Godly Sorrow

 

Today, thoughts are shared on the place of change, repentance, and conflict between the flesh and spirit that are enduring aspects of Christian growth and life.  Rightly understood, repentance is an action to be done not an object to be given or taken away.  Nonetheless, like gratitude and praise, repentance and salvation should be thought of among Christians as aspects of ones character, lifestyle, and makeup as the new creation of Jesus Christ.  Of greater worth than a mastery over appetite, ability to break bad habits, and skill to suppress sensation, godly sorrow is the precious gift bestowed upon the sinner who comes to Christ.  An anonymous fighter in the “Yahoo! Answers” forum (no profile information shown) posted the following:

 

When the Lord tells us to repent, does he mean turn from our sin forever? help?

I struggle with masturbation and I always find myself repenting. This is a tough habit to quit.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.  (1st Peter 4:  12-19, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  A Prayer Against Backsliding? (02/09/2018); Having Consciousness of Death (11/03/2017); Rebirth, Growth and Transformation (09/29/2017); Transformation Not Obedience Alone (07/02/2017); Reconciliation Provided By Christ (05/30/2017); Salvation Goes Beyond Forgiveness (06/30/2017); Operations of Christian Faith (04/28/2017); Gender, Sex and Christian Beliefs? (05/18/2016)

 

Here are some thoughts that may help developing Christian believers avoid spiritual confusion, despairing of salvation, and having multiple errors on the divine workings within their own lives:

1.  Flesh Unchanged.  Sexual events occur on multiple levels (e.g., emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual) all at the same time, and may display mankind’s potential to manifest as animal, human or divine.  The mechanics and processes of sexuality are maintained through cycles, natural laws, and principles generated by the physical body in the same way as such operations as circulation, digestion, elimination, metabolism, and respiration.  Craving for sexual activity itself is not truly a behavior controlled through self-will.  Sexual cravings may appear as any other appetite (e.g., hunger or thirst); is irrational (i.e., does not obey logic and thought); and, like emotion, imagination, mind, and sensation (hearing, seeing, tasting, touching) will persist throughout ones lifetime from birth to death.  When sinners are “born again” through water baptism they receive the continuing presence and authority of spirit content from the makeup of GOD (e.g., balance, faith, holiness, longsuffering, lovingkindness, wisdom, wrath against sin).  Even so, appetite, sensation, and other aspects of the flesh remain unchanged.

2.  Forgiveness.  Like obedience, forgiveness is a spiritual expression of love.  The operation and purpose of forgiveness is to continue relationship with divinity.  Permanent changes in ones conduct, growth, and behavior modification are encouraged as are accountability, respect, reverence, and unselfish service.  However, the core process is one of acknowledging and nourishing the active presence of godliness within the other (i.e., engage their imparted, indwelling spirit from GOD).  Thus, we see David repeatedly forgiven in order to complete, reinforce, and strengthen his godly growth and perfection.

3.  Reconciliation.  Through both his ministry in heaven and on the earth, Christ is sharing his own reconciliation to the sin of created beings and living creatures among the three persons of divinity (we say, the GODhead; the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit).  Through atonement and propitiation for sin provided using his own blood, Jesus has altered the effect, impact, meaning, and value of sin.  Affliction, hardship, and suffering are not eliminated, however, mankind has cause for hope through divine proclamation, promise, and prophecy.  The wrath of GOD against sin is counterbalanced by streams of truth that include commitment, longsuffering, mercy, patience, divine restraint, and personal sacrifice.

4.  Repentance.  Repentance is not a one-time event; and is to appear as ones daily routine and ongoing way of life.  For those who are born again, the process of salvation is one of “growing up again,” and includes struggle, striving, and suffering.  There must be increasing sacred awareness, discovery, conviction, and becoming mature (we say, balanced, complete, consistent, stable).  There will be taking “baby steps”, falling, hesitating, and tears.  It is not inappropriate, therefore, that there be leaps of faith, risk-taking, and some trial-and-error behavior.  Not quitting and not giving up are to be understood as triumph and victory.

5.  The Ministry of Truth.  The ministry of Jesus Christ has not been one of deceit, half-truth, and lies.  Many accuse Christ of betrayal, fraud, and of not revealing the disappointments, opposition, and hidden traps that will confront a developing believer.  However, the reality is that mankind has become rooted in secular knowledge, skepticism, and hopes that are vain (lack spirit content from the fullness of divinity) along with social customs and traditions.  Salvation, therefore, is a visible aspect of a profound and partially unseen life process and divine operation to transform the spirit substance and process within the living.

Consider again the following that uses language from the Bible:

(1.)  Romans 8:  5-9, King James Version (KJV):  5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

(2.)  Romans 12:  1-3, KJV:  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

(3.)  Hebrews 2:  14-18, KJV:  14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

(4.)  2nd Peter 3:  8-10, KJV:  8 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.  9 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.  10 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.

There is far more to be discovered, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (5.)  2nd Timothy 1:  7, KJV:  7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

 

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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