2019-03-22 - The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 5 ~ Originally Published 2006-08-29
In this series, we have examined that believing Jesus to be the Christ, and confessing him as Lord of all, is a major step. And it is the vital step in this life-changing experience known as salvation. There is, however, one other word that is often used when discussing salvation. That word is repent.
Luke 13:1-5 (NCV) At that time some people were there who told Jesus that Pilate had killed some people from Galilee while they were worshiping. He mixed their blood with the blood of the animals they were sacrificing to God. 2 Jesus answered, "Do you think this happened to them because they were more sinful than all others from Galilee? 3 No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will be destroyed as they were! 4 What about those eighteen people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were more sinful than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will all be destroyed too!”
Jesus' words in Luke are most commonly translated as repent. For many, repenting just means saying, "I'm sorry." However, that is not what true repentance is. I like the way this translation has put it. Repentance means changing your heart and life. You must change inside and out. You don't have to change before coming to Jesus, but you must be willing to do it and desire to do it. There must be a heart change and a life change. There must be belief and action. True repentance is displayed when genuine belief and confession are expressed, through surrendered lives.
James 2:19-22 (KJV) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Without a change in our lives, the belief is not real. Without the fruit of works, the confession is only a show. Can you show your faith by your works, as James claimed in verse 18? Paul spoke of crucifying his flesh and dying daily to this world. Our Lord Jesus Christ, himself, commanded us to take up our cross. How are your "die dailies" coming? Do you believe He can save you from any sin, any day you let him? Do you confess that he is Lord of your entire life, each day? Do you repent of your pride and desires, and aim to serve him with your whole being? If you cannot say yes to each of these, then you need a healthy dose of repentance.
Will you repent of making yourself your own lord, and let Jesus be Lord for today? Will you repent of trying to handle everything yourself, and let the one true Savior rescue you from it all? Just repent - turn away from your own efforts - and turn to Jesus and his work on Calvary. Jesus paid it all; all to him, I owe.
Until next time …
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted