|Image: Avisscher / Pixabay.com|
TO CHEW ON: " '… unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' " Luke 13:3,5
"Did you hear about the crane that toppled onto a New York street, killing a man driving by in his car?" This might have been the "news" that people brought to Jesus a few weeks ago if he were walking the earth now.
For the people of Jesus' day the subtext of these bad news reports (one that people brought to Jesus, one that He recalled himself—and which still fill the airwaves today) was the unuttered question: "What terrible sin did the people in these incidents commit that caused them to come to such an end?" My Bible's study notes call this thinking "Retribution Theology." It is a view of God that attributes individual suffering to individual sin.
Jesus quickly steered his bad news-bringers away from the victims and their fates to consider their own precarious position: " '…unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' " It's like He's saying to them—you too are on the road to a bad end if you don't do one thing— REPENT.
[Repent - matanoeo is to make a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action. - Dick Mills, "Word Wealth," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1293.]
In a sidebar article on Repentance, Jack Hayford says:
"The first call of the kingdom is to repentance. The implications of biblical repentance are: 1] renunciation and reversal; 2] submission and teachability; 3] continual shapeability."
He goes on to say, there is no birth into the kingdom without renouncing sin and turning from sin to Christ (Acts 3:19). There is no growth in the kingdom without obedience (James 1:21-25). There is no fruit in the kingdom without an acceptance of the Holy Spirit's correction and guidance (Ephesians 4:30). - Jack Hayford, "Repentance," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1293.
The simple but life-changing act of repentance is still our first move in assuring our salvation and the lifestyle needed for our growth and fruitfulness:
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," Acts 3:19.
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" - James 1:21-22.
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption" - Ephesians 4:30.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for making a way to You available through repentance. As Your follower, please help me to live in the daily repentance of obedience and Spirit-intimacy. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.