Summary: There are seven benefits to living a repentant life.
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
We started off this series by talking about sin and the character of God. When we sin, we become distant from God because He is pure light and there is no darkness in Him at all. We learned that repentance is the mechanism that God gave us to be forgiven and have our relationship with Him restored. Even with this mechanism we remain distant from God because we do not know how to repent God’s way. For instance, in the second week of this series we identified seven myths concerning repentance. It is a myth that motivations such as sorrow, preservation, penance, reformation, self-deception, selective and no consequence; always lead to repentance. The third week we explored ten of the most common impediments to repentance and describing seven key motivating factors of a truly repentant heart.
Last week outlined six crucial steps of a Biblical model of repentance. Step one is through solitude, meditation and prayer; examine and identify sin in your life. Step two is to have Godly sorrow for having offended the holy character of God. Step three is to confess to God with a broken heart. Step four is to be absolutely humiliated and ashamed of having broken God’s commands, considered all He has done for you. Step five is to come to hate any word, deed or action that goes against the holiness of God. And the last and most difficult step is to turn from the sin to embrace right living. These steps are incredibly difficult and without the power of the Holy Spirit could not be accomplished. To finish off this exciting series on repentance sermon will outline seven benefits of living a repentant life.
PART 5: SEVEN FRUITS OF LIVING A REPENTANT LIFE
Repentance is validated by its fruit. In a world where there are many wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15), it can be very difficult to tell which person has and which one has not been born again. To address this uncertainty Jesus says that we can separate the children of this world from God’s children by examining the fruits of their lives (Matthew 12:33). Those who bear bad fruit are children of the prince of his world (Ephesians 2:2) whereas those who bear good fruit are God’s children. In a similar manner, a person can tell if one is truly repentant or not by examining the fruit or outcomes of their repentance (Matthew 3:8). To tell if one has successfully repented or not one only needs to examine oneself to see if any of the following seven fruits of repentance exists in one’s life.
FRUIT ONE: CITIZENSHIP IN GOD’S KINGDOM
The first fruit of living a repentant life is citizenship in God’s kingdom. While almost all church going people automatically assume they are born again believers, unfortunately this is not the case. Even if you have prophesied in the name of the Lord, driven out demons and performed many miracles; this is not proof of salvation (Matthew 7:21-23). To be saved one must “perform deeds appropriate to repentance” (Acts 26:19-20). Since a good tree bears good fruit and a bad one bad fruit, one cannot have both feet in Satan’s kingdom and expect to bear fruit in God’s! To become a citizen of God’s kingdom requires one to repent of one’s sin and make Jesus Christ the lord of one’s life. Only when one is born again is one enabled to truly bear the good fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). If one has never experienced these fruits, then one should examine oneself for there is a good chance one is not saved.
FRUIT TWO: KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH
Only those who are repentant and born again can understand spiritual truths. Jesus spoke in parables so that “though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand” (Matthew 13:13). Apostle Paul tells us that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). No matter how much they learn, Paul says a veil of darkness will keep them from ever coming to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7). The solution to removing this veil of darkness is to repent and believe in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:14-16). Repentance is the only way to know the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25) concerning God because the seal (2 Corinthians 1:22) of the born-again believer, the Holy Spirit, is the only one who can search, know and reveal the deep things concerning God (1 Corinthians 2:10-14). Genuinely repentant Christians are known by their knowledge of the truth.