Do you recognize that being sorry for an action does not mean that you will not repeat that action? God desires that His people experience a transforming lifestyle.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Fully understand that the walk after the heart of God will never be an easy one. No, your flesh or carnality must be challenged to change.
The more the world shames the Holiness of God and His Holy Word, the more you must distance yourself from the ways of the world. Your heart must be found to be after God so much that you train your heart to despise anything that will separate you from the love of God.
The reason God sent forth John the Baptist was to set forth an introduction of what was indeed acceptable to Him.
Something was wrong. Something was amiss, and God would correct it.
What had gone wrong with those in power during that time?
- The Caesar, Governor, and Tetrarchs had authority to bring about CONVICTION. If you went and stood before them, they had the power to convict and then condemn you.
2. The High Priests had the power to hear the CONFESSION, if you went before them. Now understand that confession does not mean you will not go and do the same sin again. It merely means that you have confessed it this week. Next week, you could return to that High Priest and confess a repeat of that sin or a new sin.
Those two systems failed to bring about permanent change. God desired permanent change because He is a God who changes not. God wanted His people to confess a sin without returning to that sin.
God was finished with mankind’s attempt to be made whole via conviction and confession. There was the need for the exchange of the court and church religious system for a better system, a better way.
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin;
Conviction and confession are good but they do not guarantee a permanent change. So along came John the Baptist. John the Baptist would not preach conviction. John the Baptist would not preach confession. No, John the Baptist would preach REPENTANCE!
Repentance is vastly different from conviction and confession. You see, you can be convicted of a crime and still not have a changed heart towards the crime you committed. You can also confess your wrong but not have changed in your heart from wanting to repeat that wrong.
On the other hand, repentance involves conviction and confession and then goes to another ultimate step. Repentance communicates that the one confessing has been so convicted that they will never go back and repeat that sin again. In essence, they have “turned their back” on that sin, never to return again.
You see repentance set up something different to what had existed before that time. Repentance offered a confession to God, by your spoken word, and needed no human mediator. No, there was no need for an earthly priest because Jesus was the High Priest.
So John the Baptist arrived on the scene preaching the gospel of repentance. He was not teaching the rituals of the religious leaders nor the right and wrongs of the law. He was teaching the ways of The Lord, Jesus Christ.
Don't just be sorry. Don't merely speak about it through confession. Decide to change for good because God is so good that He sent the very image of His goodness in the person of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Blessings Abound!