A servant’s heart is a precious and rare commodity! So often we find valuable kingdom workers left wounded, ravished, and devoured by sin. Think about the biggest stories which captivate viewers from John Edward’s love child, to Bill Clinton’s sexual misgivings while in the White House, to numerous ministries crumbling to the ground and to a halt as a result of sin. Paul’s words in Romans gives each person tarnished by sin the path back towards restoration:
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
From these handful of verses we see the radical process of Christianity. First, Radical Repentance–turning away from sin. All the time I have heard people talk about Christianity as a list of rules. Mark Burnett, producer of Son of God, captured the spirit of the Bible, “I use to think it was a book of law, but what I have found is that it is a book of love!” When we are called towards repentance, we aren’t calling people to simply follow laws, but instead to be loved by God.
What is the impact of doing nothing? When the Romans were in a specifically bitter battle, they would take the living captives and tie them to the dead corpses forcing them to endure the stench until the contagion of death carried on. Simply put, doing nothing, achieves nothing! With sin like a corpse tied to our bodies, we find that Christ untied the baggage from our life. Repentance is not the end of the story. I will continue later in the week, but repentance is the beginning of the process of bringing Christ’s sacrifice into perspective.