Today we discuss the topic in the prayer covenant, repentance. The line of the prayer reads, Thank you for washing away my sins and making me clean.
In Revelation 4:8 we read, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Repent Your Sins
Christ has called us to holiness because He is holy. He encompasses all that is holy and pure. For this reason, we must daily repent of our sins, anything that separates us from Christ. If there is unconfessed sin, if we are harboring any ill feelings towards another, or unforgiveness within our heart, our prayers will not reach heaven.
Repentance and Forgiveness Are Linked
Repentance and forgiveness are integrally linked. Oftentimes Christians need to repent of the spirit of unforgiveness. It is dangerous, kept deep within us, hidden from public view. The effects of an unforgiving spirit wreak havoc on our physical bodies as well as our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Pastors, attorneys and medical workers all have seen the ravaging effects bitterness has on the body mind, and soul. It is no wonder that Jesus talked about it so often and warned of its severe consequences.
We recognize as a society that stealing, murder, and adultery are evil and sinful acts.
But what about the sin of gossip? Is that not also a sin that will separate us from God’s holiness? What about the sin of an unforgiving spirit? Sometimes we harbor hurt feelings over the smallest, most trivial act committed towards us. We feed on it, allow Satan to stir up resentment within us and instead of releasing it to Jesus and asking for His help, and then we wonder why our prayers go unanswered and we lack joy and peace
In Reflections of God’s Glory, Corrie Ten Boom shares a powerful story on forgiveness when after speaking at a church in Munich, a former SS officer who guarded her in the concentration camp began walking towards her. He wanted to shake her hand, but the pain and suffering he had caused her made it seemingly impossible. Thank God He knows our hearts. He knew what Corrie was battling within, and as she stretched out her hand to receive his, the anger and pain dissipated to joy, and the overwhelming knowledge that the Holy Spirit stepped in and miraculously forgave through her.
Only Jesus, by the power of His Holy Spirit, can help us do the seemingly impossible. We need only a willing heart.