If Repentance Is Not Scriptural Where Did It Come From

Recently, in a gathering, as we were discussing that repenting of our sins to God was not part of the New Covenant, someone blurted out, “But, repenting of my sins is what I was taught all my 60+ years of life going to church! What am I to do with that?!” I could relate.

What a quandary – stay stuck in tradition or move into truth that sets you free?!

Have you ever considered how powerful religious traditions are? Jesus sure blasted all ‘the traditions of the elders and the things they received in order to observe’. He summed up His rejection of all their religious observations by stating “you are invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many such things as that.” (Mk 7:1-13) Yikes, Jesus is basically saying, ‘you are invalidating Me by your traditions’!

How many Christian traditions have been handed down to you as a child, with no questions asked? Into adulthood many continue to believe and obey what has been received, unmindful of Jesus’ incredible words: “It is finished.” That sure was my story!

The religious system and those caught up in it say, “No, it is NOT totally finished. We still have to do, we should do, we ought to do…”. Have you ever thought about how many of those handed down traditions place the emphasis on you doing something?

That dynamic of ‘doing’ is at the crux of the religious doctrine of repentance, which basically means we need to repent of our sins in order to get saved and continue to repent in order to maintain a right relationship with God. We have to work at our salvation!

Thomas F. Torrance (Scottish Protestant Theologian, 1913-2007), in his book ‘The Doctrine of Grace in the Early Church Fathers’ explains this ‘do’ mindset – “In the Apostolic Fathers grace lost its radical character. They developed a doctrine of salvation by works of righteousness… A Christian ethic was codified, and the charismatic life under the constraining love of Christ [was] reduced to rules and precepts. The centre of gravity was shifted from the mainspring of the Christian life in the person of Christ Himself to the periphery of outward conformity and daily behaviour.” (emphasis mine)

Before the Reformation, these were some of man’s traditional mindsets about sin and repentance:

  • Only sins prior to baptism were forgiven thus emphasizing the importance of baptism (not the finished work of the cross).
  • Upon baptism the new believer started with a clean slate, but any future sins were not forgiven.
  • Then early church leaders solved the issue of future sins after conversion/baptism by developing the action of ‘doing penance’, later called ‘repentance’ (totally ignoring that the New Covenant confirms He forgave all our sins – once for all)
  • Penance was made difficult to do, because the early church fathers did not want the masses to abuse ‘doing penance’ thinking once they did it they were free to sin again, repeat the cycle and all is well.
  • Thus a complicated doctrine about sin and repentance was developed – those in charge decided which sins were forgivable, how many times you could be forgiven, how much you would have to ‘pay’ for each type of sin, even the sincerity of your repentance and depth of regret were considered. The early church fathers thought this would discourage people from sinning. It did not!

When scriptures were translated into Latin by Jerome (382AD), these doctrines St Jerome Writing Vulgate of penance/repentance were so ingrained that they influenced the translation of the actual text. Thus the Greek word metanoia (lit. to change one’s mind) became purposely mistranslated as ‘acts of penance’ and later as ‘repentance’ (a repetition of penance). They had to make a way for the continuance of their complicated format dealing with sin that brought in much money and kept the masses beholden to them!

Augustine, who greatly influenced western Christianity, used the Vulgate as his preferred translation. His doctrine of repentance was based on Jerome’s erroneous translation of metanoia.

Throughout early church history, this mistranslation of metanoia in the Latin Vulgate, has been pointed out numerous times. One example, in 1430, theologian Lorenzo Valla, decried this error. But the traditional doctrine of penance/repentance was so deeply rooted in religious Christianity that his corrections were overruled. Isn’t that something?!

Now you can see why we are so steeped in this religious traditional mindset of repenting of our sins. What a travesty, as it totally negates the scriptures that proclaim the absolute forgiveness of sin and the removal of all sin. (Col 2:13  Rom 11:27  Heb 10:17)

Our total forgiveness is part of the Good News but there is even more to this stunning Gospel. However, as long as we cling to the tradition of repentance we will be blind to the liberating truth.

No wonder Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” (Eph 1:18)  Open our eyes Lord that we may truly see! Oh my goodness, You have so much FULLNESS for us!

Dig In

  • If it is offensive to hear, ”You don’t have to repent of your sins, all of them are already forgiven!”, then you might consider that tradition is influencing your life, not God.
  • Religious tradition permeates us in many ways – to keep us confined, controlled, hindered, shallow, deceived, guilt laden, fearful, striving, busy, tired, uptight, rigid…
  • If you experience any of the above in your walk with God, then realize that is not His kind of walk for you! Ask Him for the real deal. He will show you! You will never be the same again.
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8 responses to “If Repentance Is Not Scriptural Where Did It Come From

  1. I agree that penance has no place for a Christian, but repentance, as an inward turning from sin to God expressed by outward action, is essential to salvation and the Christian life in general. Your article is not preaching the truth. God requires us to confess and repent of our sins – Prov. 28:13 – the one who confesses AND forsakes his sins will receive mercy. See also 1 John 1: 8-10. Unfortunately repentance is not preached enough today.

    • mb, thanks for your comment and taking the time to share your thoughts.

      Several years ago I would have agreed with your understanding of repentance. I would have also agreed that God requires us to confess and repent of our sins – until I began to hear of the fullness of Jesus’ finished work and the real meaning repentance.

      Repentance – Greek metanoia lit. means
      • to come to your senses
      • to come into your right mind
      • to think as the result of observing
      • to change your mind, to change your way of thinking
      • to intelligently understand
      • to think differently after taking a closer look at a matter
      • suggesting a radical mind shift – an about face in the way you think
      Metanoia involves your mind ‘coming together’ with God’s mind – joining Him in His thoughts, His feelings about you.

      The amazing dynamic of revelation is that it brings real repentance. Great example is Paul – no man taught him the gospel, it came through revelation. Part of that revelation was God revealing to Paul that His Son was in him even in his mother’s womb! (Gal 1:12-16) God always had him, even when Paul grew up to be a legalistic Pharisee who believed he was helping God by killing believers. Talk about metanoia for Paul!

      When we begin to see the depth of Jesus’ finished work, a radical mind shift happens. I must say, my repentance/mind change was a process. I had lots of ‘buts’ and ‘no way’ because religious tradition is hard to break through. But God is faithful.

      To say that turning from sin to God is essential to salvation seems to imply that we are responsible for getting ourselves saved. Does that mean, if we don’t confess our sins to God, then He won’t save us?

      What then do we do with scriptures such as:
      • saved by grace and not works? (Eph 2:8)
      • God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (2Cor 5:19)
      • One died for all, therefore all died, and He died for all…therefore we regard no one according to the flesh? (2Cor 5:14-16)
      • He was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification? (Rom 4:25) Now this verse is amazing. Jesus would not have been raised from the dead if He had not completed His work on the cross of making all mankind righteous and reconciled! Men just need to come into revelation of who they really are – God’s delight and blameless. And it is God’s responsibility to give each one that revelatory truth.
      • He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus, before time began (emphasis mine 2Tim 1:8,9)

      The scripture ‘Prov. 28:13 – “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes will have mercy.” is interesting in that ‘confess’ in the Hebrew means ‘thanks’. Certainly God’s compassion causes thanksgiving in us! Paul directs this Old Testament passage to its completion under the New Covenant – blessed/happy are they, the lawless deeds forgiven (sent away, released), moreover of whom sins are covered (are covered over so as not to come to view, i. e. are pardoned). Oh happy thank-filled days are ours when we see what Jesus really did!

      1Jn 1:8-10 needs to be understood in the context of the letter. Gnostics, of that time, did not believe man sinned and were teaching this. That is why John wrote – ‘if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.’ (1Jn 1:8) In other words, ‘Gnostics, you are out to lunch!’

      In addition it helps to understand what ‘confess’ sins means (v.9). Tradition says it means to acknowledge specific sins, tell God how awful you are, and ask for forgiveness and cleansing. But, ‘confess’ (Greek homolegous) – lit. means to say the same thing. In other words, to confess sin is to say about sin what God says about it. We align ourselves with the logic (GR logos) of God. We basically tell sin what God says about sin – I have taken it away, I remember sin no more, you are totally forgiven and made righteous. (Jn 1:29 Heb 10:17 Col 2:13 2Cor 5:21) It’s like sin, I will not succumb to you, I know my true identity in Christ and I will live His life and He will live His life through mine.

      Certainly understand your final comment – “Unfortunately repentance is not preached enough today.” It does seem that sin is abounding in our days. And it seems we need good old fashioned shaking in your boots because of your sin-filled ways preaching – i.e. “turn or burn”. But knowing that God did not send His Son into the world to judge/condemn it, but to save it (Jn 3:17), then surely this truth brings hope – where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Oh to know the wonder of His lavish grace for all.

      The power and ease of grace is perhaps best expressed in Jn 1:12 – As many as received (GR take, grasp, understand) Him, to them He gave (GR to give something to someone that was already theirs, to return) the right/authority to become (GR come into being, am born, of origin, to emerge from one realm to another, to complete, to finish) children of God.

      Blessings of fullness to you.

  2. Throughout the Bible it is always the same. We must turn from our sins and turn again to God and His rigteousness. We are not saved by our works, but by The Grace of God. The Grace of God is sufficient for all who repent. God is not mocked; if we continue to sin as before, we have not turned from our sin. This is why Paul said, we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Salvation is a free gift, and yes, The work of Yeshua on the Cross was complete. All who turn from sin and turn back to God are thereby saved. But we cannot continue to sin as before. We are not perfect so we do stumble, but God knows our heart, For all who are genuine about following Yeshua, He is forgiving. When we stumble He picks us up, brushes us off, and puts us back on the right path. You are correct about the futility of penance. That is a pagan idea like much in the so-called “Catholic” church. But it is also true that if we are hypocrites, and continue to sin we will end up in the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Everything that is good is in God. to be forever shut off from good is Hell. This is the Eternal fate of all who in their heart are not repentent. God is not mocked.

    • Neavei, thank you for taking time to comment. Looks like we agree on some things – not saved by works, His grace is sufficient, penance is futile. Great!

      You connect hypocrites with those who continue to sin. Jesus certainly had harsh words for hypocrites – they were the Pharisees – adhering strictly to the law and considered themselves ‘righteous’. (Mt 23:13) It’s interesting that He did not call one sinner a hypocrite. He never condemned sinners. A beautiful example is the woman caught in adultery – He did not accuse her nor condemn her. He just told her go and sin no more – not as a warning, but go and be who you really are. Go and Sin No More meaning Obviously He was not put off by sinners as He was known as a friend of sinners.

      It’s interesting that you say the Bible is always the same. More accurately scripture states that only Jesus Christ is the same – yesterday, today, and forever. Nothing else is consistent. He is the Word made flesh – His favorite dwelling place, planned all along. Jesus is also God’s final word. (Heb 1:1-3) Thus, the Father elevated His Son above the law, the written word, scriptures. (Jn 5:39,40) In addition, Jesus even said ‘no one knows the Father but Me’. What an offense to those who thought they knew God because they knew the Torah and followed it!

      If there is a sameness (as you say) in the Old Testament and New Testament about telling us we are to turn from our sins, turn again to God and His righteousness, then this would deny the New Covenant, the Gospel. This New Covenant explained in – when we were enemies, still sinners, weak, helpless – we were reconciled to God through Jesus’ death. (Rom 5:6-10 Col 1:21,22) Fascinating – while still sinners we were reconciled! Somehow religiosity doesn’t see that.

