THIS SERIES: A SEASON OF PREPARATION
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance
In this series of posts, we have looked at the importance of walking in forgiveness, and aligning ourselves with what God says. However, repentance also requires change. For many of us that often translates into an attempt to conquer a sinful habit, followed by failure and discouragement.
Jesus had some words of wisdom on this:
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad,
for a tree is recognised by its fruit.
The fundamental issue with change is one of identity. Who we think we are, and what we believe about ourselves, will affect how we behave. Jesus came to change our identity, to 'make the tree good'. The issue is what we choose to believe: our experience and history, or what God says:
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man,
how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace
and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
...put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We can look at all our failures and choose to believe that's who we are; then, as has been said, if we believe we are sinners, we'll sin by faith! However, the truth is, that we were sinners, but now we are saints (the sanctified ones). We have a new identity: we are new creations, made in the image of God and filled with His life.
It will take time to change the habits of a lifetime, and when we fall, we know we can receive forgiveness [1 John 1:9]. But the foundation for change is a new identity—and that has been already been purchased for us on the Cross.
Which identity are you living in today—the old or the new?
NEXT WEEK: POWER TO LIVE
The good news is that repentance and change is not about our will power...
OVER TO YOU...
[Photo credits: Jared Subia (fruit); Brett Jordan (counters); James Lee (birds) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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