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God's relationship with the nation of Israel provides some great insights into how God deals with sin in our lives. When Israel committed adulteries by making idols and worshipping false gods, they were confronted with their sin by God's messages through his prophets. They were called to confess their sin, repent (turn away from it) and return to a pure and sincere devotion to God. Some people responded to God but many people didn't. What was the difference? FAITH. Some people had a genuine faith in God and responded by forsaking their sin. Others continued in their unbelief, indulging their sinful human nature. The same is true for our world today. There are only two groups of people; those who have faith and those who don't have faith. Many people outright reject God and their unbelief is evident to all. Other people claim to have faith in God but it is lip service only. People claimed to be Israelites but their hearts were hard and cold toward God. However, some people claim to have faith in God and it is evident by the way they live their lives in devotion to God. Some people claim to be Christians because of cultural expectations or family traditions. They can speak the lingo and put on a good front, but there is no genuine and authentic faith in their hearts. Repentance is an attitude of our hearts that demonstrates we have a genuine faith in God. We willingly confess our sins to God. We are deeply sorry for offending God by our sinful rebellion against his will for our lives. We want with all our hearts to forsake our sin and turn toward God to experience his love and acceptance that meets our every need. Sometimes the sin has such a powerful hold on our lives that we can't break free from it (ie addictions), and we must wait on the Lord for his deliverance. But God knows our heart of repentance and will deliver us in his own way and time. The apostle Paul had a man expelled from the church in Corinth because he was having an affair with his step-mother and everyone in the church new about it. Paul said, let him be tortured by Satan until he comes to his senses. Later, Paul instructed the church to welcome him back into fellowship because he had repented. He was demonstrating saving faith. In my view, a person who is blatantly refusing to acknowledge and repent of their sin has no saving faith in their heart. Such a person is condemned to eternal destruction because of their unbelief. Saving faith is revealed by repentance; that is a foundational truth of the bible.
We have an example in First Corinthians 5:5. Turn such a one over to Satan to kill the flesh so that His Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. This was a born again believer, Ephesians 1:13, who was sleeping with his fathers wife. He was about to lose his life, and the rewards he could have had in heaven, First Corinthians 3:15, but the man was still saved. We all deserve to go to hell. One sin, one little lie would send us to hell forever. God is a just God and has to punish sin. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, us sinners, that HE gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus took the punishment for our sins so we would not have to go to hell to pay for them. Romans 3:26-28, Romans 4:5-8,.John 3:18: Believers are no longer condemned to hell. First Corinthians 15:1-4: That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. Our sin debt is paid in full, and we can no longer be condemned. John 1:12 and Romans 1:16, Ephesians 1:13-14. Our guarantee of eternal life.
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