THE SEVEN STEPS OF REPENTANCE AND LIFE
Charles Haden Spurgeon once said:
“Do not fall under the notion that the necessity for repentance is over. I have heard it said that repentance is “merely a change of mind.” I wish that those who so speak had undergone that change.”
“He who looks sin ward has his back to God—he who looks Godward has his back to sin.”
Jesus said in John Chapter 10: “The thief comes not but for to kill, steal, and destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus loves us! He wants us to have a good life and even more to have an eternal life!
Therefore, our topic of discussion today is repentance, the 7 steps that lead to life.
Turn with me to James chapter 4:1-10 as it reads:
“From whence come wars and fighting’s among you? Come they not hence, even of the lusts that war in your members? Ye lust and ye have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war; yet ye have not because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not because ye ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You
Adulterers and Adulteresses know ye not that the friendship of the world is the enemy of God? Do you think that the scripture says in vain, the spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy? But he gives more grace.
Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.”
Herein we see our biggest problem in life: the fallen spirit of man! The fallen spirit in man lusts, it lusts towards envy. Envy is the desire to have all for you. The fallen spirit of man is prideful and selfish! We desire, yet we ask not or we desire and we ask according to the world’s ways instead of what God has determined to be good and healthy for
Verse 5 clears it all up for us:
“The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy.”
Before Christ and sometimes even after, we decide for ourselves to ask of God things that are of this world, things that would do absolutely no good purpose in our lives or in the lives of others, yet we want them for ourselves. We ask amiss! But thank God for his wisdom because he resists us as it reads in verse 6;
“But he gives more grace.” Hasn’t he already given enough? Yet he gives more because he realizes how foolish we are when we ask amiss.
But he gives more grace:
Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble!”
Now here is the secret, pride or humility. If you are walking in your pride he will resist you, but if you humble yourself he will assist you!
Beloved God has never intended to resist us but in our pride is sin and he cannot and will not look upon it.
Ok so here is what he tells us to do if we have fallen into the distresses of life caused by our lust, our envy, and our pride.
These seven steps are as follows:
1. Submit yourselves therefore to God
Romans 12:1 reads: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect
will of God.”
It is reasonable for us to give ourselves over to God, to submit our will to him, to take up our cross and follow him after that he has given all or you! It is reasonable for us to give up the lies of this world in exchange for the truth of God!
God has compassion on the broken and hurting heart that turns from the errors of their ways.
2. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you
1Peter 5:8,9 reads: “Be sober be vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
The Devil is as a roaring lion, he is NOT a lion in fact he is a wormy serpent that is on his belly! Genesis 3
God says be sober so that takes away all dependence on alcohol and drugs!
God says resist the devil STEADFAST, be steady at resistance, continue always to resist his ways and the ways of this world which are but lies from the devil. Resist in the faith. In the faith is in Gods word and his teachings. Resist the devil with Gods words of truth!
3. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you
Hebrews 10:22 reads: “Let us draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Isaiah 12:3 reads: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
Beloved God has given a great mystery here. Pure water is Gods word!
The wells of salvation are Jesus, his words, and his love!
Draw near to his love and his words!
4. Cleanse your hands ye sinners
Free yourself from filth! What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of JESUS!
Hebrews 9: 13,14 reads: “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works.”
Friends when you draw near to Jesus and ask him into your heart to take over your life he cleanses you completely removing all filth! The blood of Jesus washes our minds and frees us from all unrighteousness.
Ye were bought with a price. While ye were still yet sinners Christ died
5. Purify your hearts ye double minded
Commit your heart to Jesus only!
James 1:8 reads “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
A doubting person is unstable you never know which way they will turn or what they will do next and they cannot be trusted.
Brothers and Sisters doubt and unbelief are from the devil,
which we are to resist steadfast!
Proverbs 3:5,6 reads: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean NOT to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Jesus, and he shall direct your path.”
Are you unsure about something? Cast it on the Lord and trust only him and his counsel!
6. Be afflicted and mourn and weep, let your laughter
be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness
Beloved God can see all things!
God can see your heart! He knows when we are serious. He
wants to see that you grieve over the things that can cost you or anyone eternal life. Show him that you hate sin! Show him that you see the price that he had to pay for our souls and to the cost of redemption.
John 3:16 reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
For your sin God gave his life!
Be afflicted; be sad over your sin and his pain, his hurt that he takes when you sin!
Psalm 34:18 reads: “The Lord is near unto them that are of a broken heart.”
Does your heart feel the pain over your sinful ways: God is
near to you!
7. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he
shall lift you up
The last step tells us to come to him as a child that needs a
Fathers love. Jesus loves us and the sooner we really look
deeply into this the sooner we can come to him with love and the more we too can love others.
Mathew 23:12 reads: “Whosoever exalts himself shall be
abased, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
If you have the right heart he will lift you up.
Proverbs 29:23 reads “A mans pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Love God enough to hate sin, love the brethren enough to serve them.
Jesus is love! He gave his all. He teaches us to repent and live!
Today, there may be among us today one that is wavering, one that is struggling with this faith, or even one that hasn’t received Jesus into their heart. God has called us to believe on his son Jesus, to repent of our sins and receive his son into our hearts and lives to live with him from this time forth and forever in eternity. God has given us 7 steps to follow to get our hearts right with Him and to live life more abundantly.
Again they are:
1. Submit yourselves to God
2. Resist the Devil
3. Draw near to God
4. Cleanse your hands
5. Purify your hearts
6. Be sorry for your sin
7. Humble yourself as a child needing their Father
Man from fall to faith requires a commitment to these seven steps. God always gives us everything that we need to walk with him in peace.
What a mighty Savior we serve!