Friday, May 30, 2008

True Repentance


If I avoid sin today because I am afraid of being lost if I commit it, I have not the repentance of a child of God; but when I avoid it and seek to lead a holy life because Christ loved me and gave himself for me, and because I am not my own, but am bought with a price, this is the work of the Spirit of God. And again, that change of mind, that after carefulness which leads me to resolve that in future I will live like Jesus, and will not live unto the lusts of the flesh, because he hath redeemed me, not with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with his own precious blood - that is the repentance which will save me, and the repentance which he asks of me.

O ye nations of the earth, he asks not the repentance of Mount Sinai, while ye do fear and shake because his lightnings are abroad; but he asks you to weep and wail because of him; to look on him whom you have pierced, and to mourn for him as a man mourneth for his only son; he bids you remember that you nailed the Savior to the tree, and asks that this argument may make you hate the murderous sins which fastened the Savior there, and put the Lord of glory to an ignominious and an accursed death. This is the only repentance we have to preach; not law and terrors; not despair; not driving men to self-murder - this is the terror of the world which worketh death; but godly sorrow is a sorrow unto salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

From a sermon entitled "Faith And Repentance Inseparable," delivered July 13, 1862. Flickr photo by J. E. Fee; some rights reserved.

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