A Voice in the
Perhaps we now understand why so many people who 'go forward' so often at altar calls are never saved. They are invited to "give your life to Jesus". Trouble is, they are not told that they are "dead" (Eph2:1) They have NOTHING -TO- 'give', other than a grotesque dirty "menstruation cloth" (Is64:6 LIT); remember, the man is not to receive the woman's impurity of menstrual blood (Lev18:19), the same way God does not countenance sin (Is59:2). A dead person does NOT have any life -to- give! This is why Scripture says, "But as many as RECEIVED Him..." (Jn1:12) This "RECEIVing" is the reception of Jesus' life [nephesh], to become "children of God" through believing "in His name".
Perhaps this is why somebody like Dave Hunt is so "confused" about Repentance? (TBC Q/A Jan,2000) When he eventually spoke of repentance in (May,2000) while "[acknowledging] that we are vile sinners" and speaks of "turning from sin", in the next paragraph where he defines repentance he says, "..if we do not repent by turning to Christ through believing in Him.." he displays that he does not understand Biblical repentance which says, "God BE MERCIFUL to me, the sinner". (Lk18:13) That which says, "help my unbelief". (Mk9:24) He essentially equates Repentance as being synonomous with Faith. But they are not the same.
Repentance -realizes- that we are squirming "in [our] own blood", not being cared for, because satan "as our father" (Jn8:44 LIT) abandoned us when we were born "in sin". (Ps51:5) He aborted us, just like the menstruation of the 'morning after' pill. We were "without hope and without God". (Eph2:12) In this scenario, if repentance is the same as "turning to Christ" (as Hunt says), then, this explains why so many are confused into thinking that "repentance is a work". Salvation, and even our faith, is a "gift" of God, subsequent to His "grace" being bestowed when we cried out for mercy. (Eph2:8) Repentance is the realization and acknowledgement that we are in the toilet, about to be flushed down... that we are in that bag, abandoned in the dumpster. And God, "in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph2:7) comes along and sees us "squirming" (LIT) in the blood and says, "'Live!' Yes, [He says] to you in your blood, 'LIVE'!" (Eze16:6)
It is God's -pronouncement- of 'Life' upon us. It is "imputed" to us (Rom4:24) Invitations are given to come "Just as I am..." and "Christ receiveth sinful men". But remember that when Jesus invited "come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden" He took the sin -AWAY- "in His own body on the [cross]" (1Pt2:24), and our transgressions are "-REMOVED-..far..from us..as far as east is from west" (Ps103:12), because God does -NOT- receive sinful men!! When we are yet in sin His verdict is, "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Mt7:23) "..take him away, and cast him into outer darkness.." (Mt22:13) Jesus' invitation was not to come in order to have fellowship with us and become our friend in our state of "just as I am", but He says, "-I- will -GIVE- you rest". (Mt11:28) Many invitations for 'salvation' include the song, "is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?" Trouble is, we have nothing to give! The animals of sacrifice were to be "without blemish". (Ex12:5,29:1,etc) We are ravaged by the 'impurities' of sin. We are not 'fit' for sacrifice! Our sacrifice of ourselves is rejected by God, just as Cain's offering of works was. (Gen4:5) Only Jesus was "without blemish and without spot". (1Pt1:19) Only He, Jesus, could "give" anything. Only Jesus could "give His life a ransom". (Mt20:28)
We cannot give ourselves to Jesus. He "has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Eph5:2)
You see, as we observed recently from Ephesians ch2, the Faith with which we believed is the "faith -of- Christ" (Gal2:16), which was a "gift" (Eph2:8) -to- us. The Holiness of which we "partake" is "-His- holiness". (Heb12:10) And the "everlasting life" (Jn3:16) we receive is the Life -Jesus- "gave" (Mt20:28) because "Christ lives in me" (Gal2:20). "Christ..-is- our life" (Col3:4) Again, we have come full-circle. Just as the wife 'submits' to her husband and takes on his [nephesh] as he loves her (Eph5:22,25) and she becomes "suited to" him (Gen2:20), this human relationship exemplifies how Jesus "loved the church and gave Himself for it" in order that the church might be "presented to Himself" (vs25-27) It is all "..in Christ.." (2Cor5:17)
The "Blood" Series: