Friday, December 2, 2011

True repentance

I was going to leave this as a comment but it was too long.
Repentance is being reconciled to God and it is the starting point of a truly regenerated person. As I went back and found this summary of what Thomas said about repentance, I also picked up on some things I didn't notice my first time reading through the book. I will read the book again maybe soon, maybe not.
My quick explanation of true repentance is to emphasize the difference between just saying something and actually being something. A lot of people say they are Christians, but that doesn't mean they've been truly transformed by Jesus Christ. Another quote by Ian Thomas is, "If this repentance is real, it will result in a Spirit produced 'hunger and thirst' to be like Jesus." A true Christian will exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
A super simplified way of thinking about it is this: a lot of people out there claim to be Batman. The truth is, however,  they don't own a bat-suit, they don't drive the Batmobile, and they don't fight crime. So guess what? They aren't Batman! 
This simple analogy does not take into account true Christians who are living in the flesh (I posted about that a few months ago). Only God can see someone's heart. I don't mean to make anyone doubt their salvation either, but I would much rather be guilty of that than to not have warned people from entering eternity, thinking their destination was secure, only for them to hear, "depart from me I never knew you."

A great place to find out about repentance is the Bible. Start in the gospel of John. Then go to 1 John. Then probably James. And then Romans. Not necessarily in that order, but maybe.

This blessed me

A story about the difference between Christ and Confucius and Buddha taken from Four-Fold Gospel by A.B. Simpson. 
A man once said, "I was down in a deep pit, half sunk in the mire and was crying for some one to help me out. As I looked up I saw a venerable, gray-haired man looking down at me. His countenance bore the marks of his pure and holy spirit. 'My son,' he said, 'this is a dreadful place.' 'Yes,' I said, 'I fell into it. Can't you help me out?' 'My son,' he said, 'I am Confucius. If you had read my books and followed what they taught, you never would have been here.' 'Yes, Father,' I said, 'but can't you help me out?' As I looked up he was gone. Soon I saw another form approaching, and another man bent over me, this time with closed eyes and folded arms. He seemed to be looking into some far-off distant place. 'My son,' he said, 'just close your eyes and fold your arms and forget all about yourself. Get into a state of perfect rest. Don't think about anything that could disturb. Get so still that nothing can move you. Then, my child, you will be in such delicious rest as I am. 'Yes, Father,' I answered, Til do that when I am above ground. Can't you help me out?' But Buddah, too, was gone. I was just beginning to sink into despair when I saw another figure above me, different from the others. He was very simple, and looked just like the rest of us, but there were the marks of suffering in His face. I cried out to Him: 'Oh, Father, can you help me.' 'My child,' he said, 'what is the matter?' Before I could answer him, he was down in the mire by my side; he folded his arms about me and lifted me up, and then he fed and rested me. When I was well, he did not say, 'Now, don't do that again,' but he said, 'We will walk on together now;' and we have been walking together until this day."