NKJV - 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
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Although Christ's atoning death and resurrection are sufficient for all time with respect to sin, the fellowship between a Christian and God is broken when the Christian sins. The purpose of ongoing confession and repentance is to restore that fellowship, and remains necessary as long as Christians are in this world. Such confession and repentance are not something that a Christian should regard as a burden, but should actively seek, since the Christian should be grieved by the break in that fellowship. As David said after his sin with Bathsheba, "When I declared not my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long." (Psalm 32:3) In the very first of the ninety-five theses that Martin Luther nailed to the church door in Wittenberg that started the Protestant Reformation, Luther said, "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said, 'Repent ye', willed that the whole life of believers should be one of repentance."
Yes, I believe that once we were adopted into the family of God, his spirit is with us always. If you and your father are close and you do something that isn't right or even evil in his eyes don't you ask for his forgiveness? When the father offered up his son, the bridegroom, to come to Earth and prepare his bride for the wedding banquet to come, he knew what a wicked race, we humans were, he loves so much, he bore our sins, hanging from a cross at calvary. To go through all of that for the Agape Love he has for us as believers and followers it would all be in vain if we don't ask for forgiveness for our sins. Lord, I'm sorry you went through all of that for me; thank you so much. Please forgive all wrong in me, as I forgive the wrong done to me, in Jesus name, amen!
Acts 3:19 was written to the believing (Messianic) Hebrews who were awaiting their promised earthly kingdom. We today (Gentiles), living during God's dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:1-2), await God's heavenly kingdom (Ephesians 2:6). Repentance, from the Greek word μετανοέω, means to "change your mind". Israel had to change their mind on who Jesus Christ was, their promised Messiah, and be baptized. We today are saved by God's grace through our faith in what Jesus Christ did on the cross on our behalf (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and nothing of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9). We, as saved members of the church the body of Christ, should absolutely change our minds on living a life of continued sin. Will we sin again as saved members? Yes, but our goal is to no longer serve sin, as our understanding of who we are in Christ becomes clearer during our walk in faith. God is no longer imputing sins to anyone today (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). All our sins, past, present, and future, were nailed to the cross so that we are no longer burdened with the anguish of being unable to live up to God's requirements. Jesus Christ was perfect on our behalf, and God was in Christ on the cross reconciling Himself to the world (2 Corinthians 5:19). Our job is to reconcile ourselves to God through faith in Jesus Christ, believing the gospel that saves today: 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" When we believe this, we are sealed with the holy Spirit until the day of redemption, and thankfully not just until we sin again (Ephesians 4:30)…which we will most certainly do (Romans 7:22-25) KJV. Our faith in Jesus Christ makes us the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)! Turning from sin will not get our sins forgiven. Confessing our sins will not get our sins forgiven. Water baptism will not get our sins forgiven. Crying a scalding hot bucket of tears and begging God to forgive us will not get our sins forgiven. Our sins were already forgiven nearly 2,000 years ago (Colossians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 5:19), and our salvation occurs at the moment of belief in this, the gospel. Nothing that we ourselves do in the flesh can assist in what Christ has already completed for us (Ephesians 2:8-9, Colossians 2:10). It's literally how we accept Jesus Christ as our savior from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). We can’t save ourselves. Break the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1) and live in peace by accepting God’s free gift (Romans 5:18) through faith in what Christ accomplished on the cross for you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). You've been blessed with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), as believers instantly become members of the church which is the body of Christ (Colossians 1:24).
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