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The Holy Spirit and the Repentant Heart

This blog on the Holy Spirit, I believe, is crucial to our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. True discipleship is rooted in repentance. When a person makes the discovery of their frail sinfulness, they want, in their hearts, a better way. The Holy Spirit is our guide and gives us the strength to endure. Just because a person receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, does not mean that the life they live will be without hard times. The Holy Spirit is sent to you for that purpose from your conversion. Why? It is because Jesus Christ knows that it is a fight you cannot fight on your own. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the God and He loves us so much that He gave us not only His Son, but His Spirit as well. God is good, all the time!

The Need for Reconciliation with God Through the Holy Spirit

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

The most beautiful words ever spoken can be found in Jesus’ teachings in the His “Sermon on the Mount.” The entirety of the sermon set the standard and started the ministry that would forever change the world. Consider the vehicle used by God the Father to fulfill His purposes and Will, the Holy Spirit. It is because of His Son, Jesus, that the Father does have mercy and grace towards us. Jesus voluntarily left His throne in heaven and chose to be born into humanity as a commoner to show His creation how much He loves them. He knew the outcome of His stay as He interacted with humanity, ultimately death. Regardless, Jesus remained faithful to the call of the Father. Jesus said that He only says and does what the Father tells and shows Him. We are called in this same manner. It was only through the power of the His Holy Spirit that He could carry out the call. It was a difficult task to fulfill. You may say, “well Jesus was God so He was more than able to accomplish what God gave Him.” True, but consider the fact that Jesus was not only God, the second person of the Trinity, he was also human.

When we consider the beatitudes and these basic teachings of Jesus, we must first look at the very beginning for understanding. Jesus wanted the disciples to comprehend the idea of humility and with that a total surrender of the heart. Repentance is a total reversal or changing of the life lived by the individual who has given their life to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. He asked us first to be humble, poor in spirit. We must turn away from the evil, sinful life that we are bound to and humble ourselves to a Holy and Glorious God. Humility is the opposite of pride. Jesus says that the humble person will be lifted and He will give them rest. This is only the beginning. The next step is repentance. Repentance logically follows when a person’s heart has been humbled and that person is willing to reject sin and submit to the loving embrace of Jesus Christ in their lives. When the tainted spirit of the person reaches from the depths of their sinful life and receives the Spirit of God for redemption, then the person can find the peace that passes all understanding. The Holy Spirit is sent to you and me for guidance and strength throughout the process of sanctification to a transformed life.

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.”
(Joel 2:12-13 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit plays a pivotal role in the whole redemptive process for the believer. We are unable to accomplish salvation in our own power. Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we must rely on the work of the Holy Spirit to empower us to finish the race set before us. In this passage from the prophet Joel we see a simple request from the Lord. It is a call to repentance. He is telling them to turn to Him with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Why is this necessary? We are a sinful and fallen people. Truthfully, we would never be able to do enough for God to redeem our relationship with Him. The beauty of the whole big picture set in motion by God from the beginning is that He loves us despite our faults and sins. Jesus paid the debt that we could not repay, in full. Praise God for His Grace! God told His people to turn back to Him with all their hearts. But, He saw that there needed to be more before true repentance could be achieved.

The Jewish custom, as a sign of repentance or mourning, they would tear their robes as a sign of remorse or rejection of a word or person. God told His people to rend their hearts and not their garments. He went to a deeper level for true and whole repentance. One must not just show repentance outwardly, but they must rend their hearts for a new one to be created and formed back to the original image of God. Jesus has called all to repentance for the sake of the gospel. We would not have ever repented apart from being humbled to enter the presence of a Holy God. In the second part of this passage, God relents from doing any harm to you, if you repent. He is gracious and merciful. No matter how good you think you might be, you will never be good enough to stand in the presence of a Holy God without the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. God will look to your heart to see where your desire truly resides. Is your desire for a relationship with Jesus Christ or are you totally focused on the accomplishments of the world that the only time you look for God is in moments of crisis?

What does the Holy Spirit Promise to a Mournful Spirit?

