Monthly Archives: February 2018

Repentance from Sin and Faults–But What’s the Difference?

If we were to outline the apostles’ doctrine “Repentance from dead works,” it would roughly look like this:

I. Repentance from Dead Works

A. Repentance from sin

B. Repentance from faults

We see that this teaching of repentance is divided into two distinct categories that are very different in meaning. Most people do not know the scriptural difference. The denominations have their own definitions. There is much confusion.

Especially when it comes to sin. Some say that shuffling your feet on a sawdust floor is sin. Some say that sipping a glass of wine is a sin. Some say losing your patience and yelling at someone is a sin.

God looks at the intent of the heart and not the outward appearance of things like natural man does. Sin is the state of spiritual being that we are born with. It is based on the love of self and the ego’s unquenchable drive for self-aggrandizement. In essence, sins are the actions one does in the worship of one’s self.  Sin is selfishness incarnate. It is a spiritual state of self-worship and all that it entails. The scriptures say that “Sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4). That “law” is the Ten Commandments.

“Thou shalt not steal” is a pretty plain commandment. One steals from another for selfish reasons. It is not to help the victim of the theft. “Thou shalt not covet.” This is desiring things that another has, including wives or husbands. This is sin. As you go down the list of the Ten Commandments, you see how the worship of the self dominates and thereby breaks every one of them. Self-worship is the root cause of sinning.

Love Fulfills the Ten Commandment Law

The law must be taken as a whole to be understood. Breaking the Ten Commandments is a state of spiritual being alienated from God, who is Love. The state of Love keeps or obeys the law.  The old nature of man wants and takes for himself. The new nature of Love gives to others. “Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 9-10). There is no law against loving others. But there are laws on God’s book against selfishness and the sin that comes out of it.

The old original Adamic nature that man is born with cannot keep the law, try as he will. But “love fulfills the law.” God’s Spirit of love does keep the law—inside us! The old nature we are born with cannot obey the law, for its nature is opposite of loving God and others. This is why the old nature must die on the cross with Christ. “The wages of sin is death,” so for the lost person, it is best to just die now (spiritually) and avoid the rush. Death is coming for all who have sinned, for all who have broken the Ten Commandment Law. Christ’s sacrifice as our sin offering has given us an opportunity to let our sinful selfish nature die with Him, be buried with Him, and to be resurrected with Him—by believing God’s word about Him.

The old nature is a sin nature that must die in revelation with Christ. This is how we repent from sin. By faith we receive an earnest of His Spirit in a new life in Him by faith in His resurrection.  God has given us a portion of His Spirit that is sufficient to change our lives from sin to righteousness. It is now that we can begin to grow in this new life He has given us. At this beginning stage we are spiritual newborn babes in Christ. And there are things to digest in the milk of the word given by God’s five offices. We learn how to do certain new things in our new walk, and we learn of old things that need to be gotten rid of.

These are called faults. These actions are not breaking the Ten Commandments; they are not sin. Children of God have them. These shortcomings must be repented of as they are revealed to us—if we desire to grow in God. Many followers of Christ confuse faults with sins. Faults are habits of thoughts and actions generated by a lack of knowledge of God’s plan and purpose. Faults in Christians are things in our lives that show our lack of spiritual maturity. [More on “faults” next time.]  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

****[Be sure to order your free copy of my latest book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores our rich destiny as the princes and princesses of God. It is free with free shipping. Just send me your mailing address to my email:  wayneman5@hotmail.com   I will get it right out to you. You need this book if you are serious about growing up to be like Peter, John, James, and Paul and the rest of the apostles.]

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Repentance and the Spiritual Growth Cycle

The early apostles continued steadfastly in the doctrines that their Savior had laid out for them in the three and one half years that He taught them. We will do the same thing if we sincerely desire to walk in that same power that they did. The first teaching was “repentance from dead works” (Heb. 5: 12-14; 6: 1-2).

Our whole walk in God is all about the first of His doctrines, and then by extension all of them. All things have become new because we have turned from our old ways for self, and we have by God’s grace and mercy turned on to the path of Light.

