Sin and the Spirit

SIN AND THE SPIRIT

Luke 24 v 44-48

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Over a meal of fish Jesus expounds the Scriptures and the disciples get it!

They understand and ‘finally’ we cry!

Their minds are opened and they see Jesus, the Messiah, throughout the historical story.

The death and the resurrection are there and they have witnessed it.

Now comes the direction that they are going to need. What happens now? Two thousand years later, the same instruction is before us, it still applies today. “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations”

I have been so blessed to have a heart for the nations. God gave it to me. It wasn’t naturally there. The nations are where we experience the ‘magnifying of God’ in our lives. I have found the presence of the Lord in places I never thought existed and I am a better man for it. I have spent the last 20 years in Africa and found that within its beauty lies so much division. The nations in Africa with all their ethnic, tribal and political groups struggle over each other’s ‘sins’ and lack of repentance. Forgiveness is hard to find at times when fists are raised high or being thrown in the direction of the sinner. The Bible is quoted, justice is demanded and the jihad of the Church commences to the grievous end.

But I have found in the last 18 months as I have focused on the UK that we are the same.

There are battles rising over sin, repentance and the forgiveness of it. The Church is trying to preach ‘repentance for the forgiveness of sins in his name’ yet faces in-fighting and division over what it defines as sin. It seems with our own rise of tribalism found in every sector each has their own definition of sin.

What is sin to me may not be sin to you. You may be offended by my sinful ways and believe I should repent and be forgiven when I think I am not being sinful.

Of course if there is no God then sin is largely irrelevant, certainly in terms of offending Him.

So how do we progress?

We need what Jesus said he would send and what the Father promised. We need power from on high. We know that to be the Holy Spirit.

We need the Holy Spirit to move not only in the nations of the world, but in the UK.

We need the Holy Spirit for us to understand what is sinful to God.

We need the Holy Spirit to convict us of that sin.

We need the Holy Spirit on the Church.

We need the Holy Spirit for us to preach.

We need the Holy Spirit to take our words and make them full of His power.

We need the Holy Spirit on the Church.

We need the Holy Spirit for us to be able to repent and change our ways.

We need the Holy Spirit to help turn us around and turn to Him.

We need the Holy Spirit on the Church.

We need the Holy Spirit for us to forgive the sins that have hurt us.

We need the Holy Spirit to cleanse our lives so that we can see differently the lives of others.

We need the Holy Spirit on the Church.

If the Church tries to do all the above without the Holy Spirit then we will just be fighting flesh and blood.

Jesus send the Holy Spirit again and again.

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