  1. Answer to Prayer

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

This is probably one of the most popular scripture verses that pertains to the promises of God concerning those with repentant hearts. There are whole movements within Christianity that focus solely on this verse. Powerful and incredible, if we truly follow it. God gives the believer four simple things to do for Him. The first three are in preparation for the fourth. First, if we are called by the name of the Lord God then we will humble ourselves. Because we are prideful by nature this is a hurdle to accomplish. Humility, in the world’s eyes, means weakness. So, as humans with sinful natures, we tend to gravitate toward the negative. And this does not mean humbling ourselves. We must humble ourselves to receive an answer to prayers in our lives. The next step is to pray. Communication with God is the most important thing we can do. In any relationship, communication is the key. The person who truly repents in Jesus’ name with all their heart will receive answer to their prayers. The answer may not come when you want it or what you want. But, God is faithful and just and He loves those who are called by His name and answers their prayers.

The person who first humbles themselves and then prays will naturally seek the face of a Holy God with a repentant heart. Remember that God knows your heart and your motives toward Him. Seeking the face of God is a total commitment to the pursuit of God and His righteousness. He honors that in the individual. When a person is seeking after the face of God, nothing else matters by God. True repentance is found in this same thought. A person is mourning because of the wretchedness of their soul before a Holy God. What do you think you are going to find once you find the face of God? Will He recognize you? Is the Holy Spirit leading you and guiding in your pursuit of the face of God or are you going in your own power? The fourth of these is found to be the culmination and the effect of the previous three conditions. We must turn from our wicked ways to stand in the presence of God. All that has been spoken of to this point was directed to this final condition. If we turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven, forgive us of our sins, bring healing to us and answer our prayers.

  1. Pardon for Sin

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
(Isaiah 55:7 NKJV)

The pardoning of a violation of a known law or trespass is not unheard of today. In fact, nearly every president of the United States has pardoned prisoners. It is called a Presidential Pardon, I guess for lack of a better term. But, for God, we cannot imagine why He would do such a thing. After all, God is God and sin is sin! Why does He care so much for humanity, who kicks sand in His face and spits on Him every chance we get? Love! Why should He even care if we repent of our sins, when He knows that we will do the same thing again and again? Love! But, not just any love as we understand the notion. You see, God’s love is unconditional which is something human beings have no concept. In Isaiah 55:7, he is speaking concerning the pardon of sin. Regardless of how wicked our life may become and unrighteous our thoughts may be, God will have mercy on us if we return to Him. He said that He will abundantly pardon you. This means that you will be forgiven! You’ve heard, and probably said, the statement, “I can forgive but I can never forget.” For the believer in Jesus Christ to grow in their relationship with Him they must not only forgive an individual for their sin against them, but they must move forward and make every attempt to forget. You might say, “that is impossible!” With the Lord, all things are possible. We expect Him to forget our sins against Him should we lessen our responsibility and not make the same effort?

In Luke chapter seventeen verses three and four, Jesus said to rebuke those who sin against you. But, if they repent, then you must forgive them. Also, He said that if the brother sins against you seven times in a day and comes back to you and repents, forgive him. This is a very difficult thing to do. If God can do it with us, then we must do it with others. The real hard side of this whole notion of pardon and forgiveness is that we are unable to fully accomplish this on our own. It is the Holy Spirit, God’s own Spirit, given as an act of forgiveness toward us so we are empowered to forgive others. The Holy Spirit is also given to assist the Christian in moving forward with their life and not to dwell in the past. How are we able to truly forgive as God has forgiven us? By allowing the Holy Spirit to give you focus for the future and Will of the Father and not live in the hurts of the past. When we repent, He will cast our sins as far as the east is from the west and He remembers them no more. Wow! What amazing love, grace and mercy on an unworthy soul!

  1. Life Eternal

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

(Ezekiel 18:21 NKJV)

The two above scriptures speak volumes concerning repentance in the individual. The most popular verse in all of scripture is John 3:16. We were taught this from childhood in Sunday School. It remains the most beautiful scripture concerning repentance ever quoted. This is because it is simple in the way it portrays the relationship that the Father and the Son have with those who believe and choose to follow Him as Savior. The reward is not death but eternal life. The whole reason most people say yes to Jesus is for the reward. We are a very conditional people, so God, in establishing Covenants with His people, set conditions that put the control in our hands. All of this is based and rooted in God’s love. His unconditional love. God made covenants with His people repeatedly because He knows that deep down is the good He originally created. Everything God does is for the love of His creation because He is love. When He says that “whosoever believes,” He is not just talking about the basic believer but the one who truly repents.