      The New Covenant is not about turning from sin, but grasping that all sin was dealt with, annulled and taken away (Heb 9:10 Heb. 10:10 Jn 1:29 Rom 6:10) and that He has reconciled mankind to Himself. (2Cor 5:18-20) One died for all therefore all died. (2Cor 5:14) To begin to see the power and completion of Jesus’ death and resurrection causes one to read anew the scripture with joy and gratitude. It also causes one to look at oneself and others differently – with the eyes of the Father’s acceptance. (2Cor 5:13-16)

      Neavei, you reference sinners will end up in the outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, and to be ever shut off from good is hell.
      Have you ever considered: He who ascended first descended into the lower parts of the earth so that He might fill all things (Eph 4:9,10); He is before all things and in Him all things consist (Col 1:17); in all things He has the preeminence (Col 1:18). It’s like Jesus is the circumference and the center. Where can one go from His Spirit – if I ascend to heaven You are there, if I make my beds in hell You are there, if darkness befalls me the darkness shall not hide from You for the darkness and light are both alike to You (Ps 139:7-12).

      Since Jesus fills all things, looks like ‘hell’ is His territory too – continuing to love on those who refuse His love and acceptance. Hell is not about sin, since Jesus took away all sin, hell is about not receiving His free gift of reconciliation and true identity in Christ. Hey, even John, in the book of Revelation, speaks of the eternal Gospel. (Rev 14:6) The Good News goes on and on.

      It is not easy to see this kind of magnanimous grace and reconciliation for mankind if one has been taught the legalistic gospel. That was my lot. Mine was a long process that involved lots of ‘yeah buts’ and ‘well, what about this scripture?…’. But then I would be confronted with other scriptures that I had never really ‘seen’ before, nor heard them preached. The message I grew up with was sin focused. But true repentance (changing my way of thinking) burst forth. I thankfully learned that sin is not God’s focus and that He dealt it a death blow. The Godhead’s focus is restoration of our true identity in Him and that we were made for oneness in and with Him. Now that truth is humbling.

      So overwhelmingly grateful the Spirit knows how to stir our spirits to Truth that sets us free. Free to be who we were made to be before time began. (2Tim 1:9,10) And free to see others for who they really are too. Talk about joy and freedom!

      • It is true that we were made free at the cross; free from all the sin in our life up till then, and of the spiritual consequences of that. I see that you know many scriptures, but perhaps you are ignoring the context and the co-text.
        Now, I am not saying that any of us can be sin free from our moment of salvation. However, we must be working at dealing with each area of sin as it arises. We are not free to continue sinning. Each time we fall, as all of us do from time to time, we must repent. I do not mean to do penance . We must hate that we sinned again and offended God, and probably others too. We must again go to God and seek forgiveness, then His Grace is sufficient for us because of what Yeshua did at the cross. We are guided and strengthened by The Holy Spirit so that over time we take the victory over various sins in our life. What the Bible calls going from glory to glory. This is a life-long work we do with the help of The Holy Spirit. He, as a gentleman (gentle God), guides, comforts, and enables us to do this. Gradually we become more like Yeshua who lived as a man and was tempted as a man, but did not sin. Providing we do this, and cleave to Yeshua, we maintain the right relationship with Father God that Yeshua bought for us at The Cross. It is not a matter of doing penance. The work of Yeshua at the Cross was complete. We can not add anything to that. But God is not mocked, and sin is still sin. Any sin that is not repented of will again take us to hell. This is why Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The good news is that The Holy Spirit will make sure we are aware of our sin, and will help us to go to Father God pleading the blood of Yeshua over our life and asking for forgiveness with a contrite heart. If we are hypocrites, and do not mean in our hearts to sin no more, then God is not fooled and will not tolerate us. He will help us again and again as long as it takes to gradually become more like Yeshua. He will carry us from time to time. But He will surely spit us out of we are not passionate about our quest to become sin free.
        I am speaking The Truth here, and you recognise that. If you maintain your comfortable delusion, you are to some extent complicit in your own deception. You will go to a lost Eternity if you cannot turn again to God and His ways, forsaking the sins of your past.
        Those who work at their own salvation, guided and helped by The Holy Spirit, will keep what they have been freely given. The work of redemption, of refining us into the beings we ought to be, will be completed by God for us at the time of the death of our mortal bodies so that uncorupted, and finally uncoruptible, we will inherit our place in Heaven. On the other hand, hypocrites will be cast out with liars, cheats, and all those who prefer ungodliness.
        I expect you to do your own scripture research to test the correctness of my words here. If you just search for the things you can take out of context and twist to get the free licentiousness you seek, then you will die (eventually) in your sins, and will bear the consequences. A last comment I will make is that the sin of ignorance is listed as one of the seven deadly sins, so called because if not turned away from they will make true repentance impossible for you. In Biblical sense, Ignorance is not a lack of knowledge, but the refusal to learn. None of this is ‘legalistic”. God knows our hearts and this is what He judges us by and for.
        Please open yourself to the leading of The Holy Spirit so that you can have and maintain your right relationship with God. After all is said and done, it is
        just between you and He.

