Why need repentance when one is saved and forgiven for all future sins? Ps 32

On a superficial level, Christian belief can be very confusing and contradictory. We are told that Jesus died and paid for all our sins - our past, present, and future sins. Now that we are forgiven, why is there a need to confess and repent of our sins? That is because such truth is incomplete and lack depth. I am reminded of the words of Einstein, in the Citation made by Zukofsky:
  • There is also the other side of the coin minted by Einstein: “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler” – a scientist’s defense of art and knowledge – of lightness, completeness, and accuracy.
The purpose of Jesus' death is more than just paying for the judgment for our sins, it is also to rebirth us into God's children by His resurrection through the Holy Spirit. Jesus' great commission to us is:

Matthew 20:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. 

The purpose is to be make disciples that exhibit God's behavior through observing all that Jesus commanded. Paul makes it very clear in Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, ... His children must exhibit their heavenly Father's character.
Salvation is the beginning step for achieving His image in us, His children. Immediately after Eph 2:8 that says we are saved by grace, not of works, verse 10 tells us that we are His workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. In the simplest form, we are not just saved for salvation purpose, we are saved for good works designed by God; not any simpler, else the meaning is lost.

How do we have the good works designed in each of us by God? 
It is simple, as cited above in Matthew 20:20, to observe all that Jesus has commanded us.
In the process of following, we may err from His ways. It could be our lack of knowledge of His ways as we fail to read the Bible or lack in communion with Him. Or it may be we lack the wisdom to apply His words in our situation rightly. Or it may a deliberate violation of His ways due to our giving it to the temptations of the evil one exploiting our own weaknesses. 

Knowing our Tripartite Nature gives us better understanding
We may understand better when we know that we are a tripartite being made up of spirit, soul (mind, will, emotions) and a body. Someone say we are a spirit with a soul living in a physical body. When we are saved, our spirit is born anew with a connection to God. Our mind changes not except with a new sensitive conscience. Our body also remains the same after the salvation. Rom 12:1-2 tell us to present our body as a living, not dead, sacrifice (ie let Jesus be our Lord and not I), and our mind be renewed with His Words. 

How do all these work out?
Psalm 32:1-5 gives us a good illustration.
  1. A Psalm of David, Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 
  2. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 
  3. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 
  4. For day and night, thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 
  5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and my iniquity has I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Verse 1-2 describes our salvation, where are sins and transgression are forgiven. But notice in v2, it is in the spirit that there is no guile (deceit, treachery). Our spirit is fine.

But verse 3 and 4 tell us our body, in particular, our bones, are not doing well. Our bones are drying up. We are suffering very badly due to sickness. We groan with pains all day long! We felt it was God punishing us but it was actually our transgressions. Our sins cause our sickness. Our body becomes dehydrated, skinny and weak.  The inside of our bone is the bone marrow, which is the production center of our blood, the red and white blood cells. A typical terminal sickness is a leukemia that requires bone marrow transplant for healing. Besides, white blood cells are part of the immune system. If our immune system is damaged, there can be many other kinds of sicknesses too.

So we can see that a common cause of our sickness is our transgression of His ways, either in thoughts of the mind(e.g. worry, fear, stress) or in the body (e.g. excessive eating and drinking).

The good news comes in verse 5 when we acknowledge and confess our transgressions. The original Hebrew for the word confess is H3034 yâdâh contains the meaning of to throw, shoot, cast down. Hence, the meaning is more than just admitting but rather to know, admit, and to cast away or in short, to change. To change our wrong thinking and bad behavior that bring us the sickness.  When we do our repentance, the Lord is sure to forgive our iniquity of our sin that causes the sickness. Verse 6,7 shows the deliverance of the Lord and verse 8 shows that we have learned the lessons to teach others to follow the Lord. Verse 11 declares our righteousness and our rejoicing.

Salvation is the Start of the Sanctification Process of our Growth into His Likeness.
The best teacher for our growth is the real life experience. We tasted the evil of our disobedience or our bad thoughts that we gain a better understanding and of the value of the need to follow His Ways. Of course, the best is for us to follow His Ways and live in victory and health. Nevertheless, some terrible experience may be good teachers for us. Always remember though, to come back to God, for His forgiveness is always available to us. But if we continue in sins, while our spirit may be saved, our mind and our body will suffer. Go back to God for restoration. 

Read and be encouraged by:

Heb 4:15  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:16  Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

Psa 103:2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 
Psa 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 
Psa 103:4  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 
Psa 103:5  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

Lim Liat (c) 17 June 2015

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