A Season for Repentance-A A +A
The Good News
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
MORE than a season of ceremonies and rituals, Lent is an occasion for spiritual repentance and renewal. It demands a response to that great love offered by the Son of God on the cross.
Repentance starts with the realization of our sinfulness -- that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), that our righteous acts are just like filthy rags in the eyes of the holy God (Isaiah 64:6), that if we continue with our sins we will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21), that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22), and that only in the name of Jesus can we find salvation (Acts 4:12). To repent is to be truly and sincerely sorry for our sins, and to ask for forgiveness on account of the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
Repentance goes one step further -- a decision and a resolute action to turn away from sins and live a life of obedience to the Lord. It means turning away from idols (Deut. 5:8) not only of wood and stone but also of the modern-day idols of money, wealth, relationships, worldly pleasures, luxuries, prestige and fame. It also means stopping the blasphemy on the name of the Lord (Deut. 5:11) and instead loving him with all of one's heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:37), thereby finding the true Sabbath rest in him (Deut. 5:12, Hebrews 4).
Repentance means honoring our fathers and mothers (Deut. 5:16, Colossians 6:2), not murdering (Deut. 5:17) but respecting life in its totality, not committing adultery (Deut. 5:18) but taking care of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19), not stealing and coveting what belongs to our neighbors (Deut. 5:19, 21), and not giving false testimony against others (Deut. 5:20) but being truthful at all times (Colossians 3:9).
Repentance is sustaining not a dead but a living faith -- a faith that is shown by one's actions (James 2:14-25).
Lent is more spiritual than physical, remembering that God delights more in obedience than sacrifice (1Samuel 5:22).
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 21, 2013.