      • Neavei,

        I decided to respond to some of your comments in BOLD words by appropriately interspersing them amongst your comments. Thought this would make it easier to track our separate replies.

        It is true that we were made free at the cross; free from all the sin in our life up till then, and of the spiritual consequences of that. I see that you know many scriptures, but perhaps you are ignoring the context and the co-text.
        Now, I am not saying that any of us can be sin free from our moment of salvation. However, we must be working at dealing with each area of sin as it arises. We are not free to continue sinning. Each time we fall, as all of us do from time to time, we must repent. I do not mean to do penance . We must hate that we sinned again and offended God, and probably others too. We must again go to God and seek forgiveness, then His Grace is sufficient for us because of what Yeshua did at the cross.

        Yes, we all ‘fall’ from time to time. To repent in the true Biblical meaning of the word is to change our minds about our actions in regard to our true identity in Christ.
        Indeed when we hurt someone else we do need to go to them and ask their forgiveness. (James 5:16) But to ask forgiveness from God for sin is not scriptural, since the Word clearly says He forgave us of all our sin and no longer remembers them. (2Cor 5:19,21 Heb 10:17)

        We are guided and strengthened by The Holy Spirit so that over time we take the victory over various sins in our life. What the Bible calls going from glory to glory. This is a life-long work we do with the help of The Holy Spirit. He, as a gentleman (gentle God), guides, comforts, and enables us to do this. Gradually we become more like Yeshua who lived as a man and was tempted as a man, but did not sin. Providing we do this, and cleave to Yeshua, we maintain the right relationship with Father God that Yeshua bought for us at The Cross. It is not a matter of doing penance. The work of Yeshua at the Cross was complete. We can not add anything to that. But God is not mocked, and sin is still sin. Any sin that is not repented of will again take us to hell.

        Do you have a scripture that says “any sin not repented of will take us to hell”?

        This is why Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. The good news is that The Holy Spirit will make sure we are aware of our sin, and will help us to go to Father God pleading the blood of Yeshua over our life and asking for forgiveness with a contrite heart. If we are

        I cannot find a scripture that says we are to “plead the blood…and ask forgiveness with a contrite heart”. Can you provide that?

