Wednesday, September 25, 2013

He Must Be Repentant

True repentance is the result of an accurate understanding of the significance  and gravity of sin, coupled with an overwhelming desire for the remission of that sin through the person and work of Christ and a turning from sin and dead works to faith and obedience. Jeremiah Burroughs, in his book Gospel Remission, gives us a portrait of true repentance as only a Puritan writer can. In describing the penitent believer's attitude toward his sin, Burroughs writes:

Oh, I see the angry countenance of an infinite God against me, whose eyes are a flaming fire looking with indignation upon me! I see a dismal cloud of the displeasure of the Almighty hanging over me! I see woe, misery, and destruction,  pursuing me! I see blackness of darkness and desolation even surrounding me! I both see and feel the woeful accusations of a guilty conscience within me, condemning me, continually grating upon my soul and terrifying me with dreadful visions of eternal miseries to betide me! I see the chain of black guilt and horror on my soul, that I carry with me wherever I go! I see the bottomless gulf of eternal horror and despair with the mouth of it wide open to swallow me up!

This type of imagery is anything but familiar to those of us who are used to trafficking in the seeker-friendly, purpose-driven, best-life-now drivel of our day. Seldom do we hear about the "black dismal cloud of the displeasure of the Almighty" anymore. However, this is how the repentant sinner thinks about sin.

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