"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Need for Repentance

Sometime back now I did a post on confession. Because of some recent events, especially this post from Marty Duren at SBCoutpost.com, I've been thinking about a particular part of confession, that of repentance. As Marty notes, the SBC is found of recommending changes for people and groups outside the denomination, and we seem pretty good about patting ourselves on the back, but how deeply have we considered our own sins?

In Luke chapter 18 Jesus tells us a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector. I think sometimes we too quickly gloss over the Pharisee's words. They are words of thanksgiving. He doesn't claim that he gets credit for his righteousness, God gave it to him. But instead of praising him, Jesus says the tax collector, who instead of claiming to be righteous acknowledged that he was sinner, walked away justified.

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:9-14 ESV)

Oh that we would be humble people who remember, as Marty noted, that judgment begins with the house of God. And may I remember that, as Steve Camp once noted, it [judgment] begins with me.

Not convicted? or not convicted enough? Go do a gut check at Cerulean Sanctum.

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