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Do we need to keep repenting?

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repentanceDo we need to keep repenting even though Jesus Christ died for our sins?

The answer to this is yes!

Two of the biggest teachings taught today among Christian circles is; 'Once saved, always saved' and 'because Jesus Christ died for our sins, past, present and future once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we are done and will receive all that was promised in the Bible'! These teachings if not taught correctly could be very dangerous.  If not taught correctly it could make Jesus' death a mockery. It could mean to some people that they could continue to murder, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc., and never be accountable.  For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (Hebrews 10:26-31, NKJV). This Scripture clearly shows us that wilfully sinning after we learn the truth, Jesus Christ will no longer cover us for our sins. Wilfully in greek is hekousios which means willingly as opposed to sinning from weakness or ignorance. Being saved is a free gift bestowed upon us by the grace of God, and to lose this would require deliberate wilfill sinning with absolutely no conscience or desire to change. It would also be when we knowingly reject Jesus and everything He stands for after we have followed and known Him. In saying this though I do not believe that we should fear losing our salvation. The word of God promises that Jesus will not let anyone snatch us out of our Fathers hand (John 10:28-29) and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). This means although we can lose our salvation God will not let us! God will not take your salvation from you as it is a free gift and to do this would make God a liar.  His gifts according to (Romans 11:29) are irrevocable.  To lose our salvation I believe is our choice.

The Bible is full of Scriptures warning us of the consenquence of sin. The following Scriptures show us to walk carefully in all His ways.  And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself, or do according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:47-48 NKJV).

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from', then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out (Luke 13:24-28 NKJV).

The second teaching I mentioned 'That once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, everything is forgiven, everything is broken and we are done' is also dangerous if not taught correctly. A couple of the Scriptures that are used for this are: And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:13 -14, NKJV). 
Then He adds, “Their
sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an
offering for sin (Hebrews 10:17-18, NKJV). 
But then we read Scriptures such as:  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 John 1: 8-10, NKJV).

Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you" (John 5:14, NKJV). 

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16, NKJV).

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15, NKJV).

“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses"  (Matthew 18:35, NKJV).

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19, NKJV). 

He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV).

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22, NKJV). Okay so this poses a problem.  Ever noticed that the Bible seems to contradict itself? 'Seems' being the operative word?  God's word is truth and does not lie, so there must be something we are missing. I decided to spend time searching the Scriptures to see what they said on these matters.  I then asked the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth.  This is what He showed me;  When we are born again, this is the beginning of our salvation experience - we are given the promise through the sealing of the Holy Spirit that our sins (past, present and future) are forgiven through the blood of Jesus, and we know we will be living in eternity with God in Heaven. We are not headed to Hell. This is a gift given through the grace of God.  We did nothing to earn this.  It is simply the work of Jesus on the Cross that allows this. When we believe in Jesus and His work on the cross for us, and make Him Lord of our lives, we receive the gift of salvation. We then receive a promise.  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14, NKJV). 

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree', that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13, NKJV). 

What actually is the curse of the law? A 'yoke of bondage' which is the penalty for not keeping the Law. Keeping the Law was all about trying to earn favor with God, and trying to earn our own salvation. The punishment system included death and damnation in hell, condemnation, curses, performance-orientation, and performing sacrifices and ceremonies to cover sins. It is about the punishment system of not being able to please God. When we receive the Holy Spirit at the beginning of our salvation, He dwells within our spirit. This is the seal that you are no longer bound to all these things. You are redeemed through faith only by God's grace by believing in the name of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us. No works on our behalf enabled this wonderful freedom. Only through God's grace can we receive this. Jesus freed us from the curse of the law, therefore we are no longer seen as unrighteous. Nothing can make us lose this promise except wilful sinning and rejecting the name of the Lord.
(Galatians 5:1-6, NKJV) says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.  And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love".  If you try to uphold the law in the belief that you can lose your salvation you are no longer under grace, so rejoice in this freedom that you are saved!

We are no longer under the law! The law of God is good because it shows us the standard in which we as followers of Christ should live, but keeping the law does not earn your salvation, or make you become righteous. It also does not earn you favour with God. You are already righteous because Christ in you makes you righteous through faith and you already have favour with God by believing in Christ for your salvation.  This is what is meant by you are no longer under the law. 

Should you still live by God's law? Yes because the law is good and right. Gods law is about right and wrong. Romans 7:12, NKJV: "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good". We need to choose to always do the right thing, but this in no way earns our salvation. Adhering to the Law of God is also a form of worship. It shows Him we love and respect Him. The Holy Spirit in us helps us to achieve this. We are not left on our own to achieve this and don't need to feel condemnation when we mess up. God knows we are imperfect and does not expect perfection from us. This is the sanctification process we walk through to become Christ-like. We cannot do this in our own strength, it is impossible. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil (Matthew 5:17, NKJV). I took the word fulfil back to Greek, which is pleroo and is translated 'complete' and 'to carry through until the end'. Jesus fulfilled the whole requirements of the law so we didn't have to. Why?  Because in our own strength it was impossible! His words 'It is done" means He fulfilled the requirements of the law set by God to inherit all that God had promised through the keeping of the law. Jesus then comes to complete and carry through to the end the fulfillment of His work on the cross 'through us' as we allow Him to sanctify and cleanse us from all sin through His Holy Spirit working in us. He helps us to achieve this. Gods objective is to transform us into the express image of His son Jesus.  This is possible and can happen to us whilst on earth.  It is when we are glorified - walking in the fullness of God with no spot or wrinkle, then and only then has Jesus completely fulfilled the law through us. In the next verse He goes on to say; For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18, NKJV). Currently Heaven and earth have not passed away!  This is still to come.

