Repentant hands in the sky

Repent and depend on God

WOES
Words of encouragement
The first of four articles dealing with repentance explores a couple commands in James. How do we depend on God to be purified?
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“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

I want to talk about repentance.

It’s a scary word because it often holds connotations we don’t like.

It involves admitting our own wrongdoing and insufficiency to please God, and turning away from our sin.

I’m going to do 4 Words of Encouragement dealing with repentance, and I hope that you find that repentance is not just something that is required of the Christian, but something that helps you flourish.

3 of these 4 WOEs will be in Psalm 51, but I want to start with James.

James in James 4:7-8, the quoted Scripture above, gives us simple instruction. There are four commands given to us here.

Submit yourselves therefore to God.

Jesus is Lord. We say that a lot, but do we really mean it?

If Jesus is the Lord of our life, He is the authority over us.

He is the one who rules over us and everything we have and are.

We should live as if this is true, which is what submitting ourselves to Him means.

Submitting yourself to God means treating Him truly as your Lord and your King.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

As Christians we are empowered by the Spirit.

The devil will throw temptations at us, but we have the ability to depend on God and resist these temptations.

If we look to the Spirit and resist our temptations, the devil cannot stand and will flee from us.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

We have access to the Father directly.

If we draw close to the Father, the Father will come close to us.

This is simple. He is a Father who loves us as His child.

We need to only come to Him and He will respond.

This is not in salvation, but in coming to Him with our sin and our temptations.

Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Through these three previous commands, we can finally fulfill this last one.

We can rely on the Son, Spirit, and the Father, all of the triune God, and we can be cleansed.

We can have our sin taken away and we can walk in God righteously.

We can always have the innocent state of our salvation restored, because Christ died for every sin for all of time.

When we repent, we cleanse our hands of it and have our hearts purified, and we lose our identity of sinner and double-minded in exchange for the identity of loved by God, and forgiven by the blood of the Lamb.