Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts on Jim Palmer's post

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. 

1 comment:

Joe said...

Is this the same Jim Palmer that was a Pro baseball player that used to model underwear? (OK, just kidding.)

I think he may have been on the right track, but I am more inclined to go in your direction. Of course repentance involves looking to the greater and more beautiful things. But to get to that point, you have to realize where you are sin.

For some reason, people get uncomfortable admitting that they are sinners. (Maybe because it smacks of "Religion" to them, or because some preachers seem to harp on a crabby God that hates sinners. I don't know.) But the fact is, when I look at my heart I have to fully admit just how short I fall of God's holy standards...and it ain't pretty.

To me at least, I can't fully understand, embrace and desire God's standards, until I confront how far away my sin has taken me. I'm not convinced that anyone has really repented until they come face to face with this.

Just my take, anyway.