This week a friend told me that he never has to repent again as he repented when he first accepted Yeshua as his Lord and Saviour. He also once told me that we live by grace. Of course Biblically this is incorrect as we may be saved by grace [Ephesians 2:8] but we live by faith. [Galatians 3:11] Faith in the Word and faith in Gods promises and faith in the fact that Yeshua died and rose from the grave and said He will be with us always. [Matthew 28:20] He also said that He would send the Holy Spirit to convict us of all things including sin. [John 16:8] If we do not need to be convicted of sin, why would the Holy Spirit be sent or even need to be sent if we no longer required to be convicted of the things we have or have not done?
The first statement Yeshua told us to do was repent. [Mark 1:15] Why? because sinners cannot be in the presence of the Lord and live. [Exodus 33:20] However the words of Yeshua, according to the TV evangelist my friend follows, is the old covenant because it did what Yeshua said was before the cross. If we look at this statement it means that the words of Yeshua are no longer of any importance to us, when nothing could be further from the truth. [Mark 13:31] He came, He saw and taught from what we call the Old Testament, the truth of His word. [John 17:17] This is the very Word that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John taught from. It is the same word that Peter and Paul taught from. This is the very Word that Yeshua said would never pass away, the very word that Yeshua said was the truth. [John 14:6]
This is the word where Yeshua said repent, [Mark 1:15] love [Matthew 22:38-39] and forgive, [Matthew 18:22] it is the very word that Yeshua quoted to over come evil [Deuteronomy 6:16] and where He gave us the rules to live by. [Exodus 20:1-17] Now we are told these rules are bad therefore they are no longer relative to us today as they tell of don'ts and therefore too restrictive for our lives. I ask the question, why is it to love the Lord thy God with all our being is too restrictive? To me this is the greatest liberation I have ever experienced. Why is it restrictive to worship only the Lord thy God? after all only He can give us the salvation and forgiveness we require to live the lives He wants of us.
All the rest of these commandments release us from the things of this world and His Word gives us the wonderful promise that if we slip up He is there to forgive us. [2 Chronicles 7:14] Meaning God realises we will slip up but He is there when we do and when we repent. [1 John 1:9] To say we no longer have to repent is to condemn people to a life of struggle and doubt. This is opposite to what God wants for every person on the planet. [Acts 17:24-25] He wants a life of peace and love, not a life of regret and full of ‘if only’. Many religions are based on works and therefore have no idea if their god will save them. They work all their lives in a state of wondering, whereas the followers of Yeshua know full well of their future and know Yeshua is there for them. [Revelation 3:20] Yeshua knows our pain and struggles and our need to be able to speak to the Father and ask for His forgiveness. To tell people they no longer have to repent is to remove the one connection we have with the Father. [Matthew 6:12]
My friend said that Paul was New Covenant and therefore what he said or did not say are what we are to follow. But Paul was as much old covenant as he was new. He taught of the risen Lord but he also made sure the people knew he was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. [Acts 23:6] He also paid the Nazarite vow [Acts 21:17-24] and made sure he was back in Jerusalem in time for what is understood to be the Feast of Tabernacles. [Acts 20:16] It is said that Paul never spoke of repentance. I question this statement as we read in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Paul saying if the person continued in the way they were, kick them out of the Church. Nothing could be clearer that he was talking about repentance. One day we will stand at the judgment seat of God and have to explain our lives to Him. [2 Corinthians 5:10] Yes to the Great and Mighty God, God of the universe, [Hebrews 11:3] the Creator of the heavens and the earth, [Psalm 121:2] this is the one we will stand before. I for one will repent every day, if convicted by the Holy Spirit to do so, if it gives me a peace that covers all my doubts and my concern and for the things in which I have not pleased God.
The Words of Yeshua in the Gospels, of how he taught, healed and comforted may be classed as before the cross, but remember the Crucifixion occurred because the people would not listen and repent. We have to know the end for us is getting closer every day and again we will look into the face of our Lord and Saviour. Some may put the words of Paul above the words, life and time of Yeshua but they forget Paul was just repeating the things of the Lord and we know this from the hundred of quotes he takes from the Old Testament. So let us go to a book of the Bible, which is clearly a book about the end and that is the book of Revelation. This book was written after the cross and resurrection and in the first three chapters Yeshua tells the people to repent, yes He is telling the people in the churches to repent. So if Yeshua says to repent then we need to listen. Revelation 2:5 – Revelation 2:16 – Revelation 2:22 and Revelation 3:3
Grace should never be taken in isolation salvation is a package. It is love, understanding, repentance, faith and much more. All of this is summed up in one Hebrew word and that word is Shalom and it is this peace we can experience through the love of God. Through repentance and the love of an ever-loving Father, through His grace of forgiveness because if we repent He is faithful and just and will forgive us [1 John 1:9] because He cannot deny Himself, [2 Timothy 2:13] or His promises that He showed when He allowed Yeshua to die in our place all those years ago and yet He is still there today whenever we cry out to Him. [Psalm 107:6] As His Word is true forever that Word is as alive to today as the day it was written.
May the LORD bless you and guard you. May the Lord’s face enlighten you and bestow favour on you. May the LORD turn to face you, lavishing peace on you! Numbers 6:24-26