Salvation isn't just about living eternally in Heaven.  Salvation is also about attaining freedom for our bodies and souls from sickness and hurt. It is about financial freedom and provision in our lives. Many believe that works is part of earning their salvation, therefore if they don't strive in their works, they fear they are not saved, or cannot inherit Kingdom blessings.  This false belief inherently binds them to the whole law. They are no longer under grace. (Galatians 3:1-3 NKJV), O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?  Many have also used this same Scripture to continue in sin, proclaiming that Grace covers them.  As Christians we still have a moral law to adhere to. The Law of God which is written on our hearts, and in our minds and is based on Love. It is Gods moral character of RIGHT and WRONG, His Word, His Righteousness, Truth and Love. God's moral law of right and wrong stays the same today, yesterday and forever because God doesn't change. Many teach because we are no longer bound to the curse of the law we no longer need to repent and confess our sins.  They also believe we can't have demons, nor can we have sin within us anymore.  A scripture I have seen used time and time again to quote that we no longer have sin in us is 1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God  (NKJV). The Holy Spirit showed me what this really means; When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we are born-again, the part of us that is reborn is our spirit.  This part of us cannot sin, because it has been born of God. The Holy Spirit enters our spirit upon salvation.  Paul the Apostle teaches us we are a tripartite being made up of spirit, soul/heart (mind, will and emotions) and physical body.  Our flesh which is the carnal part of man can remain untouched and entrapped in sin with demonic strongholds. The fleshly part of us has not been born-again.  This part needs to be crucified, sanctified and brought into alignment with the born-again spirit. A war then begins between Spirit and flesh.  The flesh is contrary to the Spirit. 

Why does it not get re-born at the time or our salvation?

As far as God is concerned the work is done.  Jesus has offered His life for our life.  All we need to do is take it by submitting our spirits/souls, bodies, and entire lives to Jesus.  It is a swap.   He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:39, NKJV). This is harder than we think. There are many areas in our lives that we want to hold on to. Take pride for example, we need to exchange our pride for the humility of Christ. That is incredibly difficult. Man is incredibly prideful in many facets of life. We cling to these areas and stubbornly refuse God access to them. Sometimes we may think we are yielding them, but God sees our heart and knows when we are not. This poses a problem! Any area not submitted to God is not brought under the Blood of Christ. This means it stays in the hands of the devil. All unyeilded areas have not passed through the Cross. Christ is the door and to go through the door you need to also go through the cross. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9, KJV). All unyielded areas remain unchanged and untouched until you actually go through the Cross. Just as a dirty car has to go through a carwash to come out the other side clean, so do we have to go through the cross to come out the other side clean! All inherited sins, demons and curses from our ancestors also remain with us until they are dealt with by Jesus and brought through the Cross. The good news is that He has given us the keys on how to do this. We may need repentance, deliverance and healing in those areas before we can let them go and accept Christ into them. All unyeilded areas are still seen as sin and need to be confessed and sanctified by using the name and power of Jesus Christ. There is a walk we must go through to crucify the flesh. There is an old man and a new man.  I believe that when all unyielded areas pass through the cross we will no longer sin. We will be so changed that sin will no longer have dominion over us. It is all the old areas within us that are still carrying all the baggage. The new is new and won't receive curses, demons or even want to walk contrary to the Moral statutes of God.

