, or to be a blessing to others as God intends.

Repentance is a work of grace, a work of God’s Spirit.
We must labor to understand repentance, put ourselves in the conditions where repentance can occur, and seek the Spirit of God to work within us that conviction, grief, willingness, and resolve that lead us through repentance into the fuller enjoyment of our walk with Jesus Christ.

Repentance is the starting-point for faith – for faith that issues in salvation, and for faith that grows in salvation day by day.
Seek the Spirit, and plead with Him to bring the grace of repentance more consistently and more powerfully into your life.  Philippians 2:12-18 NLT Shine Brightly for Christ

7. How does forgiveness happen?
Scraping off the Barnacles
When I was young, from age 3 to 13, we lived in Eureka, California. My mom’s folks lived there and my grandfather was a commercial Fisherman.  His boat was the “Johnson 7” (I never did find out what happened to the first six ) Every once in a while she had to be loaded up on the dry docks for maintenance and prayer. Then you could see the bottom of the boat and all the damage that time and the sea had done. Barnacles were everywhere and had to be scraped off.

How did Job do it? Job 2:7-8
7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
8 And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.
The barnacles of a rough time on the seas of life begin to collect and have their effect on us. Unlike Job, we cannot just scrape them off with broken pieces of pottery. But all of that scraping did nothing for the heart of Job who really felt like God had failed him. Faith in trusting God, without knowing the answers to “Why me?” is the only thing that can heal the hurts.
Job scraped the barnacles off. It was painful! The scars would remain but his life was put back together. Strong belief in God was the medicine.  His wife and his friends could not do it--only God could!  Job said, "I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be with holden from Thee." Job 42:2.

It takes an instant to decide to repent.
2 Samuel 12:13-14 NLT David Confesses His Guilt

But repentance is also a process that takes a lifetime.
Recovery is a process, not an event…we take it one day at a time  Romans 4:17-25

One sinner’s repentance benefits many sinners.
Your Life becomes a witness and a testimony to many – even those who don’t know you, they see you, they hear you, they sense your emotions.  One of the more striking things to confront in each of the four gospel accounts, besides the human Jesus himself, is the reactions people had to Him. When in his presence, some like Mary and the man with leprosy fell instantaneously at his feet, others like the young rich ruler or the people of Nazareth turned away. In his presence some cried for mercy and choices were made, theories adjusted, realities were challenged, affections transformed. For some it took years for them to come around to Christ.

Ironically, those deemed unrighteous and dishonorable by the social standards of the day were often the most responsive to the demands of Jesus. I have often wondered if this was because they were the ones most willing to see themselves without pretense. They are most willing to respond to their own inconsistencies with fear and trembling.
In the presence of Christ, the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda came to see the contradictions he lived with, his broken refrain, and his need for a new song.
The Samaritan woman at the well saw not only that Jesus was speaking truth, but that he was truth, and that his way of life was full of life, while her own had been forced to the sidelines.
Called into the presence of Christ, Zacchaeus saw his ravenous, isolating ways and the great hunger of his life for a different sort of communion.

Veritas vos Liberabit! Pastor Mike