        Here are passages about what the blood does for us:

        Eph 1:7,8 In Him we have redemption/deliverance through inside the blood, the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us.
        Eph 2:13 In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near (close, inside) by the blood of Christ.
        Col 1:20 He made peace through the blood – to reconcile all things to Himself.
        Heb 9:12,14 Jesus entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption…how much more His blood cleanses your conscience from dead works
        Heb 10:19 we have boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through His flesh…let us draw near in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water…hold fast our confession without wavering, for He who promised is faithful
        Heb 13:12 Jesus made holy/set apart/purified the people with His blood outside the gate
        Heb 13:20 the God of peace who brought up Jesus from the dead, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.
        Rev 1:9,10 from Jesus Christ…to Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and made us kings and priests to His God and Father forever.
        Rev 5:9,10 You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood…and made us kings and priest to our God.

        hypocrites, and do not mean in our hearts to sin no more, then God is not fooled and will not tolerate us. He will help us again and again as long as it takes to gradually become more like Yeshua. He will carry us from time to time. But He will surely spit us out of we are not passionate about our quest to become sin free.

        Scripture for “will not tolerate us”?

        Scripture that we have to become sin free? Scripture that we have to be passionate about being sin free otherwise He spits us out of His mouth?

        Your words negate His passion that made us sin free at the cross!

        I am speaking The Truth here, and you recognise that. If you maintain your comfortable delusion, you are to some extent complicit in your own deception. You will go to a lost Eternity if you cannot turn again to God and His ways, forsaking the sins of your past.

        Looks like your position is that we can lose our salvation? It is up to us to maintain our salvation? How does that fit with ‘you are saved by grace and not by works, lest any man should boast’?

        Those who work at their own salvation, guided and helped by The Holy Spirit, will keep what they have been freely given. The work of redemption, of refining us into the beings we ought to be, will be completed by God for us at the time of the death of our mortal bodies so that uncorupted, and finally uncoruptible, we will inherit our place in Heaven. On the other hand, hypocrites will be cast out with liars, cheats, and all those who prefer ungodliness.

        Contextually, it would be more accurate to consider your reference of liars…ungodliness being cast out (Rev 21:8?) needs to be considered in light of Rev 22 the last chapter of the Bible – where the sorcerers, immoral, idolaters, liars who are outside the Holy city (whose four doors are never shut) have the opportunity to responds to the Spirit and the Bride who say to them “Come” – let him who thirsts come, whoever desires let him take the water of life freely. (Rev 22:15,17)

        I expect you to do your own scripture research to test the correctness of my words here.

        How can I test the correctness of your own words since you give no scriptures to back them up?

        If you just search for the things you can take out of context and twist to get the free licentiousness you seek, then you will die (eventually) in your sins, and will bear the consequences.

        I do agree that scriptures can be taken out of context. Many doctrines and beliefs come from ‘cut and paste’ Christianity!

        Amazing that you conclude that I am seeking free licentiousness! If you arrive at that from the reading of just one of my posts (this one about where the doctrine of ‘repentance came from) and have not read any other posts then your presumptions and assumptions of my spiritual well-being are troubling and actually judgmental.

        A last comment I will make is that the sin of ignorance is listed as one of the seven deadly sins, so called because if not turned away from they will make true repentance impossible for you.

        I cannot find the “sin of ignorance” in the Bible, let alone the list of seven deadly sins. Can you please share those references?

        In Biblical sense, Ignorance is not a lack of knowledge, but the refusal to learn. None of this is ‘legalistic”. God knows our hearts and this is what He judges us by and for.

        Do you have a scripture (or passages that give the Biblical sense) for ignorance being the refusal to learn? I’m never heard that explanation before. However, I find the definition of ‘ignorance’ explained in Pr. 24:12 – “If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this.’, Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it?” Paul even shared that he obtained mercy because he acted ignorantly in unbelief. (1Tim 1:13)

        Indeed God does know our hearts! He knows our true identity and origin. That is why Jesus came not to judge the world but to save it, to deliver it, to restore it to His original intentions of our true identity in reflecting Him- being made in His likeness and image.

        Obviously His original intention is not totally manifest here in our visual realm yet. Truly sin is abounding in our days – but where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. (Rom 5:20) Does that mean ‘sin away’! Absolutely not! When we come into our true identity that is the last thing we want to stoop to – a false identity. We want to be the new creation He made us to be. And He is faithful to accomplish that.