How do we achieve this? The Bible tells us that God wants to sanctify our spirit, soul and body. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NKJV). We must yield to Christ and allow Him to change us through an outworking process. This is the next part of our salvation process.  We are being made Christ-like. Repentance is not about God condemning us, or telling us He no longer is pleased with us.  We should never strive to get approval from God.  God wants us to be free in Him, in the knowledge that He loves us even whilst sinners.  He created us and knows we are fallen creatures so by making Jesus Christ our Lord, God and Saviour. He fulfils the law in us, through Jesus.  The Holy Spirit in us helps our fleshly areas to be transformed into alignment with the righteousness of Christ through repentance, stumblings, our mistakes, opportunities, trials and the people He sends in our path.  The Bible clearly shows us that God loves a repentant heart, but it has never being about God condemning us.  God actually expects mistakes from us, He knows us better than we know ourselves and wants us to come before Him and ask for His help when we recognise sin in our life that we cannot overcome.  We need to realise that we simply cannot overcome things in our own strength and allow Christ to bring us into the freedom of His love and allow Him to change us. We should never strive, this only brings condemnation. When we are weak, He is strong. What God requires of us is to walk in loveLoving God is hating what God hates. When we walk contrary to the word of God we are actively sinning, as this is an un-yielded area. We are opening ourselves up to satan and his demons.  We give Him a legal right to inflict us. We are walking in the flesh and not in the spirit.  Are we still saved at this point?  Of course!  Are we still loved by God at this point?  Of course!  This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 John 1:5-10, NKJV). When you walk contrary to the moral law of God you can still get afflicted in your flesh (soul and physical body). There is still a natural consequence - a sequence of events that are affected by our decisions.  God is righteous and has a moral code of conduct of right and wrong that He wants all His children to abide by.  There is a cause and an effect.  A natural law of physics that the earths atmosphere runs upon.  Where there is dark, there is light.  Where there is a negative force there is an opposing positive force. Where there is good, there is bad.  When one makes a decision there will always be a consequence to that decision.  The consequence will either be good or bad.  It is our choice to make these decisions. It is God's natural law of disciplinary action taking place.  It was designed this way. For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? (Hebrews 12:6-7, NKJV). We have a choice to bless or curse ourselves and others! The good news is this natural law of physics although affecting us in our flesh and circumstances does not affect our relationship with God, neither does it affect our salvation status.  The punishment that dictated both those things is what Jesus removed at the Cross of Calvary! God took away punishment and left behind discipline. This is where confession and repentance come in.  It enables God to forgive us in our soulish areas, it breaks the legal right of satan and allows healing to take place. The Scriptures clearly show us that God can only forgive our flesh when we a). Confess our sins and repent (turn away) - true repentance is when we come into agreement with what the word of God says about sin, and b). When we forgive those who have trespassed against us. Our flesh cannot be set free when we are retaining sin. God's hands are tied because of unconfessed sin still operating in our lives. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained (John 20:21-23, KJV). I believe this scripture means that whose soever sins ye remit (sins that are confessed) they are remitted (forgiven), and whose soever sins ye retain (sins that are kept and not confessed) are retained (not forgiven).  I took this scripture from the KJV as studies show  the original New Testament transcripts were written in Greek, with the KIng James Bible being the closest interpretation to the original Greek text.  In the Old Testament the original transcripts were written in Hebrew, again studies showing the closest interpretation to the original Hebrew text is the New American Standard Bible.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13, NJKV).  Interestingly the Greek word  'soteria' translated 'salvation' in this scripture means 'molestation of enemies', which means we are to work out our molestation of enemies with fear and trembling.  After we receive the Holy Spirit we out work our salvation and become transformed to the image of Jesus (Who was sinless) and only through the Holy Spirit are we then able to actively uphold the Commandments spoken by Jesus. Jesus said to him, “ "‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40, NKJV).  We see that these two commands spoken by Jesus covers the whole law and they are about love.  Instead of seeing the law and focusing on the law it is actually far easier to instead focus on love - which is walking with Him in a personal relationship focused on loving Him, loving others and loving ourselves.

We must allow God to renew and bring our soulish areas into alignment with our born-again spirits.  Only through impartations of Gods love can we actually do this. Pray always for God to fill us with His love, and for God to teach us how to love Him, love ourselves and others. As we allow the Holy Spirit in us to do this we bring heaven to earth. This is where we receive the freedom promised in the Scriptures. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). Jesus Christ is the Key; He literally is the Key to unlock our bondages.  In the Old Testament every time one sinned they had to sacrifice an animal, confess their sins and give a blood atonement to be in right standing with God. Jesus Christ did away with this once and for all with His blood sacrifice.  He did this selfless act only once to cover all our sins - we now need to appropriate this in our own lives to receive the abundant life promised in the Scriptures. When we sin Jesus Christ stands in the gap for us. He didn't sacrifice Himself to 'do it all for us', He gave Himself for us to use, to call upon His Name so we can be set free in our flesh and blessed with the things promised in the Scriptures.  In other words, Jesus Christ suffered for our sins to give us the power to repent from them - no more blood sacrifices are required. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Romans 10:13, NKJV).

We may even need to come to the cross and repent in the name of Jesus Christ on behalf of our ancestors' sins, sometimes even specific sins; given through revelation from the Holy Spirit, because of the punishment crescendo mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:45-46, (NKJV) - "Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.  And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.  See Generational Curses 

Each time we commit sin we need to confess these sins with a repentant heart. This is not because we are no longer eligible for eternal life in Heaven, of course we still are - this is the eternal gift God promised to those who believe in Jesus. We do this because we love God and agree with His Word, not to mention attaining freedom in our own lives. It is also so we don't take God's grace for granted.

These doctrinal errors have kept people enslaved unnecessarily to sin and bondage. Yes Jesus Christ paid the price! Yes, He only needed to do it once, but we need to come back to the cross time and time again each and every time we sin. *****The only exception to this rule of repentance and forgiveness is when God decides to overrule it and use His trump card which is GRACE! Nothing trumps the Grace of God and it is at His discretion when He decides to use it. I  believe if we haven't repented and dealt with the things in our lives God needs us to, because of ignorance, pride or excuses then we will not receive the abundant life promised in the Scriptures to all who believe.

(See also Grace versus Works as this is a common unyielded area)

By Tania Francis