Nehemiah 10 – Zeal for Repentance and Obedience

Meditation for Preparation

Repentance is turning away from sin, hating it, and resolving by God’s strength to forsake it, even as we turn to him in faith. Repentance is not just an optional plug-in to the Christian life. It is absolutely crucial to it, marking out those who have been saved by God and those who have not.

I have known many people who would say something like, “Yes, I’ve accepted Jesus as Savior, so I’m a Christian. But I’m just not ready to accept him as Lord yet. I have some things to work through.” In others words, they claimed they could have faith in Jesus and be saved, and yet no repent of sin.

If we understand repentance rightly, we’ll see that the idea that you can accept Jesus as Savior but not Lord is nonsense. For one thing, it doesn’t do justice to what Scripture says about repentance.

To have faith in Jesus is, at its core, to believe that he really is who he says he is – the crucified and risen King who has conquered death and sin, and who has the power to save. Now how could a person believe all that, trust in it, and rely on it, and yet at the same time say, “But I don’t acknowledge that you are King over me”? That doesn’t make any sense. Faith in Christ carries in itself a renunciation of that rival power that King Jesus conquered – sin. And where that renunciation of sin is not present, neither is genuine faith in the One who defeated it.

It is as Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” To put one’s faith in King Jesus is to renounce his enemies.

Greg Gilbert

Heart Preparation
Read Nehemiah 9:38-10:37 and consider the zeal for repentance and obedience demonstrated by the Israelites. Do you always delight in repenting of your sin? What is it that stops you?

Posted on: February 28, 2013 - 10:06PM

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