Key Text: Romans 7:15-20
This passage of Scripture you could be forgiven for thinking that Paul has a split personality. I want to do good but don’t. I don’t want to do bad but I do. It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dilemma. A constant wrestling match within himself.
Paul’s description of his issue is a perfect description of the ongoing reality and tension that most of us face.
In spite of our façade of healthy self-esteem and personal security when we get past all of that, most of us look at ourselves in the mirror from time to time and come to the conclusion, that we don’t like ourselves very much… We are despicable.
Even the O.T. prophet Jeremiah exposed the real us, in his famous criticism about the state of man’s heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Dark hearted. Deceitful. Despicable. It is not a flattering sketch of the human condition.
We try to ignore the truth. We talk about blessings, authority and the kingdom.
The truth however, is that we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we can actually have those things while continuing to refuse to deal with our despicable side.
Matthew 6:23 if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Thankfully Paul gives us a glimpse into the solution for our mess! He comes to grips with his own condition in Romans 7:24 when he declares, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
He realises his own inability to deal with the darkness of his heart. And then reveals the solution for despicable me 25. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
God is not scared by the darkness of our heart! He is certainly not surprised by it. What He is, is determined not to leave us in that condition. There is something offered to us for dealing with this internal struggle between good and evil, right and wrong. – Repentance
There are basically two issues with the idea and practice of repentance.
The first is before we can repent, we must first come to grips with the fact that we need to repent. It is about accepting responsibility.
Too many of us don’t repent because we fail to accept responsibility for our sinful nature.
We won’t accept the responsibility for our need to repent! But we have to examine our own heart and come to the conclusion that Paul and Jeremiah came to . . . our hearts are messed up.
The second issue with repentance is that once we have accepted Christ as our saviour, we think repentance is only for sinners!
When we read Revelation 2 and 3? God is addressing church folk, Christians, believers, born again, blood bought people and three of those bodies of believers Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyatira, are commanded to repent!
We of all people should be the quickest to acknowledge sinful behaviour and make it right. We of all people should know that repentance is the only door way to grace.
Repent Daily – recognise that repentance is not a onetime event but rather an ongoing lifestyle. Unconfessed sin will steal our strength! Repent daily.
Repent Thoroughly – Hide nothing. Uncover every thought, every motive; lay our hearts bare before God. Deal with sins of commission as well as omission.
The things that we did on purpose that we knew were wrong. And when we knew the right thing to do and didn’t do it.
Sin is not just something we do but is sometimes the things we fail to action.
Authentic Repentance – Our actions reveal our sincerity more than tears do!
We need to find our way back to 2 Corinthians 7:10 where we discover that For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Stare at the ugliness and disgrace of our sin until we are willing to turn from it and travel a different direction!
The Parable of the Prodigal Son reveals the impact of personal repentance. The Bible says the young man came to himself. He went back to the father and said, “I have sinned against you.”
He accepted personal responsibility and instantly forgiveness and revival invaded his life. New provision, new position, new fellowship established with the father brought about by sincere repentance.
2 Chronicles 7 and Joel 2 reveals that repentance has the power to change a nation.
When believers (individuals), those called by His name, humble themselves – repent – revival and healing comes to the land, to our homes.