Friday, November 7, 2008

Short Accts (examine and repent)

Ever heard the saying 'keep short accounts'? This if you didn't know means that we should deal with sin as soon as possible by repenting often.
Self examination is a beautiful means of grace to keep our hearts tender before the Lord. This should be one of the first things that cross our minds when we pray, as we make our requests before the Lord, we should be reminded "how dare i come before the throne filthy, how dare i come flippantly before the One i have offended, I MUST FIRST REPENT!!".
This is the fountain and more fruit and more grace in our lives, when we DAILY come before the Lord with a broken and contrite heart. This is where we are able to glorify God and fix our eyes upon Christ, by daily seeking mercy. This is where we are reminded of the things we didn't take much notice of, like out attitudes at work, or to our spouses, children, parents and church; which leads to a greater resolve to prevent these things. Nothing is worse than ignorance to our non-conformity to Christ.
I say this wanting to emphasize a major neglect among Christians today, and too often this neglect has come from an overreaction to a wrong view of self-examination or a bad experience to it. Nonetheless it can't be debated as something that is not crucial to our growth; because it is simply the welcoming of true conviction.
Conviction is of God, and leads to a desire for change and a hope in the promises of God to help us, whereas CONDEMNATION is of Satan and leads to despair and a dependence upon the flesh.
Let me say that the two may be confused, in fact some people have a tendency towards this condemnation and this in reality could be due to a lack of true trust in God!
Fresh supplies of grace come while we are reminded of the grace that has been given us: when we see need for repentance, we can on one hand mourn our weakness, our ingratitude, our coldness and at the same time we rejoice and are also AMAZED at the grace and mercy of God that is daily extended to sinners like us.
Let me quote Spurgeon, which really hits the biblical understanding of a Christians repentance:

An old saint on his sickbed once used this remarkable expression: “Lord, sink me low as hell in repentance; but”—and here is the beauty of it—“lift me high as heaven in faith.” Now, the repentance that sinks a man low as hell is of no use except there is the faith also that lifts him as high as heaven! The two are perfectly consistent, the one with the other. A man may loathe and detest himself; and all the while, he may know that Christ is able to save and has saved him. In fact, this is how true Christians live. They repent as bitterly for sin as if they knew they should be damned for it; but they rejoice as much in Christ as if sin were nothing at all.

This aligns with the testimony of scripture, especially with psalms of repentance: this is truly healthy to the soul of all believers. This too is a great strength of puritan writing, you find this almost in all their writings. They wrote and i strive to write not to gather a following of people that agree with me, but to see men humbled, broken and blessed!

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