Sunday August 18, 2019
To repent, one has to surrender, submit, suffer, and die.
There’s one problem - we can’t do it perfectly and half measures are no good with God. There’s another problem - there’s nothing in God’s nature that can do it at all.
Nothing in God’s nature corresponds to this process at all - surrender, submission, suffering, and death. God can only share what He has, and what we need He does not possess.
But supposing God became a man - suppose our human nature which can suffer and die was amalgamated with God’s nature in one person - then that person could help us. He could surrender His will, submit, suffer, and die because He was man and He could do it perfectly because He was God.
2CO 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2CO 7:8 For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it — for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while —
2CO 7:9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
2CO 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2CO 7:11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.
And then, greatest of all, He actually goes through death and resurrection and somehow takes us all with Him, all who believe in Him die and are then made alive - perfectly righteous.
God became a man so that He could submit, surrender, suffer, and die for me. Now I have all I need to repent from sin and have power to overcome the suffering it brings.
Because of what Christ has done in me, to me, I can repent from sin and evil and live unto Him. I have died because I have shared in His death and I am alive because I have shared in His resurrection. I can now clearly see life and death and choose life and reject death, walking away from its grave, saying farewell forever.
If you find that your mind struggles with the understanding of this, then you are normal.
The truth is that you died, but you didn’t actually experience it. You have been resurrected, are alive with Christ, but didn’t actually go through the experience of walking out of a grave.
It all rests in promises that we have been made brand new, that we are the new humanity that was promised, and we have to trust God in those promises, and most importantly, when we live this life of Christ, we will see the fruit of it.
EPH 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Can anyone define the breadth and length and height and depth?
EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
EPH 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
EPH 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Think about it, if it is a life beyond dreams then it is a life that is impossible to fully characterize in words. It has to be lived in order to be fully understood.
PHI 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
PHI 3:10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
PHI 3:11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Those things cannot be known by academics alone.
R. Winterbotham writes, “The Cross” is to him [Paul] the verbal symbol, not only of a crucified Savior, but of a crucified self. By it he is crucified to the world and the world to him. He is constantly assuming that all good Christians died, were crucified, with Christ in a very real sense. Doubtless there is something mystical in this teaching which it passes man’s wit to explain, which only faith can appropriate and experience make clear.” [The Kingdom of Heaven]
I agree with him totally. It is useless to simply give the best explanation in fine words of the life of freedom in which sin is overcome. Perhaps God has made this impossible in case we would be content to remain with our explanation, like having a map leading to infinite treasures and remaining content with the map and not heading out on the journey it reveals. In order to see this life, it has to be lived. Doctrines are our maps. Doctrines are explanations of the journey, which is why we find some of them need some adjustment when we are farther along on the journey. The journey is Christ Himself, who goes with us, for He alone knows the way.
Considering yourself dead to sin (ROM 6:11) is more than a mental exercise. Being dead to sin and alive to God, I become a servant to God’s will, whatever it may be, whenever, and wherever.
It is important to look for the opportunities in our lives where we can trust the Lord explicitly while rejecting all human endeavors.
PSA 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
PSA 37:2 For they will wither quickly like the grass,
And fade like the green herb.
PSA 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
PSA 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
PSA 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
PSA 37:6 And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.
PSA 37:7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
PSA 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.
PSA 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.