Complete Repentance

Last week we learned from Scripture that using our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness allows sin to reign in our mortal bodies. That will happen every time we commit a sexual sin. Confession alone will not deal with that, although it is an essential first step in the repentance process. Suppose there is a talking dog on the other side of a door, and the dog is saying: Come on! Let me in. You know you want to. Everybody is doing it. Nobody will know you did it. So you opened the door and let the dog in.

As soon as you open that door the dog comes in and clamps his jaw on your body. If you could see the true picture, would you beat on yourself, or would you beat on the dog? Chances are you are beating on yourself. On the other side of the door, Satan is the tempter. As soon as you open the door he changes roles, and becomes the accuser. You opened the door! You opened the door! What kind of Christian are you? You have gone too far this time. How can you expect God to love and forgive when you fail to keep your promises? Stricken with grief and remorse, you cry out to God. Lord forgive me. I’ll never do it again.

God has already forgiven you. Christ died once for all your sins, and when He did that all your sins were future. So how do you resolve this? You start with confession, which in this case would be saying, Lord, I opened the door. In other words, I did it. Confession means to agree with God, which is essentially the same as walking in the light, i.e. consciously living in moral agreement with God. However, that is not enough, because the dog is still there, and the door is still open. You just submitted to God, now finish the verse by verbally resisting the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Repentance isn’t complete, however, until you close the door. By that I mean: get rid of the pornography, put a filter on your computer, tell the person that the affair is over, change your phone number if the wrong people have it, etc. We should all remove ourselves from undue temptation. We are setting ourselves up for failure if we don’t.

Dr. Neil

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