No, Jesus Christ changes you! Faith is the bond of a living union with Christ. And when Christ enters a life, He comes to forgive you and to make you holy. He accepts you as you are, but His grace will never leave you as you are. We end up with a form of faith that does not change our lives. The world despises this, and it is right to do so. Repentance, which involves a change of direction, has been reduced to merely admitting that I am a sinner and saying a prayer. Listen to Scripture, and try to take in how far the Bible is from the kind of message that often poses under the banner of Christianity today.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him and to our God for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah Stop doing what you are doing. Or listen to this from the New Testament:. I remember as a year-old, hearing Alan Redpath, a seasoned preacher, near the end of his life:.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
God has not promised to forgive one sin that you are not willing to forsake. Union with Christ that humbles the sinner and leads to a holy life has been replaced by an emaciated form of faith that can easily be added to the American dream. Faith has been redefined to accommodate our intransigence. Repentance has been reshaped to fit our indulgence. Most of us have been immersed in this emaciated faith all our lives.
The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. How would that be known? They do not know, even in the gathering for worship, the joy and the blessing of a person who has discovered that in Christ they have all that they need. This theme of spiritual mourning is of critical importance to the whole church in our time.
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Spiritual mourning follows naturally from becoming poor in spirit. When you see that you do not have what it takes, you will mourn over the sins that are yours, and mourn over the righteousness that you do not have.
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Swinging on that first ring of being poor in spirit will lead you to the second ring of the mourning that is blessed. You swing on the first and it will get you to the second and so on. So how can you learn to hate what you used to love and love what you used to hate?
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You have to start on the first ring. You might not be able to tell the difference between spiritual mourning and natural mourning in another person, but you can tell the difference in your own heart. The Bible tells us the story of Saul, a high achiever with a twisted heart. Saul was the first King of Israel. He led his army into battle and then took plunder for himself and for his men. He cheated, deceived and stole, and then he lied to cover it up. But later he was found out. Samuel confronted him with the truth, and Saul had nowhere to hide.
ilrlinranherzmus.ml So Saul confessed. He said he was sorry. He appears sorry, but the truth is that he would have continued what he was doing, if he could. He says he is sorry but his focus is on damage limitation. There has not been a change of heart.
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A true Christian does not live in a cycle of sinning, saying sorry to God and then repeating the same behavior, year after year after year…. Why do we know so much of habitual sin? Because we know so little about mourning. Here is a person who is content to sin and assume forgiveness but does not mourn, and does not change. That is not walking the path of repentance. That is walking the path of presumption. God announces mercy for mourners.
Those who are not mourners have nothing to do with mercy. If you have never been down on your knees before God, feeling what a wicked man or woman you are, I doubt hugely whether you will ever stand with radiant face before God, and praise Him through eternity for His mercy to you. Judas grieved over his sin in betraying Jesus, but he did not have spiritual mourning, why? His grief led him to despair. Grief that leads to despair is the work of Satan, not the Holy Spirit.
Satan brings you to despair of self, but he never brings you to hope in Christ. The Holy Spirit brings you to despair of self and to hope in Christ. Hope is a signature mark of spiritual mourning. There are two sides to the coin on genuine Christian experience. True Christians mourns their sins. But they never end there. Our mourning is infused with hope, and so we lay hold of the comfort that is in Christ. How will they be comforted? What in all the world can comfort people who feel the weight of their own sin? A better question would be: Who can comfort people who feel the weight of their own sin?
Christ knows all about spiritual mourning, not because He mourned over his own sins.
He had no sins to mourn. But He mourned over the sins of the world, and grieved over their devastating effect. See Him mourning over Jerusalem—coming down the Mount of Olives, He weeps over a city that rejects Him and is headed for destruction. Writing years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah spoke of what the Redeemer would do when He came. Why did He come into the world? Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows… He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities. The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah , There is a beautiful verse in 1 Corinthians 6.
I am cleansed! I have been washed. I am justified before God. Sanctification has begun in me, and one day it will be complete—all because of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. What do you know of this in your life? Permissions: You have permission and are encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format you choose, as long as you do not alter or change the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproducing these materials.
New Heart English Bible Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Aramaic Bible in Plain English Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. They will be comforted. Jubilee Bible Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted. American King James Version Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
American Standard Version Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Douay-Rheims Bible Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.