Column – Always Mindful of Him – Rick Cox
Because sin exists, and because it abides within the human soul, we need to repent - be penitent, be comforted, be willing to change in order that sin may be sent away. Sin is objective and in the Kingdom of God to come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, there must be none present in the entire realm. After the one time act of repentance to God (recognizing and renouncing sin), and turning to Jesus Christ in faith and belief as Deliverer Savior, the washing of the disciple’s feet episode in John chapter 13 enters as symbolic of the subsequent life of the Christian. Sin continues to attach itself like dust upon sandaled feet, but is washed away by Christ Himself through our extended confessions, repentance and petitions. And sometimes it may be as with Peter that it is not the feet only that need washed, but other or all portions of the body, head, and hands.
Repenting free of all sin requires the lifetime we are granted plus I suspect, a smidgeon more, i.e. a view of the glorified, resurrected Christ as we stand before His judgement seat to receive the things we have done in our body, good and bad. Sin must in the end be done away with, fin and feather, in cooperation with repentance. But godly sorrow counts, and in fact, works repentance unto salvation, or, deliverance from sin. Trying counts. Willingness counts. Grace is necessary; the strength, mercy, and help of God the Holy Spirit, as is the shed blood of Christ.
We are who we are. Death and hell are now still players. If sin must be totally vanquished in a human life in four score years before true repentance is said to have happened, than it must be that no repentance has ever occurred at all. It cannot be such a way as that. But someday we will be judged by a consuming fire and it will be quite a burning. A burning that is in the end welcomed or despaired of, drawing us near like Moses at the burning bush, or banishing us with destruction like the men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego at the fiery furnace.
How long is this purging, this judgment, this burning for just desserts? Doctrinaires cannot believe a dichotomy of outcomes and speak of fear, yet have none, for the judgement seat of Christ. But the question itself, (how long?) may be nonsensical. There is a chronos of God for each individual’s call, to thus or no, be justified, sanctified, and finally glorified. There will be no sparing of judgment and justice, but all will be cleansed or consumed when facing the One with head and hair white like wool, as white as snow, with eyes like flames of fire, and feet like brass. At the end of repentance, will be Jesus the Christ burning sin away with the sorrowful permission of its owners.
Jesus died for the world, atoned (or covered) for sin, and empowered the loosening of it. Sin will be no more. But although we try hard in this life, as He commands us, it is too big. Over a mortal lifespan it oozes throughout our character, sticking like weed burrs. Lists of sin are laid out in Scripture to remind us of who we are. Jesus and John the Baptist in their preaching prioritized, and Peter and Paul emphasized repentance; the Holy Spirit thus signifying that as we grow better and take on a wee bit more Christ-like-ness, a fresh knowledge of sin’s hideous embrace drives us weeping to our knees once again.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death, which is sin’s wages. God has so determined.
And good Doctor Lewis believes we are bent but not broken.
Hebrews 12:28, Exodus 3:1-6, Daniel 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, Revelation1:12…