Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Repentance from Dead Works

Scripture:  Hebrews 6 v 1 - 2: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 
2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

Real spiritual liberty in Jesus Christ starts when we truly apply the above verses to our lives.  We need to do all those things of course, but then leave them behind and go on to perfection.

What are dead works?  Basically, they are things we do religiously that produce no life in us or in those we share with.  Like wearing a St. Christopher medal around your neck, or hanging from your rear view mirror, to protect you from accidents or disasters.  It is a superstitious act that has religious overtones and no value or truth at all.

Dead works are putting faith in anything other than Jesus Christ for protection from evil spirits, sickness, thieves, accidents or any other undesirable events.  He is our Saviour, Lord, Master, King, and watches over us continually.  It is an insult to Him when we need anything more than the safety He provides.

A few years ago I lived in apartment that was entirely hidden from the road behind the main house.  I was feeling unwell but around 3 pm decided to take a shower.  I left my front door slightly open for my elderly cat.  While drying my hair afterwards my landline phone rang.  It was a phone survey of what I thought of our police force.

After that my phone rang again, and my friend from far away said, don't worry the police have found your mobile phone!  The thief has been arrested!  I said, what are you talking about, my mobile is in my bedroom.  Fetch it, she said.  It was gone!  The police had used my mobile to contact various people to get my landline number.  They were concerned about my safety, kept getting the busy signal from my landline etc.  (Glad I spoke well of them in the survey!)

They had picked up a man in a town near mine who was behaving suspiciously near a school.  All they found on him was my mobile!  The time line was fascinating.  Got into shower at 3 pm.  Took survey call at 3.30p.m.  Heard from my friend at 3.50pm. Sometime in that fifty minutes a thief had entered my home, stolen my phone, travelled 15 kilometres, been arrested and I got my phone back!  That's Jesus in action as Saviour and Protector.  That's not dead works, that is faith in action when I never knew I needed it.

We need to know that our God is never asleep, He watches over us all the time, He cares about the number of hairs on our head, He writes our names on His palms.  We cannot see danger coming, and I had no fear alarm of an approaching thief.  But Jesus got me out of the way, where I heard nothing, knew nothing until it was all resolved.  He is worthy of all thanks, praise and worship.  Never underestimate Him.

Repent of dead works and go on to perfection.  Let go of nit-picking holes in scripture and receive the Word and do what it says.  Be an active participant in the works of God.  Receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and use them.  It is wonderful to see Him working with us in spiritual things and secular things.  

The Gifts are given for us to profit from them.  They can help us in our business endeavours as well as laying hands on the sick and seeing Jesus heal them.  All born again, baptized, Spirit-filled believers are priests who can lead people to Jesus, baptize them in water and the Holy Spirit.  

In the Great Commission at the end of Matthew we are all sent to do all the things Jesus did because He ascended to the Father and gave all of us His "power of attorney" to act on His behalf.  If we never use that authority we miss so much of what being a disciple is all about.

I am not some great theologian I am just a person who knows the Author of the Bible well enough to know that He has given us great creative licence to make a difference in this world.  Our words create good or bad things...We can lie, gossip or argue making terrible things happen.   James 3 v 5 - 6: "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 
6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."

Or we can pray and see God's mighty hand move and change impossible situations.  Or uplift those who are oppressed with words of love and encouragement. We can be used to prophesy words that bring life into a person who is losing faith, or needs an answer from God.  Which would we rather do?  Lie and cheat or bring life and blessings.  The first is dead works, the second is not.

If we have been held back by dead works, this is the time to repent of them and move on.  Don't stay in that quicksand sucking you down when you can take the outstretched, nail-scarred hand wanting to pull you out and set your feet on the Rock.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, to know You is to love You for You are good, simply the best!  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, the only way to You.  Please forgive our dead works and bring us back to life as You desire for us.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.