Jesus’ first message – Repentance (Part 2)
Like newborn babies,
thirst for the pure milk of the word
so that by it you may grow in your salvation.
Surely you have tasted that the Lord is good! 1 Peter 2:2,3
Jesus’s first message – Repentance (Part 2)
In the last post I wrote about repentance from sin.
How do we know if we are sinning? We are sinning if we are breaking the commandments of God.
The commandments of God can be summed up by this:
1. Love God
2. Love mankind.
We have already looked at different aspects of loving God it the previous post.
Now we will look at some of what it means to love mankind.
Honouring your father and mother.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
If we can’t love those who brought us into the world, can we really think that we could love others?
How do we honor our parents? The best way to describe it I can think of, is thinking of your father and mother as a King and a Queen, and treating them with that level of respect. While living in the same household they need to be obeyed.
As one grows up into adulthood, parents may tend to be bossy and make impractical commands and demands, but there is an honorable way responding. For example by saying ‘Dad, I hear want you are saying to me and I respect that. I will give it some thought, but at the end of the day, please understand that I will have to make my own decision.
When you are courting somebody with the intention of marriage, then honor your parents by making sure they get to know the person and seek their blessing on the relationship.
When your parents are sick, make sure you visit them/care after them if you are able to.
Not committing murder
You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13
This seems fairly straight forward until you understand how Jesus magnified this law, to say that murder committed in the heart is just as evil as murder committed in the flesh.
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. Matthew 5:21-22
Murder also includes abortion.
Loving others means not committing sexual sins.
Sexual sins are not committed out of love, but out of lust and selfishness.
You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14
Jesus magnified this command saying
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27,28
The question can be raised, when does admiring a woman’s beauty turn to lusting for her?
Admiring a woman’s beauty, or admiring the way a man looks is not sin. It is a product of our God given sex drive, that we find others attractive. But lusting after someone is sin. Where is the line between the two? Let your conscience tell you, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you when righteousness has been replaced with sin.
However, it is not something to be trying to find out where the line is. It can be a ‘slippery slope’ and shouldn’t be pushed to see how far one can go before sin is birthed.
It comes down to self control, and fearing God.
If we seek the living water Jesus spoke of we will have our minds set on what the Spirit desires, rather than what the sinful nature desires. The water of life that is a free gift for those who wish to take it (see Revelation 22:17) will quench the thirst of the soul and all its worldly desires. The water Jesus gives wells up into eternal life.
Sex is a sacred and beautiful thing, intended for the pleasure of a man and woman in a covenant of marraige.
There was a man in the Bible called Joseph who faced the temptation of committing adultery.
But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” Genesis 39:11-15
While this kind of temptation may not face itself in the modern world all that often for the average person, the fact is that if you can’t resist the temptation to look at pornography on the internet or in a magazine – you will not be able to face the temptation if someone is throwing themselves at you like what Joseph experienced. Therefore, you have sinned in your heart, betraying yourself, God, and your spouse if you have one.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; Ephesians 5:3
Loving others means not stealing
You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15
It doesn’t matter how small – a pen from your employer, downloading copyright music or software that you have not purchased, or making up things on your tax return.
Loving others means not lying.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
You cannot have God as your Father when you are a liar. Your father defaults to Satan.
Telling lies and not repenting from them is enough to keep you from the kingdom of Heaven.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
Loving others means we don’t covert and desire their possessions .
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. Exodus 20:17
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Some scriptures regarding repentance.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21
The previous scripture is an example of repenting from the love of money and possessions.
‘…but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:3
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
...and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:47
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:11