Repentance and Renewal

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The fire of God convicts.
It does not condemn.
Jesus rebuked James and John when they sought to call fire down from heaven to consume the unwelcoming Samaritan villagers (Lk.
James and John forgot what spirit they were of.
God comes to save, not destroy lives.
Jesus simply passed on to another village, leaving those who merely tolerated Him to go where He was welcomed and celebrated (v.
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.
The mirror of the Word enables you to see sin Having never really read the Bible, I knew very little about sin.
Without a knowledge of God and His commandments, a sinner cannot be knowledgeable of sin (Rom.
The strength of sin is the law, without which humanity has no standard by which to judge themselves (1Cor.
I was speeding down the fast lane of life seemingly without a care in the world.
My academic studies at the University were going very well and I was quite happy with my progress since graduating from high school.
This new discovery of God was all fine and good too! Little did I know that a further demand to live holy would be placed upon my life.
Nobody specifically ever made such a fuss about the way I lived, neither those inside or outside of my church.
Yet a still small voice became ever present within me.
That little voice was none other than the Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised to be "in and with" His disciples (Jn.
Like a police car with blue and red lights flashing that appears in the rearview mirror of your car when you are driving, the Holy Spirit came to slow me down and discuss some sinful violations that I had committed.
Prior to the Holy Spirit shining the light on such areas, I was happy and thought I was doing just fine.
No soulish guilt was felt until the law entered - that is the law of the Spirit of Christ.
Before God's grace can abound on a sinner's behalf, the law of the Lord must enter and enable him to discover his guilt before God (Rom.
The law of the Lord acts as a mirror to show the sinner the error of his ways.
Upon becoming aware of God's standard and coming to a realization that they are missing the mark, repentance follows.
It seems we in the Church have forgotten the chronology of God.
The law came from Moses before grace and truth could proceed from Jesus Christ (Jn.
In our day, we frustrate the grace of God and allow the sinner to trample the blood of Christ beneath their feet.
We do this by attempting to give the unrepentant God's grace before they have first been brought to an awareness of their sin.
No casual and halfhearted attitude can remain when a soul realizes that his sin crucified the Lord (Acts 2:36).
Once the arrows of the Lord are in the heart of the sinner and godly sorrow has accrued, then and only then should God's grace be given.
Any prior attempt to extend God's grace to the sinner will only serve to enable him to further take it for granted.
If a lasting conversion is to occur, the law of the Lord must enter and have its full affect on the heart.
Godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation (II Cor.
Yet when the law is removed, godly sorrow never comes.
Apart from a godly sorrow for sins committed, salvation is short-lived as an inner reality of the heart is nonexistent.
The way to combat counterfeit conversions however is to implement the law of the Lord (Ps.
When I drew near to God via Christian TV (and that in a matter of minutes, before I turned the channel), there was not ample time for me to hear the Gospel in its entirety and deeply repent of my sins.
Nevertheless, God was gracious to manifest Himself in me by the Spirit of grace.
Thereafter however the Spirit of truth began to work on me in an attempt to purify me within and conform me to the image of Christ.
I certainly didn't consider myself to be a disciple, nor devout for that matter.
However my confession of faith and little prayer was enough to get God's attention, after which He began dealing with my heart further to fully commit to follow Him as a son would a father.
"Wherefore, come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Cor.
I did not know any such Scripture, as I had never read the Bible previously.
The few times I did attempt to read the Bible before the Holy Spirit entered my life, I fell asleep rather quickly.
It is no wonder that I retained so little of what I had read.
Yet somehow once the Holy Spirit entered my heart, I supernaturally knew right from wrong.
It was as if instinctively I had an inner radar signaling me and detecting the slightest trace of sin.
I now know that what I was feeling within me at that time was the inner unction of the Holy Spirit.
The new resident within me, the Holy Spirit, was rewriting the laws by which I governed my life.
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus was becoming imprinted upon my heart (Rom.
Evangelist Stephen Hill gives us seven evidences of salvation16.
An inner witness that you are a child of God (I Jn.
New awareness of sin and sinful thoughts (I Jn.
New desire to read God's love letter - the Bible (Ps.
A desire to live holy and be like Jesus (Phil.
The experiencing of social pressure (II Tim.
A sense of urgency to share the Gospel (Acts 4:20).
A new love for other Christians (I Jn.
What God works in, you work out This inner work of the Holy Spirit was rather new to me.
Unlike most works which are outwardly discernable, the work of the Spirit was inward and hidden to the natural eye.
It is God by His Spirit that works in us to both will and do His good pleasure (Phil.
Somehow God has the ability to reach down within a person and change them from the inside out.
God can take His mighty hand and reposition a person's heart in such a way that they begin to desire new things and become willing to embrace God's thing.
Such a willingness and obedience to God evolves within the heart of man when the Spirit of God is readily at work within him (Eze.
Our responsibility as sons and daughters of God is to recognize and acknowledge the inner work of the Spirit within us, after which we are to yield and strive to cooperate with the Spirit's work.
Such yieldedness and cooperation is manifest when we begin to "work out" our own salvation (Phil.
God works in us, after which we cooperatively work out His will.
Upon acknowledging and valuing the inner working of the Spirit within, a natural tendency to fully work out and work with God occurs.
This is when a person begins to take ownership of their salvation and strive to fully maximize it.

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