Summary: A call to repent and to give our lives over to God.
Opening: Hello, I’m Ish, and I’m a sinner.
I. Defining our terms
a. Repaint Joke
i. Churched used too much thinner God said, “Repaint and thin no more.”
b. In the words of Archibald Asparagus “Stop it!”
c. Remember: Sin is breaking relationship with God
d. Repentance is:
1. to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
2. to feel regret or contrition b : to change one’s mind
ii. Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms
1. Hebrew Shub :Greek metanoia
2. The act of expressing contrition and penitence for sin. Its linguistic roots point to its theological meaning of a change of mind and life direction as a beginning step of expressing Christian faith. (See Acts 26:20)
iii. Acts 26:20
1. MKJV -- But to those first in Damascus, and Jerusalem, and to all the country of Judea, and to the nations, I made known the command to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
2. CEV -- First I preached to the people in Damascus, and then I went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Finally, I went to the Gentiles and said, "Stop sinning and turn to God! Then prove what you have done by the way you live"
Transition: So we know what it means to sin, and what repentance means. But why should we do it? Is it just to appease God, like in Ninevah? Isn’t there more to it? I’ve often found that knowing what something is, is not the same as knowing why its important. Let’s look at why this is important.
II. Why is it important to repent?
a. (Mat 19:16-22) A man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments." "Which ones?" the man asked. Jesus answered, "Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself." The young man said, "I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?" Jesus replied, "If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower." When the young man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.
b. This man’s problem was “self-love”
i. He wanted to keep his comfort
ii. How often do we not give of ourselves to others for fear that it “might hurt”?
c. Pro 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
d. (Pro 29:23) A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
e. Not pride only:
i. Adultery: Marriage is a threesome (man, woman, GOD)
ii. Greed: love of money over God.
iii. Sloth: not caring enough about God or others to do for them.
iv. Idolatry: elevating other gods over God (be it time, money or cattle).
Transition: Sin breaks relationship. Sin pushes us further from God. God will not run from us though. The only time you’ll seem Him run is when He runs to you. But, he can’t do that if you don’t turn back to him. That is repentance, turning to God so that He can take you in His arms. Here, I think we can learn something from our brothers and sisters in AA.
III. Twelve step repentance
a. Looked at the AA 12 steps – they are right on
b. Step 1 – admit you can’t overcome sin on your own.
i. (Mar 14:38) All of you must stay awake and pray that you won’t come into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak."
ii. Rom 2:12 For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
c. Step 2. Believe God can overcome sin (and HAS!)
i. 2nd Peter 2:9 So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day.
ii. 1st Cor 10:13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
d. Step 3. Make the decision to let God take over
i. Romans 10:13 For whomsoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved