Monday, February 27, 2012
First read this post by Jim Palmer. Unlearning the ‘R’-word
I saw Jim's post as "baby step" toward a fuller understanding of what repentance means. This in no way means I see it as unimportant. I see it as the one-time decision and this is the first step of the renewing that continues as we grow. Yet, as it is foundational, one cannot lay again a foundation of repentance, but must learn to walk in repentance in faith. One cannot go back and re-repent as that is putting Jesus again into public ridicule and crucifying Him over and over again. Instead, we repent and learn to walk in this new mindset by confessing to God and others. Confession means we are humble and are acting upon the initial internal repentance.
We talked about someone falling away. Sometimes we view this as losing salvation... and I think that is wrong and confuses more people. I see that most often, Jesus has revealed an aspect of "religion" that we must choose to reject as not of Christ. However, since many see these revealed things as essentials, those people who see them often are deemed fallen away when in fact they are closer to following Jesus than ever. These are the people I work with and reach. They often are just confused by "religion" and never fell from Jesus. but fell back into religious works.
The rejection of religious works for the approval of God is most often what Paul speaks about in his writings. It is impossible to fall away from God as God is God... He is God of Heaven and Hell... (however you may interpret that.) Nothing can separate us from the Love of God... as God is Love. If God begins a good work in us, He is faithful to complete it... and if He does not, then God is a liar... so perseverance itself comes from God once a person can understand it.
Falling from Grace is not the same as losing salvation. One can return to confessional life as they understand that repentance was done... and acknowledge it as real the first time.