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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Sowing What You Want To Reap, #2
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20)
It is absolutely true that by professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we obtain remission of our sins. It also is absolutely true that we are going to reap what we are sowing.
The key is the concept of repentance. Throughout the Book of Acts we discover the Apostles did not restrict their preaching to belief in Christ, they insisted on works of repentance.
"Prove their repentance by their deeds"!
It is here, I believe, that current Christian teachings is missing the mark. We are proclaiming the need for faith in Christ but are omitting to stress the need for repenting and proving our repentance by our deeds, by turning away from our sinful ways and embracing Christ.
It may be true that we omit the necessity for repentance because we are anxious to have people receive Christ and we do not wish to offend them. Therefore we cry, "Let Jesus into your heart," and do not stress proving our repentance by our deeds. It is interesting to note that the Apostles never preached let Jesus into your heart.
We will never prosper until we return to the New Testament.
The Christian life is one long act of repentance. We should be sorry for our sins, it is true; but what is absolutely necessary is that we then turn away from our sins, that we repent.
Let's see how grace, and the law of sowing and reaping, dovetail.
When we receive Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins we are completely forgiven no matter how black our record has been. At the time of coming to Christ we are behaving almost entirely in our fallen nature in all that we do, even though we have received Christ and have been completely forgiven.
The Holy Spirit immediately counsels us to take a step forward, in gathering with fervent saints; or with reading our Bible and praying; or perhaps with putting away some destructive action such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol.
As soon as we gain victory in the pinpointed area the Spirit challenges us with another aspect of the sinful nature. Now we are to pray until we gain this additional victory. And so each day throughout our discipleship.
God originally counted us righteous because we obeyed Him by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. God continually will count us righteous if, through the Spirit, we choose each day to obey the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
If we accept Christ we are counted as righteous. But if we then do not continue to walk according to the New Testament commandments, we no longer are counted righteous. Our "faith" in Christ has proven to be a head knowledge only. There has been no genuine commitment as a disciple of the Man, Christ Jesus.
To be continued.