Broken And Contrite

A key element of saving faith is that of repentance. It has been said that true faith is preceded by repentance. I would agree with that, as the Bible teaches that we have no confidence to approach God as long as we harbor sin within our hearts. (Psalm 66:18)

John writes this, 

Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. (1 John 3:21 KJV)

So an unrepentant individual cannot excersize real faith as long as he retains sin in his life. A guilty conscience will always stand in the way. 

Brokenness is vital to repentance. Without being crushed by the guilt of sin, and grieved at offending God, an individual will never truly turn from their sin and submit to God through Christ, by faith. Many feel the guilt of sin but their remorse has more to do with the fear of punishment. Paul writes of this in his epistle to the Church in Corinth,

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Cor 7:10 KJV)

It is important to understand what godly sorrow is. Jesus calls those who mourn, blessed. They are blessed because this is the pathway to the nearness of God. We read in the Psalms, 

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be if a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

Broken and contrite hearts are hearts that are crushed. The idea is that of being ground up to powder. Such and individual is humbled. They approach God with no self justification, with no self seeking, but with sorrow filled hearts they cast themselves upon His mercy. A heart filled with sorrow in this way will turn from sin because it is against God. 

We see many accept Jesus so they can avoid hell and go to heaven, but they have dry eyes and hard hearts. They do not sorrow over their actual sin; over the fact that they are rebels fighting God, and as a result have grieved the Father’s heart. They make a confession, but it amounts to little more than self seeking. They have made God a means to their own happiness. This is the sorrow of the world that leads to death. 

The Bible tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, 

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:6-10 KJV)

This passage of scripture plainly shows us the importance of real repentance. It is vital that we let godly sorrow work in us a true repentance whereby we approach God in true humility, and find reconciliation through Christ.

Advertisements

The Root Of Moral Chaos

The world seems to be out of control. Common sense has been cast aside as we see society plunging deeper and deeper into gross immorality. The line separating things that were once clearly defined as right or wrong has been blurred. What has always been good is now declared evil, and what has always been evil, is now accepted as good.

Many of us mare shocked at what we are seeing in our lifetime; things we thought we would never see. However, there is a reason for this plunge into moral insanity, a root behind this problem. the answer lies within the heart of man, and what he does with the revelation of God to himself. We read in the ancient Jewish writings, 

Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seen know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.  (Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-2 KJV)

Indeed, The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 18:1).  The above quote attributed to Solomon is not considered divinely inspired, yet it rings out the same truth that we read in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, namely that God has revealed Himself to mankind through that which He created, and man in his foolishness has rejected that revelation.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20 KJV)

Without ever reading a Bible, going to a Church, or listening to a sermon, we have still received sufficient knowledge of God through His creation, to be without excuse before Him. God’s invisible attributes, His power, His divinity, are all clearly seen through creation. Mankind knows deep down in the very depths of his inner being, that God exists. 

Sadly, the response to this revelation of God is one of rejection. We read further on that,

Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25 KJV)

  • When they knew God they did not glorify Him as God.
  • They were ungrateful.
  • They became vain in their imaginations.
  • Professing to be wise, they became fools.
  • They exchanged the glory of God into that of an idol.
  • They changed the truth of God into a lie.
  • They gave worship to the creation instead of the Creator.
  • They did not like to retain God in their knowledge (vs. 28).

All of this had its consequences however, as God allowed them to progress deeper and deeper into depravity. we read that He gave them up to the lusts of their own hearts. Jesus tells us that it is out of the heart that evil flows (Mark 7:15-23). Man rejects the knowledge of God because of his sinful heart. He does not want to acknowledge the God that he will one day face, rather choosing instead to cling to his sin, and serve a god of his own invention. This is what the atheist does, what the evolutionist does, and what those do who serve any of the countless false gods and religious systems that have existed down through history. 

For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as theyn did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32 KJV)

It is safe to say we can look around us and see these very things permeating society as a whole. Sexual immorality is rampant, homosexual marriage was once unheard of, now it is widely accepted, even applauded by the majority of society. The debate over transgender issues is also something that seems to have suddenly gained momentum, to the surprise of many. But it goes beyond sexual sin to other issues as well. Issues such as honesty, hatred, murder, covetousness, malice, divisions,  a lack of understanding, a lack of natural affection. There are multitudes of God haters in our world today, and just as many inventors of evil. And to top it all of, their are those who look upon all of this, and give their hearty approval to it. This is the result of a people rejecting God, and in turn, being given up to depravity. It is a total breakdown of society. 

This is what lies behind the moral insanity that we are witnessing today. It is not something new, it has been like this throughout history. People have always turned their back on God, choosing to serve a god of their own making. Nations have been given over to evil, waxing worse and worse. Kingdoms have risen, and kingdoms have fallen, because they have refused God. 

Yet God in His mercy reaches out to fallen humanity. We read that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) The answer to this moral crisis is found in Jesus Christ, as we one by one repent of our sin, and surrender our lives to follow Him. Then we find victory from this bondage, as the one whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. (John 8:36)