REPENTANCE: Legal vs. True

Repentance

Grant Swart

If our forgiveness was dependent on what we as sinners could do (or refrain from doing), in order to repent, who would be so bold as to claim that they could achieve it sufficiently as to gain recognition by a perfectly Holy God? Is repentance something we can and should do in order to be saved, or is repentance a gift granted to those who are saved by God?

All too often one hears the instruction issuing forth from religious zealots: “You must repent, you must turn from your sin, you must turn to God, or…!”. In my country, as I suppose it is in many others, many will-worshipping churches have coined a new favourite phrase: “Turn or burn!”, and in some Afrikaans congregations the translated phrase, “Draai of braai”, is bandied about with even more self-righteous enthusiasm. As if it were simply up to the listener to do the turning, and God will have no choice but to accept those who turn!

Those who do not have Christ, hear these warnings and are left terrified by their own inability to do what the preacher expects of them. They have heard the stern instructions, but have no understanding of it, no idea of where to start, or how to go about this seemingly impossible task. How can they turn to God when they do not know Him, do not know where He is, or who He is? How could they possibly repent without God’s help and without the guidance of His Holy Spirit? Continue reading

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Slaaf of kind?

broken-chain

Johannes de Koning

SLAAF OF KIND?

– die belangrike waarheid vir die verstaan van Christelike vryheid.

Is jy in jou verhouding met God ’n slaaf of ’n kind? Dis ‘n baie belangrike vraag waaroor Galasiërs 4:1-10 mens ernstig laat dink.

“1. Hierby wil ek nog dít sê: Solank ‘n erfgenaam nog minderjarig is, verskil sy posisie nie werklik van dié van ‘n slaaf nie, al behoort die hele erfenis aan hom.

2. Tot die dag wat sy pa bepaal het, staan hy onder toesig van voogde en word sy besittings deur bestuurders beheer.

3. En so is dit ook met ons. Toe ons nog geestelik onmondig was, was ons slawe van wettiese godsdienstige reëls.

4. Maar toe die tyd wat God daarvoor bepaal het, aangebreek het, het Hy sy Seun gestuur. Hy is uit ‘n vrou gebore en van sy geboorte af was Hy aan die wet onderworpe

5. om ons, wat aan die wet onderworpe was, los te koop sodat ons as kinders van God aangeneem kon word.

6. En omdat ons sy kinders is, het God die Gees van sy Seun in ons harte gestuur, en in ons roep Hy uit: “Abba!” Dit beteken: Vader!

7. Jy is dus nie meer ‘n slaaf nie; jy is nou ‘n kind van God. En omdat jy sy kind is, het God jou ook sy erfgenaam gemaak.

8. Daar was ‘n tyd toe julle nie vir God geken het nie en slawe was van nikswerd afgode.

9. Maar noudat julle Hom leer ken het, of liewer, noudat Hy julle ken, hoe val julle dan nou weer terug na daardie minderwaardige en armsalige wettiese godsdienstige reëls? Wil julle van voor af weer slawe Continue reading