Friday, August 13, 2010

Proof of (the Spiritual) Life

The forerunner, John the Baptist, said,

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

~Matthew 3:8 (NIV).

True repentance is necessarily the work of Spiritual completion—the about-turning from our previously-known ways back to God and God’s ways for us.

And we’re easily plagued by this very thing; guilty that those stench-filled hurts, hang-ups and habits of ours still cling ardently to us, despite our efforts to rid ourselves of these. Calm: there is not a person alive who has dealt with all the sin in their lives... this is precisely why we need a Saviour.

John’s Context

If we go back to Matthew chapter 3, we recall John is rebuking the Pharisees and Sadducees for their typically legal and unrepentant hearts.

Repentance, then, is very much a heart struck phenomenon; it’s the very foundation of power in fulfilling the penitence all require in achieving true change and spiritual resurrection from the bondages that have held, and do hold, us captive.

The Real Rub

What’s especially poignant in this message of repentance is it’s not the enemy who brings it, but God. [Go on...] Repentance, then, is the resurrection power of the risen Lord Jesus to raise us out of bondage—out of places Satan would love us to stay in.

We see here that repentance isn’t a mallet that God belts us over the head with, as if to say, “Comply!” but a way of God’s Spirit and power manifesting itself in our lives such that we have a real way out of the hellish hurts, hang-ups and habits that cling so fast.

Fruit of Repentance – Fulfilment of a Promise

It follows then that us repenting before God is not ever really about us appeasing God, but about God fulfilling the promise of the Spirit’s power to flush the bondage away.

We’re taking the concept of repentance, here, from the land of compulsion and necessity (the land of legalism) across to an altogether better land of spiritual deliverance by the power of God—the former was held over us by religiosity; the latter (that better land), now, is power and reality to live the life God’s always promised—the abundant and resurrected life.

Whenever we see fruit in our lives that was not previously there, God is showing us in that, the blessings of obedience, the fulfilment of a promise for our situational faithfulness.

Repentance, now and always, has been about positive things and the redemption of the many promises of God procured through simple faithfulness—for which we’re all capable.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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