The Holy Scriptures teach clearly that before anyone can be saved they must repent of sin. Jesus said twice in Luke 13:3-5 "Unless ye repent ye will all likewise perish." Now that to me is a very clear verse concerning repentance. And what we are to repent of is our sin! Before one can believe on the Lord Jesus, ( John 6:35) and receive the Lord Jesus by faith in God's grace, ( John 1:12) they must first repent of sin. Acknowledging their sinfulness in practice and attitudes. They must repent, by agreeing with God's word that they have sinned and they are to turn from their proud attitudes and action of self works and self righteousness to the only righteous God who can save them. This is impossible apart from the divine aid of God himself as he brings a inner revelation to the human heart that they are sinners condemned and under the judgement of God. II Corinthians 7:10 teaches that " godly sorrow worketh repentance." God himself reveals our sins and brings deep conviction to our souls and then one can repent and receive his forgiveness and salvation or grow harder and reject this work of godly sorrow. But without godly sorrow no one can believe on and receive into their life the Lord Jesus Christ.
An imperative need for man is salvation and without the knowledge of sin one will never be converted . This makes the revelation of sin so important to our life. Before we are save we need sin revealed to us and continually after justification we need it in our sanctificational process. So the question is what are ways that God reveals sin to the lost soul and to the christian after salvation has begun? Let me mention three ways that God is faithful in showing sin to humanity and in so doing it is my hope that each bishirblog reader will be more thankful for the conviction of sin in their life.
I. THE BIBLE!
God will use his supernatural book to reveal what is right and what is wrong, evil and righteousness is revealed on the pages of this Holy Book the Bible! From the first chapter in Genesis to the last chapter in Revelation the Bible contrasts the sinfulness of man and the righteousness of God. The theme of the Bible is - MAN IS A SINNER AND GOD IS A SAVIOR! In God's Word we find what God says are sins and what he says is righteous. In pointing lost people to repent we must use the Word to show them what God says is sins to repent of. The ten commandments are sufficient for such! Once we are saved it is God's words that will lead us to repent of sinful attitudes and practices and bring us to know the righteous ways a d will of God, ( John 17, Psalm 19:12 & Psalm 119:11).
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT!
The Holy Spirit is needed for any person to be saved. It is the Holy Spirit who " convicts the world of sin, righteousness and the judgement to come", John 16:8. The Holy Spirit convinces the lost person they are sinners. They can deny it and resist it but down deep they know they are sinners who have fallen short of God's glory. And when a person repents and receives the Lord then the Holy Spirit moves into their lives and begins a lifetime convicting of sin and righteousness. There is a new conviction in their life, a deeper work of God as He reveals sins to leave and right ways of living to enter. When the christian sins the Lord makes it known by convicting and literally by his being grieved in our spirit, Ephesians 4:30. every true believer knows what I am talking about right now because they can testify that when they sin the Lord lets them know they have done so. And repentance is to follow before joy returns. The closer a child of God follows his Lord the shorter the leash becomes. The great Bible teacher Beth Moore says, " The Lord does not keep me on a leash but a key chain". One of the problems with modern worship is God's people are led to believe they are only to be CHEERED UP ( kind of patted on the back & told how good they are) and never to be CONVICTED of SIN! I don't think our worship services should BEAT UP but I don't always think they should only CHEER UP! If we are in sin God's word and God's Spirit will reprove sin and GODLY SORROW will take place leading to repentance so confession can be made, then cleansing and a return to JOY so we can experience biblical and HOLY CHEER. Not rejoicing in ungodliness but rejoicing in righteousness. Church may we desire the conviction of the Holy Spirit once again in our lives. When we are sick we need a DOCTOR who will tell us the truth and when we are sick spiritually we need faithful preachers and teachers who will be filled with God's Spirit and Word and tell us we are sick and Jesus is the way to health.
III. GODLY BELIEVERS WHO CONFRONT IN LOVE!
Another way God will reveal sin to us is by other Godly Believers who " speak the truth in love" ( Ephesians 4:15). Instead of being hurt or angered when caring believers confront us with sin we should be very thankful that they do so. Now I understand that it very uncomfortable, that our pride is wounded and that we are embarrassed. But it is one of God's ways to help us in seeing our sin and repenting of it. Galatians 6:1 teaches, " If any be overcome in a fault ( sin ) , ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted". On occassion I have had caring, loving brothers and sisters come to me and point out sin in my life and I have had to MAN UP and recognize they are sent by the sovereign God for my benefit.
Sin left unconfessed and unrepented of lead lost souls to a Christ less eternity and for the believer it will lead to failure and broken fellowship with our Lord. God please give us hearts to desire to know what sin is, when we sin to grieve over it and to thank you when you convict us of such!
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.