True Repentance and Man’s Response to the Cross
By John Thiel
Jesus the ladder of Jacob’s dream was the communicating link between divine and fallen humanity. The base of the ladder including man in his fallen experience communicates him step by step with the sinless nature of the divine. Our nature and condition is likened to a pit.
Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
What is it like at the bottom of a pit? Jesus knew;
Psalms 69:12 They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I [was] the song of the drunkards.
Jesus the ladder was passed down the base of which came to rest in the mud of sin. When Jesus felt our sin, He was different to us in that He was a ladder – we are not. In Himself divinity did not cease when He became sin. We who are sin may connect with Jesus on our level but in so doing the connection with the divine immediately takes place. To find the point of contact is the pressing quest of the Christian as in Philippians.
Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,
3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Note – conformable unto his death. How? First understand;
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
He cannot die but they will and He has no pleasure in it. This is where the seriousness of transgression that we have contemplated turns to pardon. This is the characteristic of God. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He does not enjoy the consequences of transgression. My Son is going to come and die because I can’t die so I’m going to become a human being in the midst of humanity and there I’m going to demonstrate my grief that is killing them is going to kill my Son. We are also to accept that there is none righteousness and we have all gone out of the way.
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
There is no boasting. It is impossible for me to lose my condemnation as the law condemns me but Jesus came and went through the rigors of sin and death Himself never having sinned but going through my total deprivation. As He went through that He took me into the grave and raised me up again without sin. I am justified because of that transaction and not by the deeds of the law. I have no good deeds to justify myself. The law speaks to those who are under it. If I say to someone, stop kicking me, it’s pointless unless they are. The law says do not do this because we do. The worst people in society usually know that they are sinners but religious people don’t seem to realize it.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him [a portion] with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus was numbered with the transgressors. Do you know what this means? It means that He was counted as being a transgressor and that is why there was no union between His soul and God. That is why He felt forsaken. There are many people who are afraid to accept such a reality that Jesus could be counted as a transgressor. They say “oh no you can’t tarnish my dear Jesus” but the truth is you are tarnishing Jesus when you refuse to accept this reality. Jesus never sinned and we have got that clear. He never committed one act of transgression Himself but He was made to be sin for us. Those who are under the law are those who think they can keep it. Those who say all that the Lord has said I will do. Every mouth will be stopped as they can’t and the whole world will be guilty before God. Behold this love and goodness;
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?
8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Can we walk away with impurity?
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
The sufferings of Jesus which were consequent to my sins are designed to wake me up out of my careless condition and become conscious of man’s real state. More than this, He simultaneously gave the visible pattern of our steps to salvation.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Note verse 23;
1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
Jesus never committed on act of transgression. Not one and yet He experienced the separation from God that the sinner experiences. We are to commit our case to Him who judges righteously.
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Touched and motivated by His unprecedented love we are called to Matthew 10;
Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
We are to be made conformable unto His death. If we respond;
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:
6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.
A once for all death to the past ego centered life – death to origin of evil. In its place;
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
If any man be in Christ Jesus He is a new creature if any man be in Him. The big if is that we need to be doers of the gospel and if we will be doers of the gospel then we are new creatures and all things that are now in the life of such a new creature are all God. He has reconciled us to himself and now everything is of God in this new creature. Comprehend this new creature and what is this new creature. All things are of God the origin of righteousness. This is true repentance, the first step of the ladder. The outcome is that we will become born again.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
This can only be said by one who has entered in this first step relationship.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.