FOCUS ON JESUS, NOT ON SIN – Ray E Horton
Many people get hung up on repentance and the need for it, believing that most people want to keep on sinning. But, for Born Again, sincere lovers of Jesus, that’s the last thing they want to do, and they are usually quick to repent, which is simply turning back to Jesus when we have missed it and trusting in His forgiveness.
Let repentance be the overflow
Repentance is something positive. It is a matter of motivation. The right motivation is appreciation for the goodness and love of the Lord
The best preaching to encourage Christlikeness isn’t a focus on sin and repentance, but on a close relationship and growth in Jesus, from which repentance as a lifestyle automatically flows.
We turn to Jesus rather than just fearfully following dead rules as many religious people do. Repentance is something positive. It is a matter of motivation. The right motivation is appreciation for the goodness and love of the Lord.
When I wrote that elsewhere, someone responded: “Dead rules? like stop killing people? stop stealing?
The answer, of course, is that all rules are dead letter unless obeyed in the spirit out of Christ-inspired motivation. I don’t avoid killing or stealing, etc. because of law but in appreciation and obedience to the law of love given by our Lord. The end result is the same, but from a right motivation.
Repentance is a key to the grace message
You know the old example, the punished child told to sit in the corner, who thinks, “I may be sitting on the outside, but I’m standing on the inside.” It’s a matter of the heart.
Some think that those who focus on God’s grace avoid repentance, not seeing a need for it. But repentance is a key part of the true grace message, a changing of the mind and a turning to Jesus by faith, rather than trusting in our own works.
Staying close to Jesus and focusing on Him, rather than on ourselves and our sin, leads much more effectively to godly living. We become more like what we focus on. All through life, when we repent, turning back from sin and dead works, grace empowers us to overcome and live victoriously.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7)
“…Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).
“… The goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans2:4).