Repentance: How Many Chances Does God Give Us?

August 21, 2012

Many of us just cannot seem to put an end to sinning against God and His Word.

Is it because we have developed such a bond to the sin we love that to break off the “relationship,” our mind tells us that we are crazy?

Then we pray for God’s forgiveness. We ask Him to cleanse us. And we feel that we’ve appeased God and we think He is no longer on the path to judge us. We wear out 1 John 1:9 and 2:1-2.

Just in the passage alone, we find a “loop hole.” 

But is it?

Read verses 3-6 and you will find that the Lord is deadly serious about sin.

We find ourselves sinning that same sin again and praying for forgiveness. And we try to hold God to His Word in the verses preceding verse 3. Then the accountability verses are staring at us in the face.

WE WEREN’T SERIOUS AND JOHN CALL US A LIAR!!!

Now what are we to do?

Hopelessness sets in and we banish ourselves to the dungeon of remorse.

By the way, godly sorrow works repentance, that leads to salvation, not to be regretted. Repentance is the beginning stage of freedom from the dungeon.

You look at the word dungeon and you see the word dung. We know that this is human excretion. When prisoners are chained and gated in these places, there were no bathrooms, commodes, toilets. They did their business right there in the cell.

Hence, dungeon. And we, in similar fashion, when we sin, we are prisoners of sin until we accept the freedom forever from the power and guilt of sin.

HOW MANY CHANCES DO I REALLY HAVE?

The unregenerate mind, the un-renewed mind. The rebellious mind doesn’t want to please God. It is so caught up in getting mental pleasure and satisfaction. The insatiable desire to sin is not all powerful. The desire to sin was crucified on the cross of Christ. What makes sin powerless is the victory that Jesus achieved for every man.

The mind and the body must be convinced that God, through Christ, did everything to help us overcome sin and the devil’s temptation, as well as working in the Word, the power of God to overcome sin every time.

Paul said, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!

The Living Bible, a paraphrase Bible, not a word for word translation, says it this way…

Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not.

But the Living Bible continues to give us powerful insight about our new birth experience…

“Should we keep on sinning when we don’t have to? For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered.”

That’s the whole key to being born again. We do not have to keep on sinning when the power of sin and the power of our sinful nature was “shattered.”

Look at Isaiah 53:5…..

“For He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities, the chastisement (the beating He took) for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes, we are healed.”

Look at Hebrews 4:15-16…

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus was tempted with everything we are tempted, so He knows what we go through. He is not aloft or out of touch with what we go through. Remember, He was born with flesh. He was tempted by the devil for 40 days and even afterwards He was tempted.

His only place of peace was in solitude with God in the mountains in deep prayer. In some cases, all night long. But the Lord knows what you are going through. That’s why He took away the power of death by living free of sin Himself to prove that we, too, can live free of sin.

This is not about being perfect. This is about having perfect hatred for sin on God’s level. When you hate sin like God does, you are destroying the reason to sin.

If the plug is pulled on an appliance, it cannot work. Take a battery out of a car, it cannot start. Take the life out of a body, it is dead.

If you are not shouting by now, something is wrong with you.

The sacrifice of Christ, once and for all, eradicated every once of power that sin had over us. The urges and impulses to sin are still in the flesh. However, through the new birth, we…

“…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We rely on the Lord who is “…faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (the temptation).”

See, temptation is just an offer that can be refused every time. You have the Lord, who is faithful and will never let temptation get beyond your ability to resist.

James 4:7 says…

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way…

“So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”

You see the sequence?

When you choose to submit to God, then resist the devil, you are putting yourself in total obedience to the Lord. That’s the only sequence that causes you to have victory over temptation every time.

For instance, when the Lord tells you to turn the channel on the remote. Do you submit or do you rebel? You can’t resist if you are in rebellion. The Lord is giving you a way of “escape” and you take that escape route to evade falling into sin.

James 1:2-4 says…

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

When temptation comes, it tests your faith in God’s faithfulness. But if you let patience have it’s “full play,” God will not allow the devil to tempt you beyond your ability to resist. So when the temptation comes, learn to let patience kick in. Just wait and let God calm your nerves down.

Give the Word time to work in you.

Do not be quick to walk away from the Word. Let the Word do the work in your heart and mind, subduing the flesh.

That’s why the believer falls into temptation. He refuses to submit to God.

When I make some comments on the Internet toward LGBT and their sympathizers, they always accuse me of “hiding behind the Bible.” 

Calling the Bible “a crutch.”

That’s what gives us the victory. The Word is the only place where victory is achieved. And instead of sinners and sympathizers of sinners doing the same, they are the ones caught in the web of sin.

And just like wines and spirits (evil spirits), the drink goes down smooth but in the end, it bites.

Revelation 12:11 says…

“and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”

The word of their testimony is the fact that God’s people take the Word of God and apply it to their lives and that’s what gives us the victory over temptation every time. For every temptation there is a way of escape planned and all we have to do is submit to God in complete unquestioned obedience.

Listen to 1 John 5:3-5…

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

So when we are hearers and doers of the Word, we are living our faith in Christ out and this is the victory that overcomes the world. When you see the word “world” look at Ephesians 2:2…

“in which you once walked according to the course of this “world,” according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”

The devil is the prince of the power of the air and he is the one that is dictating the course of this world. To break free of course of this world, you must be born again. Remember, Jesus destroyed the power of sin on the cross. So the prince of the power of the air has absolutely no power over you.

Look at what Paul said in Romans 8:1-2….

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

As long as I obey the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, I am free from the law of sin and death. That means that the devil cannot enforce his law over my life because I am not in his kingdom.

The only time that his law of sin and death works is when I free myself from the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The only thing that the prince of the power of the air can do is tempt you and because God is faithful, the devil cannot turn up the heat when the initial stages of resisting are successful.

In other words, he cannot push you beyond what you are able to resist because God will not let Him.

THE FIGHT IS FIXED in our favor, AND YOU GOT TO KNOW IT!

Now how do we submit to God?

Paul gives us a very powerful word in Romans 6:13.

“And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

The verses 17-19…

“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”

So you apply the Word every time and you do something different with your members.

You do something different with your hands, your eyes, your feet, your sex organs. You do something that takes you away from sin by submitting to the Word of God. You listen to the Holy Spirit that is able to show you how to escape. You flee sexual immorality. You go in another direction. You change the subject in your mind. You think and meditate on God instead of meditating on sex.

Now the question was asked…

How many chances does the Lord give us?

God’s compassion, love and grace is there to help us overcome sin, not to abuse His love, compassion, and grace. We are not perfect but we can have perfect hatred for what the Lord hates and have perfect love for that which He loves.

Because He is clear about sin.

Now we all know what 1 John 2 is about but many believers stop there. You see, every time that we sin, we are practicing lawlessness. We are practicing the deeds of the devil and we are allowing the old man to still have a say in the new birth.

When we do not put it all together to experience victory over sin in our lives, the devil is helping us live defeated, deceived lives. There comes a point where we have to stop and think a moment.

We have to put an end to sin in our lives so that we do not abuse God, and live below standard lives.

Let’s stop the abuse and treat the Word with respect and dignity.