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Page 179

In the heart of a regenerated person, the new nature loves that which the old nature hates - God's rule, will, work, honor, and Person. It also hates that which the old nature loves - self rule, will, work, and honor. Through God's regenerating grace, the new nature is placed on the throne in the essence of the will, in the inner recesses of the heart. The old nature, however, remains in the soul fighting against the new. This struggle between the two natures produces a spiritual warfare within the heart of a regenerated person. But blessed be God and His all-conquering grace! The old nature, which is defeated in principle in regeneration, will be totally destroyed in death. Only the new nature of all regenerated persons will ascend to be with God forever in heaven. The total victory shall belong to Christ, and through Him, to His Church.

What is repentance? True repentance is a sincere confession of, a godly sorrow for, and a firm resolution to turn from sin. There are other forms of regret, which are not true repentance.

Esau regretted his sin of despising his birthright, but his regret was motivated by selfish reasons. He was sorry he sinned because of the bitter consequences he experienced in missing the blessing of his father. Self-motivated regret is not true repentance. Real repentance is sorrow over sin because it is sin against God, because it is rebellion against His will. True repentance sincerely regrets sin, and genuinely desires to abandon it, even when no undesirable consequences will be suffered because of it. True repentance is motivated by true love - a sincere desire to please God and avoid that which is displeasing to Him; it is not motivated by self-love.


    To illustrate the difference between true and selfish sorrow for wrongdoings, a teacher questioned her class after telling the following story:

    "Suppose that after playing softball on the school playground one evening, two students each threw a stone at the building to see if either of them could throw that far. One of the stones crashed through a classroom window, but neither boy knew whose stone it was.

    "One boy went to his principal first thing the next morning and confessed what happened, expressed his regret, and offered to pay for the window's full replacement cost.

    "Several days later, the principal discovered from another source that a second person had also been stone-throwing. He was called into the office, where trembling, he also expressed his regret for what had happened.

    "Which of these repentances do you feel was more true and which more selfish?"

    How would you answer this teacher's question? Why?

 

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

- Romans 7:21-23

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

- Hebrews 12:16-17

And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also. O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.

- Genesis 27:38

 


True repentance can be referred to as consisting of three "C's" - confession, contrition, and conversion. What is meant by each of these terms?




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