Tag Archives: repentance

Sin and Repentance

Prayer

If we fall into sin, our response must be to come to God and confess

I have had reason today to spend time in prayer confessing and repenting from certain sins.

There is a danger when we sin of reacting in two ways: either we can treat it as a light thing, something that doesn’t really matter, or we can be so consumed by our wrongdoing that we feel condemned and unable to approach God. Both responses are in grave error.

Firstly, we must remember that Jesus died for our sins. It wasn’t a “cheap” or unimportant death – He did not die a painless and sorrowless death – He suffered enormously. Our sin is a great and heavy burden – it should never be regarded as something that “does not matter because Jesus dealt with it”. Yet in that death Jesus did pay the full price for our sin and our sins. We have a God that does not condemn but rather loves to show mercy.

We should never feel that our sins are too great to prevent us from approaching the throne of grace. Remember that one of the greatest tools of the enemy the devil is to make us ineffective as Christians through making us feel condemned and unable to approach God. Jesus is our Advocate. In the ongoing courtroom of justice, the devil is the accuser, yet Jesus pleads His Blood and by such we are forgiven and assured of salvation if we have trusted in Him.

So how do we experience in the here and now that very precious gift of forgiveness? We must come before God, confess our sins and turn from them and to Him (repentance). It doesn’t matter how many times we need to do this. My own battles with sins have lasted many years and I do fall into the trap sometimes of thinking that all hope of deliverance from those sins is gone. Yet even if a particular stronghold has gone on for many years we can place our hope and trust in our Redeemer, and indeed we must.

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Stewardship – A Vital Principle for the Earth

Current scientific consensus is that the life-system of the earth is becoming dangerously destabilised, and that the threats of climate change, pollution and dwindling resources pose a practical and political issue that is of immense importance.

The view, widely-held, is that the severe imbalances that are occurring are doing so because of the actions of man upon the eco-systems and environments of the planet.

But there are some who disagree.

Some, generally name-called “climate change deniers” (although such terminology is not always helpful given the need for rational debate and well thought-out arguments), say that the changes that are being experienced are not due to man’s actions but are a natural development in the life-cycle of the planet.  These people would be best placed in a non-interventionist bracket.

The non-interventionist policy would be that there is no need for man to take any remedial steps as pertaining to eco-systems or environment, and that much of the “green agenda” is dangerous in itself, either because of the increase in governmental and inter-governmental control, or the negative impact such remedial steps would have on a consumerist-based and consumption-based economic system.

Non-interventionists can be classified into three varieties:

1. The total denial group.  Claiming that the science behind man-induced eco-system danger is flawed, this group asserts that there are no notable changes to the systems of the earth and that therefore, as there is no problem, there does not need to be a solution.

2. The natural cycle group.  Whilst accepting the vast evidence that climates are changing and that the eco-systems of the world are in a state of flux, the natural cycle group asserts that these changes can be exclusively attributed to the natural changes that would have occurred without man’s influence.  Because man is not responsible, they say, then man need take no remedy but just let the planet get on with it.

3. The climate-changing God believers.  Full acceptance is made that the changes to the environment and planet are taking place, and an acceptance is also made that these changes pose a great risk to the survival of the planet and of mankind. Those in this category, however, disown any responsibility to act because it is the work of God, and that instead of looking to address the environmental issues nations need rather to repent of their sins and turn to God.

The science behind the claims of climate change and eco-system strain are either countered or dismissed by these groups.

Yet there is a very important Christian principle which is often overlooked by the non-interventionists, and this is especially relevant to those who claim climate change is the work of God.  That principle is the principle of stewardship.

The Bible is very clear, and in numerous places, that a Godly person should be a good steward of the resources that God has entrusted to him.  Many would take this to mean a faithful tithe to the Church, or even lining the pockets of wealthy and attractive TV presenters (“evangelists”).  Yet stewardship is a far deeper and profound concept that covers 100% of what God has entrusted to us.  That 100% includes all our finances, all our time, and all of the resources that are available to us.  “All things come from God, and of Your own do we give You,” we say after giving our offerings at church.

The vital principle of stewardship brings a new light on the arguments for intervention.  The concept that the earth is our plaything and the resources are there for us to use as we please is not compatible with the principle that these resources are to be used wisely, purposefully and diligently not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those less fortunate.

Whatever the causes behind climate change and eco-system degradation, it is very clear that the consumerist and consumption-based economic system has a poor stewardship record, and that if we are to counter the issues, or even if we cannot and the systems have already reached tipping point, part of our “repenting and turning to God” must be a repentance of the sinful greed and waste that the consumption-based economic system has produced.  Then we may be in a position to properly relate to and steward the Creation in our care.

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