Either sometime last year or early this year, I wrote a Note about the self-righteous and repentance and I think that I should share it here. I wrote:

When a Believer who has committed sin comes to his senses and repents, the self-righteous, pride-filled ‘professer’ of Christ says (whether audibly or through his actions): “The Lord may have excused you but I cannot! The Lord may have forgiven you but I have not! The Lord may have blotted out your transgressions but I am still disgusted by what you have done and will not! In my eyes, it will be a scar you wear forever and don’t even think of doing anything mighty for God! You’re done with. You’re toast! Your blemish is an eternal blemish that not even the blood of Christ can make clean.”

What foolish thinking!

Irrespective of how people may look down on you even after you have repented and confessed your sins before God, remember, that how God sees you is all that matters. His forgiveness is what matters. You are accepted by Him and there isn’t anything anyone can do about that.

The blood of Jesus is able to save to the uttermost and is potent enough to cleanse you and me from ALL unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 assures that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Psalm 51:17 testifies, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Even David could attest to the wonderful grace and forgiveness of God, when his children come to him in confession and genuinely express godly sorrow for their sin. In Psalm 51:1-14 for example, after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had had her husband killed to hide her pregnancy, in repentance for his great wrongs, David prayed:

  • “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
  • Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  • Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.”

It was this same David that declared joyously in Psalm 32, after he had been chastened by the Lord for some kind of sin, had genuinely seen the error of his ways and acknowledged his wrong before God in humble repentance:

  • Blessed is he whose transgression is FORGIVEN, whose sin is COVERED. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will CONFESS my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou FORGAVEST the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
  • For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.” 

Having experienced God’s forgiveness, he then continued on in relationship with the Lord, whom he was confident, in his faithfulness, would preserve him, compass him and deliver him from trouble. He was also confident that God would still instruct, teach and guide him as he moved forward in life, so much so, that he was glad and rejoiced.

He stated in verses 7-14:

  • Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt PRESERVE me from trouble; thou shalt COMPASS me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will INSTRUCT thee and TEACH thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will GUIDE thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
  • Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Be GLAD in the Lord, and REJOICE, ye righteous: and SHOUT FOR JOY, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Notice that David did not say to sit down in a corner and cry your eyes out forever and feel guilty and ashamed and condemned and useless forever and that in your life, all is lost, forever. No. There is a time for everything under the sun. There was the time when David wept before God and having confessed his sin and obtained his forgiveness, he was now GLAD, and REJOICING and SHOUTING FOR JOY.

Don’t allow people to discourage you therefore. The enemy uses them (even in the Church), to keep you feeling down, suppressed and so that you will never rise up again to do great exploits for the Lord.

Can you imagine what would have happened, had Peter in the Bible, continued to carry the burden of his sin for denying Christ, forever? He would have been of no use to Jesus and we certainly wouldn’t have benefited from his writings in scripture, as we do today. He committed a grave sin (thrice!) by denying Jesus, something that Jesus told him he would do before the cock crew. When he heard the cock crow and realized that he had denied his Lord, not once, not twice but three times, so as to selfishly protect his own life, he went out and cried bitterly. He genuinely repented of his sin and Jesus, the one who has power to forgive sins, forgave him and restored him. He then included him in his Kingdom mandate, to reach lost souls and edify the Church.

Knowing that he had genuinely repented of what he’d done, when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, he did not exclude Peter and there is no record that he scolded him and he did not cast him irredeemably out of the fold. Instead, after appearing unto the disciples twice when they were gathered together in doors, one with Thomas absent and the other time present, Jesus then appeared the third time to seven of them (including Peter), at the sea of Tiberias. When the disciples were on the shore and had dined with the Lord, instead of rebuking Peter and regarding him as if he had no further use, he asked him three times (the same amount of times that Peter had denied him), whether he loved him. When Peter answered affirmatively thrice, he instructed him to feed his sheep, meaning to nourish those who were saved in the body of Christ with the truth of his Word, so that they could grow spiritually.

John 21:15-17 reads:

  • “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
  • He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
  • He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

Irrespective of the wicked, pompous heart of man, God’s heart, even in the Old Testament times, has always been about reconciliation and restoration.

When you return sincerely to Jesus, self-righteous, self-delusional people may cast their haughty noses down at you (although ironically, they too are great sinners but see themselves as perfect or better than you) but despite their disapproval, God approves of you and all of heaven rejoices, for the prodigal has returned.

Romans 8:33-39 KJV reminds us:

  • Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

(Written in 2019 or early 2020, added to thereafter)

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