A Fresh Look at Repentance: Part 2

 By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min.

How important that we rethink our doctrine of repentance and rediscover sin is sin precisely because it violates God.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love,” King David pled following his tryst with Bathsheba that ended in her pregnant and her husband murdered. “According to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge” (Psalm 51:1-4 NIV).

David had it right in his repentance. His sin first-and-foremost was against God; he had grossly violated the heart of God. I must admit, dear reader, I struggled a long time with the “you only” in David’s prayer. Then one day I realized it was David’s sin against God that made his acts such wicked sins against Bathsheba and Uriah her husband.

  • Have we come to believe our sins are only against the people we harm?
  • Does our doctrine of the love of God communicate we do not need to repent, as David did?
  • Do we reason because God is love it means our sins do not hurt God?

How important that we rethink our doctrine of repentance and rediscover sin is sin precisely because it violates God. We must then let that understanding inform our doctrine of repentance. David prayed, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” We must never forget sin has made a huge gap between us and God, and it can be healed only when we cry out in repentance because we have violated God. God is justified when He speaks and judges, precisely because our sins are against Him. It is then, when we repent before God, that He can forgive us and is justified doing it because of His brutal sacrifice on the cross – His death in our place.

We are only making the gap wider when we try to deal with our sins by asserting our own self-righteousness – the idea that God is love, and He will welcome me into His heaven because of my own works of righteousness. How offensive before God that kind of thinking must be! If our righteousness can save us, Jesus was a fool to go to Golgotha and sacrifice His life for us.

“We Jews know we have no advantage of birth over ‘non-Jewish sinners,’ wrote the Apostle Paul to the Galatians. “We know very well we are not set right with God by rule-keeping, but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it — and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen [613 commandments, italics mine]. Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good” (Galatians 2:15-16, MSG).

Justification is a legal term. The indictment asserts I was in rebellion against God, dear reader, and you were too. In fact, all people everywhere, with no exceptions, are guilty of rebellion against God. We have no plea to make. We can never even do enough works of righteousness to mount a defense. The Law makes clear we are guilty as charged. No option is left. We must take the penalty, die in our sins, and face the judgment of eternal punishment in the devil’s hell, with the record of our sins kept forever on the court ledger.

It is at precisely this point the gospel of Jesus Christ is such good news. It offers one way out. When in genuine repentance we get right with God, then we can place our trust in the sacrificial death of Jesus to keep His promises and forgive and forget about our sins. But the Holy Spirit is no fool, as Ananias and his wife learned (Acts 5:1-8). The Spirit knows our hearts, including when we have genuinely repented and confessed Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus, not us, defines the meaning of ‘meaning it.’

Honestly it is almost too good to be true, but it is true. This is what Calvary was all about. As the gift of God, our Messiah did indeed love us enough to go to the cross with our sins on His heart. It’s amazing. When we repent and mean it, Jesus forgives us and erases all the charges against us in the court records of heaven. Jesus lets us walk out of court as free people – justified – with our record wiped clean of all present and past sin.

Such love; such wondrous love.

This plan of redemption was achieved with a new covenant built around the sacrificial death of God’s only Son. Jesus’ blood atones for every person who in heartfelt repentance accepts Him as the Son of God. This transaction takes place in a person’s heart with the blessing of “credited righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).

When this repentance occurs, Jesus deposits His righteousness in the heart of the justified believer. This launches a new beginning of peace and holiness between God and man that endures for a lifetime, and lasts thereafter as long as eternity rolls.   

The English Magna Carta is remembered in history as a written agreement between England’s King Henry III and the barons of England (the large land-holders). It was signed in 1215 at Runnymede in England. Magna Carta was a first effort by the barons to put some limits on the powers of the English monarchy.

The term Magna Carta, or ‘Great Charter,’ as used in this article symbolizes the magnificent gift of God that resolves the huge gap, not between a land holder and a king, but between a Holy God and sinful man. This is achieved with a new covenant built around the sacrificial death of God’s only Son in our place. Jesus’ blood atones for every person who in heartfelt repentance accepts Jesus as the Son of God.

This is the justifying grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ.   “All of us… can have the promised Holy Spirit through this faith” (Galatians 3:14, TLB).

Related posts

A Hated Messiah?

By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min. The name, Jesus Christ, means Savior-Messiah. As Jesus neared...

UNEXPECTED JOY

  By: Frank Tunstall and Phil Larson Join us as we pray and study...

“CRAVING TO UNDERSTAND”

By: Frank Tunstall The prophets:  “yearning to understand Messiah’s suffering and glory” (1 Peter...

“But if Not”

By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min. All children of God sooner or later will need...

THE PRECIOUS RING

By: Frank G. Tunstall We all have our treasures that we hold to strongly....

Beth Moore: God Uses Your Mistakes for Good

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/january-web-only/beth-moore-god-uses-your-mistakes-for-good.html By: Beth Moore Years ago, when the number of attendees at Living Proof...

THE CROSS IS OUR STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

 ChristianityToday.com/ct/2019/November/cross-is-our-stairway-to-heaven.html Our salvation comes not from someone on our level, but from someone infinitely...

HOW BILLY GRAHAM LEARNED THE ART OF PREACHING

https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2019/august-web-exclusives/billy-graham-learned-art-of-preaching.html? The late evangelist called himself the “champion rambler.” By: Grant Wacker  When I...

BIVOCATIONAL AND COVOCATIONAL MINISTRY

  www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2019/spring/no-easy-calling.html? Three honest stories about its rewards and challenges. BY: LINDA W. PERKINS...

YOUR PLAN B IS STILL GOD’S PLAN

christianitytoday.com/women/2019/january/church-planting-your-plan-b-is-still-gods-plan.html  By: Sandra Peoples In 2015, my husband and I moved from rural Pennsylvania...

THE MAGNIFICAT

By Frank Tunstall The Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary in the miraculous and...

CHINA CRACKS DOWN – AGAIN

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/november/what-to-do-about-persecution-in-china.html?share=56xKkXi%2fdTPQjQCm3LBm6NPogOGXW4vm   The government is removing crosses from their steeples and replacing them...

SINGLES: A VITAL PART OF OUR CHURCHES

www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2018/july/singles-vital-part-of-our-churches Singles make up half of our churches, so we best learn to treat...

HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTION

BY: FRANK TUNSTALL, D. MIN. Three outstanding facts stand out regarding Peter’s bold preaching...

THESE BOMBS LED ME TO CHRIST

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/may/napalm-girl-kim-phuc-phan-thi-fire-road.html The “Napalm Girl” from a famous Vietnam War photo tells her story of...

JESUS’ GLORIFIED BODY

 By Frank G. Tunstall  Cleopas and his unnamed friend had Jesus’ undivided attention on...

“JESUS WEPT!”

 By Frank G. Tunstall When Mary walked up to Jesus on the outskirts of...

5 TOP PRIORITIES FOR INCREASING YOUR CHURCH

 sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/charles-arn-5-top-priorities-for-increasing-your-church This article is a classic on church growth. It was first released in 2010...

OFFENDED BY JESUS?

By: Frank G. Tunstall  Luke records a story about Jesus paying a visit to...

EVANGELIST BILLY GRAHAM HAS DIED

www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/billy-graham/mom-mass-media-and-me.html ‘America’s pastor’ shaped modern evangelicalism. By: Marshall Shelley Billy Graham was perhaps the...

ICEBERG COLD REJECTION

  By: Frank G. Tunstall  Jesus the Prophet deserved the highest adoration, but the...

THE SURPRISING REASON YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE

https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-mission/the-surprising-reason-you-are-where-you-are-8093 By: Ron Hutchcraft Some years ago, we took a delegation of teenagers to...

CAN THERE BE ONE RIGHT RELIGION?

http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/can-there-be-one-right-religion; Posted November 14, 2017   By: Sean McDowell Recently I was in a...

HEALING HEALERS

By Phil Larson, as told to Frank Tunstall The world’s largest casino is located...

FAITH IS NOT BLIND!

BY: FRANK TUNSTALL Some critics’ claim Christians believe on blind faith, defined as belief...

HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE: CHRISTIAN HISTORY TIMELINE

 http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-43/how-we-got-our-bible-christian-history-timeline.html Have you ever wondered how the Bible has developed through the centuries, so...

WHAT THE CARPENTER SEES IN YOU

https://hutchcraft.com/a-word-with-you/your-most-important-relationship/what-the-carpenter-sees-in-you-7979  By Ron Hutchcraft  Hutchcraft.Com Many years ago we were shopping for a place...

A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING UNDERWAY AT WHITE HOUSE

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2017/july/bible-studies-at-the-white-house-whos-at-the-heart-of-this-spiritual-awakening “It’s the best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life. They...

THE MANY BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE

http://blog.thrivingpastor.com/the-many-benefits-of-gratitude/?refcd=504701&utm_campaign=The+Many+Benefits+of+Gratitude This well written article is excellent for focusing us on the grace of...

THE SOBBING SAVIOR

By: Frank G. Tunstall I thought about it hundreds of times over the years,...

HOSANNA

By: Frank G. Tunstall “The next day the great crowd that had come for...

“PRAY FIRST!”

Dr. Ron White serves as president of Emmanuel College. He assumed that role October...

ONE QUESTION YOU MUST NEVER ASK IN MINISTRY

classic.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/joe-mckeever-one-question-you-must-never-ask-in-ministry-2697.asp? “Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the...

“IT IS FINISHED!”

 By Frank G. Tunstall The ancient Greeks boasted about being able to say much...

RETHINKING DREAMS

By: Frank G. Tunstall  John 1:43 “The next day Jesus decided to leave for...

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.




Top