        Please open yourself to the leading of The Holy Spirit so that you can have and maintain your right relationship with God. After all is said and done, it is
        just between you and He.

        Neavei, thank you for your concern about my spiritual well-being. Please know I am open to the Holy Spirit’s leading and I know my right relationship with Him is only possible through what Jesus Christ did in His incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension.

        When I do sin my response is not to ask for forgiveness from God anymore. I have come to see the fullness of Jesus’ actions. Scripture is very clear that all sin has been forgiven and taken away in order to redeem and restore us to our true identity before time began. After all He is the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world.

        With fuller understanding of His abounding grace, my response when ‘blowing it’ is now along the lines of – “Thank you Father that this sin too has been cleansed, I’m sorry, I remember that is not who I really am, that is not who You say I am either. I want Your life to naturally flow through me more and more. I do not have to nor do I want to stoop to the false identity of sinner, to hurtful ways, to that of a loser, of having to work harder to get cleaned up, to do right, to please You. The real me pleases You with great delight – that is who I am and that is who I want to shine forth. Thank you God that you will perfect what You began, even before time began. (Php 1:6 2Tim 1:9,10) Great joy is mine – not guilt, fear, and striving. Thank you that You are maturing me to the full stature of Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit that you enable me to live more and more in that absolute abandon of the fullness of freedom in Christ Jesus! It is Your wondrous work in me and all people. What a Savior! What a One True God!”

        Of course if my ‘blowing it’ ended up offending/hurting another person – then I ask them for forgiveness and admit how wrong I was toward them – whether the wrong was intentional or inadvertent. God is all about restored relationships, healthy relationships, and life-giving relationships. Understanding more fully His salvation it has widened and deepened all my relationships. I am richer for it, yet still being stretched to love more. For all of it I am so thankful.

        Blessings and fullness to you Neavei.

      • Nancy, thank you for your comments.
        I too am having trouble finding the scripture that defines ignorance as the refusal to learn. That surprises me. Perhaps I will find it again in time.\
        Please, I am not judging you or anyone else either. I do find some of your ideas conflict with my understanding of scripture. You are of course correct in saying we cannot earn our forgiveness. That Catholic idea of doing penence is foolish at best. But that does not mean we are free to continue as we did before we found our Saviour. Over time we are changed, and no longer want to do the things we did previously, but this happens slowly. From glory to glory. Meantime we must do our best and when we stumble must go to God in repentance. Repentance, as you have said does, include turning away from sin as well as being sad that we did sin again. God knows our heart. perhaps I overstressed the need to work at not sinning as we are saved by Grace. The thing is; if we do not work at it how will we go from glory to glory? The Holy Spirit brings first this thing, then that thing, little by little bringing us into alignment with God’s will. We must keep going forward toward our goal of being like Jesus. If we are not going forward we will be going backward.
        Heb 3:13, 13:5; 1Cor. 6:9-11;
        Prov. 6:16-19;
        Col.3:8; Gal. 5:19-21 Rev. 20:1;!JN. 1:9;
        5:13-17; Lev. 20:13
        Shalom,
        Neavei

      • Dear Neavei,

        I sure do appreciate your honesty and sincerity.

        I certainly understand how some of my ideas conflict with your understanding of scripture. Several years ago I would have conflicted with them too!

        I whole-heartedly agree that if one is in Christ but remains in sin then heartache and pain is their lot. Either in their encounter with Christ Jesus they never grasped who He says they are or their hurtful past traps them and owns them.

        Your passages Col 3:8 and 1Cor 6:9-11 certainly spell out non-life giving actions: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, etc. All of these are contrary to who God says we are.

