Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Repentance: The Transforming Of The Mind

Isaiah 55:

8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Matthew 16:

13  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14  And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16  Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17  And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

18  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

20  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

21  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

22  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you."

23  But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."

24  Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Peter’s declaration “You are the Christ the Son of the living God” is the revelation of the Rock upon which the church is built. It is the revealing of the foundation of the apostles and prophets. (1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:19-22)
So great is this revelation that The Lord emphatically declares Peter to be blessed, as this revelation cannot come from man’s discerning, but comes directly from God. So how does Peter get from such a lofty position of discernment to being rebuked by the Lord for his lack of it? How does he get from declaring who the Christ is to actually denying the work that the Christ says He came to do?

 More so, how does he get from that lowly place to here?

1Peter 3:

18  For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

The Peter we see in 1 Peter is a repentant and transformed Peter. Not quite the one we find in Matthew 16. 
The modern evangelical world has reduced repentance to a “sacrament”. Repentance is the fruit of the transformation (metamorphosis) of our minds, (our intellect and  thought processes). Paul wrote of it this way:

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Peter was given Godly revelation. However his thoughts as to how this revelation was to manifest itself were not in line with God’s. He had to learn just as Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, Paul, etc. etc. learned. This is not a progressive justification, nor sanctification. It is the daily walk of faith: 

Php 2:                                                                                                                               
12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  
13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Repentance is the fruitful work of all whom God has justified and sanctified in Christ once for all time. Repentance (metanoia)  can be defined as reformation. It is a man reversing his “made up” mind.
We are to daily test, that is prove, and thus discern God’s will which is comprised of both His ways of thinking and doing. Only the spiritual (regenerate) person that Paul spoke of can discern the spiritual (1 Cor 2:14-16). The natural/unspiritual, (unregenerate) person has no such discernment. Therefore Godly repentance and transformation are for the elect alone.

1Cor 2:16  "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

 God’s good. perfect, and acceptable will is revealed in and through His Word.
The repentant  person is one who is immersed in the scriptures which brings the true
 transformation Paul wrote of.

The transforming work began for Peter and the others when the Lord who had suffered,
died, and had been entombed, appeared to them as resurrected. Even though He had
told them many times that it must be so, it was when they were confronted with the
reality of prophecy fulfilled, that they began to understand that it was not the destruction
of Roman oppression as much as the establishing of a kingdom made up of a
regenerate remnant of  both jew and gentile, to which the scriptures spoke.

Luke 24:

44  Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

45  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

46  and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

47  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

There is a vast difference between an experience of Christ, which many profess to, and to see and confess the Christ who is revealed in His Word.
Open the Book. Repent and be transformed!

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