Easter, Repentance, and a Change of Focus

Easter, Repentance, and A Change of Focus

Hey, friends.

 

This post was originally going to be longer than it is now, but the first half of my post disappeared into thin air at midnight. Not sure how, but it did.

 

Anyway, because tomorrow is Easter, I wanted to talk about what it really means, the significance of forgiveness, and how repentance fits into all of it.

 

Easter is my favorite holiday because we celebrate being forgiven. This forgiveness – the forgiveness of sins – gives us eternal life in Christ. I tweeted this yesterday:

 

 

Easter is about life – eternal life, yes, but also our lives now.

 

Furthermore, I wanted to continue the discussion I started on Tuesday about repentance.

 

After reading the post multiple times, and reading the wonderful, thought-provoking comments you all left, I wanted to clarify a few things.

 

I’m not at all against repentance, if that’s what I seemed to imply in Tuesday’s post. For if we deliberately harbor sin in our hearts, we will of course damage our relationship with God. I’m not bashing confession in the sense that I think that we should never come to God about our wrongdoings.

 

In fact, that’s not it at all.

 

I only hope to lead us away from an obsession with repentance, one in which we’re constantly walking on eggshells is the Christian life. I don’t think we should live a life in which we’re so obsessed with trying to do what’s right that we make sure we fess up every single time we think we might have done something wrong.

 

To be totally honest, I don’t believe that’s what God has for us.

 

We are called to freedom and grace, and no longer do we live under a yoke of slavery to sin.

 

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

 

Instead of living trapped to a life of “try hard>>fail>>confess>>do it all over again,” let us live in grace. Instead of legalism, let us listen to the Holy Spirit.

 

Now, that’s all well and good in talking about it, but how do we actually carry it out?

 

What does it really look like to live under grace?

 

1) Get to know God by reading the Bible.

 

I’ve written a few posts on this topic. Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3 (in reverse chronological order). The Bible is a blessing, not a burden. But it takes more than just hearing people say that for it to become true for us. Read the New Testament for a fresh view on grace, starting in Romans. You’ll see things differently. You’ll see the contrast between God and man, and how Jesus didn’t just “wipe our slates clean,” He gave us whole new slates.

 

2) Submit to the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

You know that nudge you feel when you know God’s calling you to do something? Listen to it. Go talk to that new kid and be their friend. Share your faith with that cousin of yours. Go step out in faith to do something that you feel God wants you to do, even if it seems crazy.

 

Do you feel God calling you to start a YouTube channel or blog about your faith? Do it! Do you feel like you’re being called to vocational ministry? Pursue that. The Holy Spirit speaks in subtle ways, but by following His leading, we are following God’s will.

 

3) Continue to pray for a passion for the Gospel.

 

Pray all the time. Pray that you’d have a desire to live for God. Pray that you’d be used by Him. Pray that He’d show you His plan for your life. Pray that He’d use you in the lives of others. Pray that He would equip you to share your faith – even when it’s absolutely terrifying.

 

Prayer helps us to advance in our relationship with God, and through it, we come to trust Him more and more.

 

We don’t need to overemphasize repentance because as we live in submission to the Holy Spirit and our new nature, the desire to sin will decrease.

We don’t need to overemphasize repentance because Jesus’ death has pardoned our sin and given us a new nature.

We don’t need to overemphasize repentance because God does not see our sin when He looks at us – He sees Jesus’ righteousness.

 

When we’re in the Bible consistently, we see the significance of things like Easter. The Resurrection. Forgiveness that washes away every last one of our sins.

 

When we keep our ears tuned to what we feel God is leading us to do, we live a fruitful life, and not one of destruction.

 

When we keep in communication with God through prayer, and see that He answers our prayers, our relationship with Him grows.

 

Simply, a change of focus is what we need. A focus on the finished work of Christ as opposed to the filthiness of our sins. And so often, that makes a world of difference.

