1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” NKJV
Let me say at the very outset of this devotional that I believe that repentance is required for salvation. I also understand the word repent to mean to go in the opposite direction doing a 180 degree turn in our lives. Unlike what I heard a preacher say once in talking about repentance, “You have to do a 360 degree turn.” I had had three observations as I heard that statement. First, I was totally convinced he simply misspoke. Second, if you do a 360 degree turn you come back to where you were and there is no change. Third, the number of people that shouted Amen amazed me.
I occasionally hear preaching that seems to suggest that salvation is Jesus and… On occasions in discussing salvation with believers they seem to add something to the work of Christ on the Cross and present a pathway to salvation that requires more than grace through repentance and faith. When Jesus was on the Cross He declared, “IT IS FINISHED or COMPLETE.” I must ask how complete is complete? It is not Jesus AND anything it is Grace. By grace we are saved through faith. It is a free gift of God in response to our repentance and believing. John’s word in John 3:16 proclaims loudly that WHOSOEVER can be and is saved through faith.
Repentance is not simply acknowledging that we have been exposed or confession alone. It is a change of heart and a response to sin through recognition that we have missed God’s mark. If one is more concerned with the punishment than the sin an attitude of repentance is unlikely. Man’s depraved nature is usually susceptible to the wiles of the devil and if we confessed due to fear of punishment or as a result of exposure we are open to the lie that maybe next time we won’t get caught. Our hearts were not broken by sin and our view of sin was not God’s view but man’s view. In that scenario it is questionable if repentance was anything more than an admission of failure but not a change of mind toward the behavior or condition.
Without straining at gnats and swallowing camels I stand firm on the belief that if we confess (repent) of our sins God forgives. I am totally secure in my confidence that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that God raised Him from the dead we will be saved. I am anchored in my hope that if we repent we will turn from our sin and they will be blotted out. I believe that if we draw near to God He will draw near to us. I believe that when God’s conviction of sin smites our heart and we come face to face with the realization sin is an affront to God and separates us from His fellowship we can, should and hopefully will repent and receive.
Jesus is the way, truth and life and has opened the door to eternal life. The simple prescription is repent which involves confession and belief. He has extended His Grace to whosoever will and it is not maybe He will forgive but HE WILL FORGIVE. If the strings of your heart are being tugged by the Holy Spirit about anything please do not resist His nudging. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and Jesus promised that if we come to Him he will not cast us away.
God bless you as you go through this beautiful day!