Our new life in Christ is a life of growth. Our old physical life was one of growth to adulthood. Then sadly it is marred by decay and eventual death of the earthly body. The good news is that Christ has overcome death and has brought immortality to light. “Repentance from dead works” is a process in our spiritual life cycle that gets rid of the old thinking that brought forth death; it then takes on His thoughts that brings life.

Our new walk is a continuing development, much like a garden seed that goes through its growth cycle. We, too, are growing. Upon germination, we spring forth as a seedling through simply believing His word on all of this. Christ said that the kingdom growth cycle is like a man sowing seed in a field and the seed came up—first the little blade spearing its way to the sunlight, then it heads out, and then the grain fills out in the head and matures and dries, and then you have seed to be made into bread or replanted for a future harvest. “The seed is the word of God (Luke 8: 11).

Our life in Christ grows into new and stronger stages. Repentance must be accomplished at each level, in order to grow into the next stage. In other words, we must repent from being a seedling in order to eventually grow into a full grown plant with the strength to hold the fruit that the Spirit of Truth is bringing. For a seedling cannot bear–physically nor spiritually–the fruit that’s borne by a mature plant. It is just not strong enough. Besides, He said that He would not put on us more than we could bear.

Consequently, we as the seedling/children of God must repent of whatever is hindering us from growing into a mature Christian. “That we be no more children, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine…” We must rather “purge out the old leaven” concepts that we brought into Christ. Errors about Him in our thinking taint the bread of life. Yes, Christ in us is the bread of life that spiritually raises those that are dead in their sins. We have the awesome responsibility to get it right. When we do this, the same spiritual fruit–the same love, joy, and peace that Christ Himself bore—will come, along with its power to touch lives around us.

A Continuing Process

This is not a “one and done” process. As in all of the apostles’ doctrines, many layers are to be unfolded. We enter into Christ by repenting of our sins through the cross experience in our own hearts. We die with Christ by believing that our old sinful nature dies with Him on the cross. And “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Rom. 6: 5-7). In God’s eyes our old life is already dead and gone, for He calls things that are not as though they already were (Rom. 4: 17). That’s an example of “the faith of the Son of God.” When we think like He does about the sin question, then we are free from sin and sinning. We then are ready to walk on by repenting of faults in our life. Sin is defined as “the transgression of the law,” the Ten Commandments (I John 3: 4). We cannot keep them on our own strength. Consequently, we rely on Christ’s Spirit that we receive by faith in His resurrection to keep the law. He is Love, and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 10).

This is a continuing process. However, we are not talking about fighting the dragon of sin in our personal lives every day. There is nothing more pathetic than to see a long-faced pastor stand up and tell his congregation, “I am a sinner saved by grace and I always will be a sinner.” That’s his testimony. Are you serious? I am glad he is speaking for himself. We have all sinned—yes, in the past. But all are not sinning in the present. Has he never read what the Spirit wrote through the apostle John? “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him sins not: whoever sins hath not seen him, nor known him” (I John 3: 5-6). Wow! That is not harsh; that’s love speaking. Tough love. And it is time we wake up and smell the righteousness that comes by believing His word.

For we have died on the cross with Christ, and our sin nature died with Him. Therefore, sin has no more dominion over us (Rom. 6: 12-14). Settle it. Believe it. Once and for all. Furthermore, once sin has been repented of by believing in Christ’s resurrection in us, we are free to work on our faults. Our faults consist of erroneous thoughts about God and the bad habits they encourage.

I’ll close this my letter to you here. There is much to absorb. May Yahweh bless you with spiritual understanding. If you are comprehending what the Spirit is saying to us all here, then blessed are your eyes for they see. We simply must do what is necessary to grow into “the fullness of God in Christ.” That is the vision that He has for us—to become exactly like Christ. There—I have said it again. Next time we shall explore how to get rid of our faults. Once this happens, the sky is the limit!           Kenneth Wayne Hancock

[Be sure to order your free copy of my latest book, The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores our rich destiny as the princes and princesses of God. It is free with free shipping. Just send me your mailing address to my email:  wayneman5@hotmail.com   I will get it right out to you. You need this book if you are serious about growing up to be like Peter, John, James, and Paul and the rest of the apostles.]

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