In Luke 13:3 Jesus makes it very clear that anyone who does not repent will perish. But what does it mean to repent? The dictionary defines the word repent as “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.” Most pastors will also tell you that to repent means to turn away from sin. So we say, “Okay, I’ll do that.” But are you sure? Let’s take a look at what sin really is.
Exodus 20:1-17 contains the record of The Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. I will not repeat them at this time, since everyone can read them. I will, however, direct your attention to Matthew -18 where Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Jesus continues in Matthew 5 and says that anyone who becomes angry is subject to the same judgment as someone who has committed murder. He also says that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery. He continues explaining why it is impossible to gain salvation on our own.
In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus introduces The Greatest Commandment. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” I am very sure that no one, myself included, can say that no matter what happens we always put the needs and desires of the other person before our own. This means that we have sinned and fall short of what God expects from us.
Finally, there are sins of commission and of omission. Sins of commission occur when we do something that we shouldn’t. Sins of omission occur when we don’t do something that we should, even if we do not realize that we should do it
The point is that it is impossible on our own to live a sin free life. This is why we have Jesus; our Lord and our Savior. He took onto Himself all of our sins, so that when we stand before God all God sees is a pure and sin free life. But as I said last time, in order to gain salvation we must repent and do the very best we can to live a sin free life. When we mess up, as we most assuredly will, we must confess our sins, repent, and keep trying.