Monday, March 09, 2009

repentance, continued

By request, Byard continued on repentance, and there was much discussion.

What stood out for me is how true repentance must have a God-ward focus. In other words one is not repenting because they're sorry about some loss they've received through their actions. But only because it offended God. That indicates, as Byard pointed out, a love for God.

Byard also noted how today in our society there is no agreed standard by which people can be held accoutable. Repentance among most any given group of people in our society therefore makes little or no sense. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.

Part of the solution is for people to somehow get a vision of God. But that must begin with God's people. We can only understand God's law and the grace extended to us in Christ when we catch a glimpse of God, receiving a sense of God's holiness, sovereignty, goodness and love. We need to look to the "face" of Christ. In that face we see in contrast our sin, but we also see our salvation, God's love and forgiveness in Jesus.

That is why a true, healthy repentance- little by little (piece by piece, not dumped on one we've sinned against all at once) at the right times in God's timing does not shrink back from telling all: a frank, full confession. Only in that is there true and full salvation.

As I look at the handout we receive yesterday, I note that there may be more wisdom on this yet to come (the previous paragraph, one example). Our series on Ephesians continues to be interrupted, but considering repentance in depth anytime is a good thing, and is particularly fitting during Lent. 

Anyone have a thought to add, or wonder about anything here?

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