        But it is interesting that Paul immediately bring encouragement by reminding them who they really are. “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised… but Christ is all in all.. Therefore put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, forgiving one another…” (Col 3:13)

        I like Pauls’ elaboration on his ‘sin’ (old man) point – “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now since we died with Christ (see Heb 10:12,14 9:28 2Cor 5:14,15), we believe that we shall even live with Him, knowing that Christ, having be raised from the dead, dies no more…for the death He died, He died to sin once for all.” (Rom 6:6-10) Great Good News!

        I am grasping that instead of focusing on sin, the Gospel points to the focus of our being redeemed, reconciled, and restored. The beauty of Jesus is our portion and it is His life that flows out of us. To focus on the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) is so live-giving.

        Isn’t it interesting that the word sin in the Greek (hamartia – ha –negative, without; meros – form) means ‘without form, without substance, without identity. Since ‘sin’ has no substance, it leaves one empty. The activity of sin is actually the activity of a false identity which is empty! Those who sin or continue in sin are living lies. Lies that do not bring life, peace, joy, goodness, kindness, etc.

        God has overlooked the times of ignorance and now commands all men everywhere to repent (change your mind about who you really are!). (Acts 17:30) Why? Because God appointed a day by which He would judge all mankind in righteousness by the Man Christ Jesus. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and He died our death. Then He was raised because we were declared justified, made righteous! (Rom 4:25) The resurrection of Jesus powerfully displays the eternal testimony of man’s innocence! One man’s act of righteousness for all men resulted in justification of life for all. (Rom 5:18) To get this comes from revelation. When revelation happens, we put on the new man as Paul speaks of in Colossians. ‘Put on’ in the Greek means to ‘sink into’ – it does not involve striving. Indeed, we are new creations!

        Neavei, you mentioned how we slowly change in terms of not wanting to do the things we did before. I agree, there is a process of maturing into Jesus’ full stature.

        You use ‘from glory to glory’ to explain this slow change. Have you considered the context of that phrase in 2Cor 3? Paul is speaking of the law versus the new covenant. The letter (of the law kills) but the Spirit gives life. (v.6) He called the Law the ministry of death engraved on stone. He also referred to it as the ministry of condemnation. Yet he said the law had glory and was glorious even though it was fading away. Even as Moses’ face had a glory and he put a veil over his face so the children of Israel could not look steadily at what was fading away.

        The children of Israel did not realize this Law was only temporary. God never did make Man to live by rules. We were made to have His life and to live by the life of Christ Jesus. That is why those who continue to look to the Law, to rules, to rituals will remain blind. (v14) – because only in Jesus (the Good News of grace) is the veil taken away.

        Paul makes clear the ministry of righteousness (the new covenant) exceeds much more in glory, than the glory that the law had. (v.9) The law was important in exposing our sin, but it was only like a tutor to lead us to Christ. (Rom 5:13 Gal 3:24-26)

        Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. (v.17) Thus, when we see the fullness of the glory of the New Covenant of grace then we mirror and reflect the same image of the Lord. We are transformed (Greek metamorphóō -(from metá, “change after being with” and morphóō, “changing form in keeping with inner reality”) into the same image FROM (Grk apo – away from) glory (i.e. the lesser glory of the law) TO (Grk eis – properly, into (unto) – lit. “motion into which” implying penetration (“unto,” “union”) to a particular purpose or result.) glory (v18)

        Truly His glory is all about the covenant of Grace.(Jn 1:14).

        So the phrase “from glory to glory” is actually talking about moving from the lesser glory of the law into the glory of Jesus. Did you know that glory in the Greek basically means to ‘form an opinion’? His glory, His opinion is all about who He says we are (our true identity and origin in Him)! (Eph 1:18)

        Sorry, I could go on and on about what Jesus really did. As Francois du Toit said in his little book, “The Logic of Love” – the danger was never to exaggerate the gospel, but always to underestimate such a great salvation.

        Thank you Neavei , for this exchange. Blessings on your relationship with the One and only God!

        Shalom to you too,
        Nancy

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