Confusion in God's house is of such an extent in these latter days, many no longer preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as commanded much less that soul deep repentance from sin and faith in the message is required (Mark 1:14-15). It is impossible to make the Gospel any simpler and easier for people to digest than the way it is plainly stated in the written Word without corrupting it. The same holds true for God's one and only way for already saved folk to get right after we sin. Again, the written Word contains God's simple and easy direction for what a professing Christian that is guilty of sin must do. Without soul deep repentance from sin, there can be no forgiveness for anyone!
So, first, what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? According to the apostle Paul through whose preaching of the message we Gentile believers exist, the Gospel is "that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, NKJV). It is not enough to believe Christ died on the cross. One must believe He died "for our sins." It was our sins that separated us from God and condemned us. But Christ, "The Lamb of God" came to endure God's wrath on the cross for our sins and make possible through His blood their removal by forgiveness (Isaiah 53:1-12; John 1:29, 3:13-21, NKJV).
When the New Testament speaks of believing in Christ in the context of salvation, it is not only belief that He is a historical Person, but always with the understanding that men believe the Gospel in which He and His sacrifice are central. Just believing Jesus is a real Person cannot save you. Our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ centers on His sacrifice to save us from our sins. This faith is preceded by a conviction we are guilty of sin before God and stand in great peril since we have no remedy unless He should act to save us (Isaiah 6:1-7; Romans 7:14-8:1). Leaving sin out as the key issue of the Gospel is another, false gospel and condemns its preachers (Galatians 1:1-10)!
Soul deep repentance is spawned by the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins that have offended God and include heretofore refusing to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 16:5-11). In the midst of guilt, shame and an overwhelming regret accompanied by real sorrow in the depths of the soul, the sinner turns from rebellion against God to Him and His help in the Gospel. Hence, in accord with Christ’s command (Luke 24:46-49), at Pentecost Peter answered the men of Israel in their anguish of sin guilt, "Repent…," (Acts 2:36-39, NKJV); Paul assuming conviction of sin and soul deep repentance as immediate antecedents to faith writes Romans 10:6-17.
After becoming Christians, we continue to sin against God as He foreknew. In His infinite wisdom and unique greatness, God moves in several ways at once to help us from the moment of salvation. Through the Holy Spirit we are set apart as holy and holiness is worked in us daily as an intended lifelong process leading to glory (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). The Father begins to father us with loving instruction and discipline (Hebrews 12:3-11). Among the things we are taught is to reflexively confess and repent from our sins trusting in God’s faithful and just character to forgive us because of the finished sacrifice and continuing advocacy of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 1:5-2:2).
Christians can and many of us do stubbornly resist the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in refusing to confess and repent from our sins. We have varying reasons, but the bottom line is we are loving and preferring our sin to God. The Holy Spirit in grief continues to reach out to us while we shrug Him off in resistance with all manner of deceitful rationalizations and justifications for our sin (Ephesians 4:30). During this time which may be many years, we are certainly in rebellion and not walking by faith. Also, in love the Lord painfully chastens us to the end of finally bringing us around to a “godly sorrow” and soul deep repentance like David (Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11, NKJV) leading to a purge of sin from our hearts as Josiah purged Israel if we will (2 Chronicles 34:1-7).
To see such godly sorrow and soul deep repentance among professing Christians currently in rebellion against God, His Word and order is my hope from the heart of God in writing and speaking with directness (Ezekiel 33:1-9). For the immutable God longsuffering and merciful does judge His people though He desires not to (Ezekiel 18:23, 30-32, 33:10-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; Revelation 2:4-5, 14-16, 20-23, 3:1-3, 15-20). Therefore, let the disobedient of God’s house carefully consider that Daniel voiced prayer in soul deep repentance on behalf of his people from the judgment of captivity looking toward restoration (Daniel 9:1-19); not so for you, but eternal disgrace and ruin await unless you repent now (Hebrews 3:7-19, 12:12-17; Revelation 13, 14:8-11, 16:17-19:4)!
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