 

Happy Easter, everyone. Instead of getting caught up in simple traditions, let us remember the true meaning of it all – of sacrifice, of forgiveness, and above all, of hope.

 

*aj

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13 Replies to “Easter, Repentance, and a Change of Focus”

  1. I did your thought, and it’s wonderful. If Jesus gave us a new life, then we must not search for fogiveness, because we already have the Grace that rise us from the sin! The Easter is a good season to think about this.

    Happy Easter! o/

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  2. Wow, this was really good Amanda! I totally agree with everything you said. Repentance is important, but a lot of people live in defeat because they are constantly wondering if they’ve done something wrong that they need to confess to God. That’s definitely not what God has planned for us! WE ARE FORGIVEN ALREADY. Even if we sin after we get saved (shouldn’t say “even if” but it flows nicely :P), Jesus’ blood covers it.
    Thanks for this post! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Jonathan!
      You’re right-on about this. When we look at the concept of repentance and take it to a point to living it in defeat, we’ve taken it too far. God sees His Son’s righteousness in us, and even though we do sin, we need to see ourselves as we are — forgiven.
      Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting! 😀

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  3. A change of focus. It really is that simple–and that hard.

    Your practical suggestions are really good as always. Especially the second one, with following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Because that’s so true, and yet something we often neglect.

    Happy Resurrection Day (a day early)!

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    1. Haha. You’re so right. It isn’t easy, because we have to train ourselves to think differently.
      Thank you. I think it’s so easy to just “tell” what we need to do, but not instruct on how to actually do it. It’s still easier said than done – but the more we listen, the more we will see.
      Happy Resurrection Day to you as well! 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

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  4. This was another great post, Amanda! I always love when a more abstract theological post has actual practical steps and tips, because that’s what my organized mind likes 🙂 So thanks for putting that in!
    I especially think that following the prompting of the Holy Spirit is so important. That’s what led me to start my blog, actually. It can be so hard but have unexpected rewards.
    A story that comes to mind is something that happened at the beginning of this year at school. My history teacher had us work with the person next to us and come up with a list of current issues that need to be fixed in the world.
    The girl next to me and I started talking, and I could feel God prompting me to mention abortion as an issue. I followed that leading (something really unusual for me to do, as I am very introverted!) and said that I thought abortion was a problem with the world today.
    And guess what? That girl turned out be Catholic and pro-life. We had a really good conversation about it.
    All of that to say that God knows better than we do, and we should always follow His prompting!

    Have a blessed Easter!

    -Grace (trueandpure.wordpress.com)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a bunch, Grace!

      That is such a cool story. I love when things work out like that. I’m always like, “Well, God, You knew best again! :D” (Why am I so surprised each time? Who knows.)
      Amen! Following God is the best choice we can honestly make!
      Happy Easter!

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      1. I know…we shouldn’t be so surprised when God’s promptings turn out to be the best thing we could have done. Just another example of truths that we say we believe but never really internalize 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Amanda. Thank you for these thoughts. “Jesus didn’t just ‘wipe our slates clean,’ He gave us whole new slates.” Yes!

    Easter is my favorite of all the holidays. I feel so overwhelmed with joy that He died and rose that I might have eternal life.

    “Where, o death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gave us the victory through our Lord Christ Jesus!” -1 Corinthians 15:55-57

    Have a blessed Easter, Amanda. ❤

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    1. Thanks so much, Emily!

      Oh, same here! It’s so beautiful; as we celebrate the new life of spring, we rejoice in our new lives in Christ. Hallelujah! 😀

      I love those verses so much, and we talked about them in church this morning. We have nothing to fear!

      Thanks for commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful Easter as well! 😉

      Like

  6. Hello! I just found your blog and am really enjoying reading your posts! They look really good!!

    Can’t wait to read more of them! Keep up the wonderful work!

    Hannah
    completelyforhim.blogspot.com

    Like

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