(02/23/2017) Working to Pay GOD?

Posted: February 23, 2017 in Commitment, Faith and Works, Grace, Language, Law, Promises, Repentance, Righteousness, Salvation, Sin
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Today, reply is made to a question on repentance and what sinners may do to pay for their sins.  Deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ is not about “owing”, “paying”, and “punishment”; it is about sinners being loved, divinely provided for, and joyfully receiving such gifts from GOD as atonement, forgiveness, rebirth, and sanctification.  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (no profile information appears) posted the following:

 

What else can people do but just work to pay for their “sins”?

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  (2nd Peter 3:  8-15, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Blame, Sin and Salvation? (02/13/2017); No Repentance Without Rebirth? (12/14/2016); The Work of Forgiving (11/23/2016); Why Are Works Required? (07/18/2016); Conversion is by GOD? (08/23/2016); Sin Must Be Personal (04/29/2016); A Dry Thirsty Land (05/01/2016); Sin Turned To Goals (05/02/2016); They Shall Not Be Mentioned (05/03/2016)

 

“Anonymous”, part of what is meant by “repentance” and  “salvation” among mature Christian believers is the “living out” of a new commitment, exclusive devotion, and an eternal, ongoing relationship with divinity as well as their fulfilling heartfelt promises to GOD.  As “born again” believers, Christians learn to utter and use new meanings for old language, so to speak.  What once was understood as personal achievement, accomplishments, and the outcome of ones own efforts and striving must be understood in terms of divine gifts, grace, sacrifice from GOD, and endowments of spirit content from the makeup of the Creator.  Included are inseparable aspects of Deity such as faith, holiness, joy, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, and wrath against sin.  Therefore, repentance and sorrow for sin come into view as permanent changes that are completed in a sinner by the active presence of the Holy Spirit (we also say, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Truth).  The sacred practices (e.g., baptism, confession, marriage, Sabbath-keeping, study of the holy writings), praise, prayer, and unselfish service performed by a believer are not so much “buying ones way into heaven,” or “payback” and payment of debt and penalties from sin as they are the god-given methods to build up a new relationship with the Creator, to display a believer’s growth, improvement and learning, to make visible the multiple operations of GOD through the life of created beings and living creatures, and to express gratitude, respect and reverence (like saying “thank you” with actions and not merely words).  Even with repentance there also must be atonement, judgment, mercy and resurrection from death.  Consider again the following:

(1.)  1st Peter 1:  3-9, King James Version (KJV):  3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

(2.)  Matthew 3:  8-12, KJV:  8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:  9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father:  for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees:  therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:  but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:  he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

(3.)  Acts 5:  29-32, KJV:  29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

(4.)  2nd Corinthians 7:  9-11, KJV:  9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:  for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of:  but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  Hebrews 6:  4-6, KJV:  4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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