Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isa 1:18)
Grace is not you changing for God, but it is the power of God changing you. But what does it take to receive this life changing grace? God does call us to change only one thing, and that one thing is our mind. To “change your mind” is the very meaning of the word “repent.” REPENT is not a bad word, unless of course you don’t want to change your mind.
Now every sane person wants to live forever, everybody wants to go to heaven when they die, and everybody wants God’s favor in time of calamity, grief or suffering. About these no one needs to change their mind, but exactly what does God require that we change our mind about? The demons acknowledge Him, “I know thou art the Son of God…” They believe and tremble! So that cant be it either.
In the world ‘repent’ is a bad word. Simply because there are people who want to continue in their sin and they refuse to change their minds about it. Most people do not like wars, natural disasters, or suffering, but these are the judgments or results for the acts that those same people refuse to change their minds about!
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
The Grace that came by our Messiah, not only was it proactive, but it was retroactive. After all He is called “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Yes this “grace and truth” has always been available to man. Adam and Eve received the death sentence, “you shall surely die” and they received grace, an opportunity to repent and accept the redemption that would be purchased by the blood of their redeemer. They looked forward, we look back, but the same God and Father with His Holy Spirit is always present.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31)
It is very popular today to teach that this grace which only comes by faith did away with the Law of God. As if Grace and the Law were opposites like dark and light or yin and yang, however this false dichotomy only works to change our liberty into licentiousness. So, exactly how does Grace by Faith establish the Law?
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:10)
No longer is His Law relegated to cold stone tablets or dead letters on deteriorating parchment, but it is now living in us, inscribed upon the tablet of our heart. Jesus said, “ I did not come to do away with the law…” He actually raised the standard:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
He said a similar thing about hatred and murder. It is not enough to simply refrain from the act rather it is expedient to change your mind about any desire which is not pleasing to our Heavenly Father. He is the God who has always judged the thoughts and intents of the heart.
When we repent, that is, change our mind about His Law and come into agreement with His Holy Spirit that His Law is holy and just and for our own good we desire to learn obedience because it is inscribed in the new creation that we are. We are that new creation …created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we might walk in them...(Eph 2.10)
You must be born again to enter the kingdom… Repent for the kingdom is at hand… be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…(Rom 12.2) When His Holy Spirit convicts and we truly change our mind then He will change our life by teaching us obedience. When we recognize that desire in ourselves to live our lives in a way that is always pleasing to our Heavenly Father we hold the assurance that we have crossed the border into His Kingdom and are seated in heavenly places in Messiah Jesus.
May the grace of God be with us all. Nicklas