Depravity and Repentance


#1

We are all wired to obey the flesh and its sinful desires. The Bible reveals mankind is totally depraved. We are wired to sin. It is in our nature. Here is how Christ gave us victory over sin. God is holy, righteous, and just. Sin is offensive to Him. When asked how to get to Heaven, Christ said to surpass the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees. Due to their legalism and self-righteousness, this is completely impossible. Christ basically in increasing the standards showed this is impossible on our own. Regarding earning Heaven by our good deeds, our righteous acts and good deeds are like filthy rags in the eyes of God. The word used in the Bible actually refers to menstrual rags. Yet, sin being evil in the eyes of God needs to be punished as God is a just God and just Judge. Proverbs 17:15 says he who justifies the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.
If you read in the Gospels, Jesus sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before the crucifixion. He was not dreading the thorns, beating, Roman whips, the cross, or the spikes. He referred to the Cup. He prayed and asked God to take the Cup if He were willing, but finished by saying He gives in to the Father’s will. Throughout the Bible, the Cup is referred to as the wrath of God. The Bible says while Christ was on the cross, the sin of repentant believers was put upon Christ. He bore our sins. The transferring is called imputation. Our sin was imputed onto Christ, He bore our sin and while on the cross, the Father poured the Cup, His wrath onto this sin to satisfy His justice and punish sin. Sin was punished while upon the shoulders of Christ on the cross. He suffered the wrath of the Father for the repentant believer. Christ was with the Father in eternity past, but came to earth in the form of man, fully God, yet fully man. During His time on earth, Christ lived the perfect life, never sinning, and not for one second outside of obedience to the Father. Christ’s righteousness is imputed unto the repentant believer. His life is our right standing before God.

To repent is to change one’s mind. As we are once enemies of God and totally depraved, He regenerates the hearts of some. We go from being spiritually dead to alive with a new heart in order to repent and respond to the Gospel call. There is initial repentance unto salvation. This entails turning from a life of sin to God and completely surrendering to Christ as our only means of salvation. When this happens, the believer is indwelled with the Holy Spirit and the believer is now a new creation, a new creature in Christ. In the book of 1 John we are told if we love God we will obey His commands. We are also told if we walk in darkness and claim to have fellowship with God we are liars. However, we are also told if we say we are without sin, we are liars and God is faithful to cleanse us from sin and purify us from unrighteousness. The word translated to walk means to walk around or wander around, meaning to walk in a style of life. So, we will not achieve sinless perfection in this life. We still have the flesh and still sin. However, in looking at the life of a Christian, instead of seeing constant sin and excusing this sin, trying to justify it and enjoying it, you will see a Christian sinning, but every time the sinning is followed by repentance, turning back to God. We don’t revel and stay in sin, but feel the guilt and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and are led to repentance. There is a constant war between the Spirit and flesh, but ultimately the flesh loses and we desire to walk in the ways of God, be like Christ, repent, and live in obedience to Him.