Among the Greatest Gifts Given to Us

True repentance is among the greatest gifts given to us because of Jesus’ work on the cross for our sins.  It it we find our humility, joy, forgiveness, hope, redemption, perspective, identity, and future.  Instead of going through killing shame or superficial ritual, true repentance looks deep into the new heart to discover the godly desires that are at the core of our being by virtue of regeneration and actively turns away from anything and everything that hinders our deepest regenerated desires to glorify God.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 168-169

Religious Repentance is Mere Manipulation

Religious repentance is the attempt to keep God happy or to get God to bless us.  It is going  through a ritual of confession but only to manipulate God to like us, not to work change in us.  It is feeling sorry for getting caught in sin or feeling sorry for the consequences of sin, but not feeling sorry about the sin itself as a violation against God so severe that Jesus had to die for it.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 168

Proud, Self-Righteous Repentance

Proud, self-righteous repentance occurs when we confess the sins of other people while neglecting our own manifestations of depravity.  It can also happen when people repent of  “acceptable sins” to deflect attention from deeper sins (Luke 18:9-14)

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 168

Sinning is Worship

When we sin, we are worshiping someone or something else as a false god and functional savior.  In repentance we turn from those false gods back to the true and living God of the Bible, who alone loved us enough to die for our sin and freedom.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 167

No Pain, No Gain

We naturally avoid conviction because it hurts to feel the pain of guilt and shame of our sin.  But working through conviction takes us to the motivations behind the behavior, the sinful desires of our flesh, and the corrupt passions that continue to drive us until we identify them and put them to death….Conviction is an essential step to exposing sin for wha it is so we can be free from enslavement to sin (Romans 6:6).

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 166

We Are, By Nature and By Choice

Every person since Adam is a sinner, both by nature and by choice (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:23).  Everyone (except  Jesus Christ) is, from conception, sinful by nature and corrupted to the very core of his or her being and therefore incapable of doing anything that pleases God (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-18; 8:7-8).  Thus everyone, except Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15), sins (I John 1:8) by breaking God’s holy laws (Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10; I John 3:4), because they are sinners in their hearts (Proverbs 4:23; 17:19; 20:9; Matthew 6:21; Luke 6:45).  Therefore the question is not whether people will sin against one another, but rather how they will deal with that sin.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 165

A Word or Two on the Word Heretic

Sadly, the word heretic gets thrown around to little or too much, and the result is that seemingly no one is sure what or who a heretic is.  Heresy is the opposite of orthodoxy, and heretics do exist.  The church is to fight against heresy and heretics, not give them an authoritative voice in the church in the name of polite postmodern conversation.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 140