When God speaks through Ezekiel in verse twenty-one of chapter eighteen, He says that if a person turns from all their sins that they committed, then He will have eternal life. Also, as another condition to this idea was that they must keep all the statutes and do what is lawful and right. There were three conditions that God set as the standard for the people to follow; repent, keep His commandments or statutes, and do what is lawful and right. Does not this sound like most of the foundational teachings of Jesus? It is amazing the consistencies throughout the Old and New Testaments. What are you willing to do for eternal life? Do you know why we don’t take our Christian life seriously? It is because there is a true lack of understanding of eternal life. Humans have no way of proving it, so our faith only carries us to a certain level of belief until we finally begin to backslide. We do not know how to justify the concept of eternal life. Our minds think in temporal terms of time as we understand it. We are merely a tiny speck on the timeline of eternity. It is difficult for us to grasp that God even knows we exists. Besides the fact that He wants a personal relationship with us. The incredible, gracious love of God!

  1. Comfort

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted
. (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 NKJV)

Jesus said, when He goes to the Father that He would send them another comforter or helper. The one thing that is needed in the Christian life is a comforter. Evil is rampant in the world and Jesus provides, through the Holy Spirit, comfort and peace in times of trial and tribulation. He calls all people to repentance. The greatest moment of comfort and peace is when a person repents and their sins are forgiven by God. The Holy Spirit, coming into the life of that person, brings the peace and comfort in a bad situation. The beatitude that Jesus states is that Blessed you are when you mourn. This mourning is in the soul or repentance. He said that they would be comforted. This is great news because we should realize that we are not alone in our struggles. But strength comes to those who are weak and cry out to the Lord with all their heart.

The Luke passage brings a question to most people’s minds of why. Why would a person who had a stray leave the herd be concerned for the one when they have ninety-nine more sheep? No loss, right? Wrong. Jesus voluntarily came down from His throne in heaven so no one would die in their sins but would have the opportunity for eternal life. This is the incredible gift that the Holy Spirit was sent to reveal to us. We would be condemned by our peers if we were to leave a herd of ninety-nine to find lost sheep. The common idea is that it is not logical. The whole of Christianity is illogical, but that is because God’s thoughts and ways are not ours. I, for one, am glad. Because if I would have created the creation, I would have messed it up, thrown up my hands and walked away at the first sign of trouble. If we are honest with ourselves, that is true for everyone. Glory be to God the Father and His Son through the Holy Spirit that He never does that with us!

  1. The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

(Acts 2:38 NKJV)

The Apostle Peter was the walking billboard for repentance. He never withheld his thoughts on any subject, particularly when it concerned Jesus. The gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift. There is no other way to state it. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God the Father gave the Son to the world. Then, the Son gave the Holy Spirit to the world. Thus, the Holy Spirit leads those who believe from that world into life eternal. We must first repent of the sins in our lives to receive forgiveness and the promise of God. Many people struggle with the notion of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is believed that the Holy Spirit is only given to certain groups or individuals. This is true if you consider those whosoever believe in the Son and repent of their sins. Does this mean that only certain Christians have the Holy Spirit in their lives and others don’t? No. If we repent of our sins and believe that Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins and rose from the grave to be at the right hand of God the Father, then He sends His Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and lead these into eternal life.

The Holy Spirit is a gift from God to those who believe in the Son. We must worship and serve Him with all our hearts. Do you love Him today? Are you willing to serve Him despite the costs? The Apostles, including Paul, considered life or death in the Lord as a win no matter how you viewed it. Everything in the Christian way of life is defined by paradoxes. Therefore, the world hated and rejected the light and chose the darkness. Are you willing to step into the light and accept the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you to the life that you were created for today?

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, help us in our unworthiness and forgive us of our trespasses. Lord, we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Guide us and lead into all righteousness for Your name’s sake that we may glorify You in all that we do. Teach to follow Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

~ by jhamiltonweston on March 18, 2017 .

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