Clearly, in 2017, we are seeing a distinct change in the foundational teachings of Christianity. Strangely to some, the precepts of God’s law has never changed…none of them…not even once. However, those precepts have certainly been watered down by many over the years, many who would seek to fit them into a cozy box of “options” for the would-be disciple of Christ. We see this reflected in culture today. A diluted view of repentance and a cheapening of grace.
Culture has reexamined grace, and they have cheapened it. They have done a fairly thorough job of washing the guilt of mankind cleanly away from the discussion, as if sin doesn’t really exist. They have taught Jesus to be a wonderful, loving, and merciful Savior, and He certainly is, while they have failed to emphasize our guilt as the very reason Christ had to die in the first place. And, we’ve redefined terms, such as repentance, to fit comfortably into the mainstream. It’s a change of theology…”if you sin, which you probably won’t, just utilize cheap grace, and ask forgiveness for it until it happens again.”
If we are to truly be followers of a resurrected and living Christ, we need do much more than simply ask for the forgiveness of our sins. Frankly, upon true conversion to the lordship of Christ in our life, the eternal consequences of our sin is already forgiven, but check that we have a clear understand that the earthly consequences of that sin, for us and others, are not escaped. Therefore, the instruction of Scripture is to “repent,” to change our mind regarding the sins that we deliberately embrace, and to turn from them, (180 degrees/directly away) marching on in a new direction…the direction of Christ and God’s will.
Sinning, asking forgiveness for it, and then sinning again in the same manner the next day, is not the idea of “new creation” reflected in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
When we live under the premise that we simply need to ask forgiveness for our trampling of God’s law, without changing the mindset that led us to that very sin in the first place, then we, in effect, cheapen the blood of Christ…the very blood that paid for our redemption in the eyes of Almighty God. A follower of Christ, absent a true heart of repentance, is, at the very best, a lukewarm follower, prone to wander away, all the while feeling good that he can ask a cheapened forgiveness when his “guiltless sinning is done.”
When we weigh the cost of our salvation against the waffling moodiness of our true conviction of the effects of sin in our life, what takes the higher priority? We value our salvation, yet we find it so hard to turn away from our embrace of the very things that Christ died to save us from…the very things that separate us, as a person and a culture, from a Christ who died for our right to choose Him.
Up Next: Repentance and Cultural Christianity
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!