Saturday, October 9, 2010

Repentance or Remorse? You Choose

How often we say or do something we wish we could change later!  Some of us go to great lengths to fix a problem we've created--perhaps we slandered someone and that person found out, perhaps we denied a situation existed only to suffer the consequences later.  No matter what the offense, we have two choices.  We can admit our sin and turn to God, through Jesus, for forgiveness.  Or we can try to fix the problem ourselves.

Matthew 26:69-27:10

v. 75, 3-5: And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.

Observation: Our sin is manifested personally, with huge consequences. No one else shares my guilt. No one else shares my despair. No one else shares my penalty. Sin is real. The results of sin are real. Both Peter and Judas sinned against Jesus personally. Both of them sinned against Jesus publicly. Both of them felt great remorse and shame and despair. But Peter knew Christ enough—had the grace to return to Jesus—and receive forgiveness. For Judas there was no faith that Jesus would forgive and receive. There was no returning. There was only death.

Application: Repentance is a repetitive act of faith in returning to the Lord Jesus Christ for acceptance and forgiveness. Repentance does not erase the sin, but Jesus covers the sin. Repentance  does not remove the consequences, but Jesus provides Himself through the consequences. Repentance does not apply to anyone but myself. The opposite of repentance is remorse—grief over having to suffer the consequences apart from the faith to return to Christ humiliated and stricken. Repetitive repentance grows and demonstrates faith. Peter chose repentance. Judas chose remorse.  It is the appeal to man for acceptance and removal of consequences that hinders faith and brings destruction.

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