I allowed sin to be a part of my life simply because I allowed my old rebellious spirit (my so-called “sinful nature”–Oswald Chambers correctly calls it “disposition of sin” 86 times in the book[“disposition to sin is found twice], “The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers”) to remain and doing so while understanding that I was “saved”. To not repent of my sins (as a professing Christian), when God showed them to me, did put a halt on my spiritual growth for a very long time. How could I have joined in song, “O, I want To See Him” while being so rebellious toward God? By being deceived, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.
Just a thought: What does “do the first works” mean in this verse? “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:5) Do you think it means to do them over?
Jesus Christ Will Set the Captive Free
Most Christians know that to know to do right and then don’t do it is sin.
God’s freedom for man comes from not being under the dominion of sin. The Holy Spirit will enable every faithful follower of Jesus Christ to not have sin in their lives. So, why be a “Christian” and allow room for the bondage of sin? If we’re free, what is it that we’re free from? Is it only the judgement and consequences of sin? There is more to it than that. A joyful heart is the one making a joyful noise unto the Lord. True praise comes from a thankful heart and the Holy Ghost witnesses that to us. God sees all and knows all. If He, Jesus, is in the “Christian” and a “Christian” is in Him, there is no room left for willful sinning. If there is room left then hypocrisy is at work.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17) The “old man” and its rebellious spirit should be gone. He is a “new creature” in Christ Jesus.
The “new creature” didn’t become so by asking for forgiveness of his sins. (Also, calling upon His name with half-heartedness isn’t really “calling upon the name of the Lord”.) This “forgiveness” only takes place when the “heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28) comes to Jesus Christ for “rest”. “… Repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20) means to change directions (to do a 180), to change the mind, to repent from following the god of this world and repent toward the Almighty God by following Jesus Christ. To “do works meet for repentance” will be the evidence (witness) that a whole-hearted belief in Him has produced a new, well rooted and an ongoing conviction. The “evidence” is the absence of sin in the believer’s life. To make it plain as day: How can one go in two directions at the same time? Either one follows Christ or he doesn’t. If the believer’s eyes are upon Jesus he will not sink. Of course, if we begin to sink, His hand is there to lift us up. But when will we see that these sins that so easily beset us will continue to do just that (beset us) if we cannot be conquerors through Him by coming to the full knowledge of who Jesus is, and becoming a victorious people, people who have been set free from sin’s power?
Acts 26:18: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
This verse is Jesus telling Paul that he was being sent to:
Open their eyes.
To turn them from darkness to light – from the power of Satan unto God.
That they might receive forgiveness.
Repenting of sins, in this light, is for the real Christian only. For the sinner that hasn’t come to Jesus for his salvation: First he must see the light, then turn and then receive–not ask for forgiveness first so that belief in Him can be obtained.
There is too much method involved in “getting saved” and not near enough whole-hearted true repentance.
Praying the prayer, “Lord, I’m sorry for my sins and I ask You for forgiveness of my sins. Please come into my heart now, Lord Jesus. I now accept you as my Lord and Savior” is what most people have been taught to pray in order to become a “Christian”. Doesn’t this lead to misunderstanding, no spiritual growth and a stagnant Christian life? No? Well, I’ll tell you why I think it does lead one into being a Christian of complacent half-heartedness.
The word, “accept” gives me the connotation of one that is being talked into it, “Just repeat after me this simple prayer and you’ll be saved”. There is no understanding of the sinner of just how much hopelessness that he’s living in. There is a lack of seeing himself at the end of his rope. He is void of seeing Jesus as his way of escape from the bondage of sin–seeing this need isn’t there.
If eyes have not first been opened so that a person can see who Jesus is (his deliverer), then going through these other, methodical steps is fruitless. Oh yes, this prayer will get most anyone into the so-called, “body of Christ” and into church membership. But what good is that if the heart has not been changed and sin is an accepted part of the, so-called, Christian’s life?
First online August 2011. Added back to this site and edited 8/12/2018
Thanksgiving day of 2018: This article was written a few years after I first began to see that something was amiss. Now, I would recommend the reading of Alfred Overstreet’s book, Are Men Born Sinners and all that can be found of Oswald Chambers and, of course, read the Bible.