Repenting to Live Redeemed
I thank you, High God -- you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made. I worship in adoration -- what a creation!
Psalm 139:14 MSG
Warning. The following truth may feel uncomfortable. At least, it was for me. But we need to face hard truths sometimes, especially if we want our true beliefs to change and line up with Biblical beliefs.
The truth I had to face this week is that despising my body and trying to conform it to the definition of good set by the world is a sin. Calling my body anything other than what God says - marvelously made - very good - has to grieve God's heart. And anything that grieves God's heart should grieve mine as well.
I stand convicted...
But it's only a couple of days after resurrection Sunday, so it's still so real that my Savior took on this conviction for me, along with all the rest of my indictments so...
I stand redeemed!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
He redeemed us, and now it is time to repent -- to turn and go another way.
In his first letter to the churches, the Apostle Peter tells us exactly how to do this. It is such great advice.
"Since you call on a Father who judges each person's work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:17-19
Let's break this down into the steps God showed me through this passage:
First, we must live as strangers here in this world. It is normal in our current culture to have an ideal image of a good and beautiful body and complain and push any body that does not fit into this image. As I said in earlier posts, this has often been prescribed to us through images and the unwanted words of others. But we are not of this world. Right? We are strangers to this world because we live in the kingdom of God. In the kingdom, the King gets to decide what is good.
Secondly, we live our life in reverent fear of the one true judge. When we truly believe there is only one true judge and we let Him rule and reign, that is living in reverent fear. When we stop listening to the false judges and their false judgments because we know there is only one true judge, that is living in reverent fear. When we live believing that the one true judge created our body and soul and pronounced (another word for judged) them very good, we are living in reverent fear. Joining David singing, "I worship in adoration - what a creation!," is worshipping in reverent fear.
Finally, we leave behind the empty way of life handed down to us by our ancestors because God paid the price to get us out of it. God has redeemed us through the blood of Jesus, so we don't have to live this way anymore. I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases Apostle Paul's words on this in Romans 8:12-14 in the Message:
"So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent? There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!"
So this week, with the resurrection fresh in our purview, let's repent of any way we sin against God regarding our bodies and go a new way. We have been redeemed from the wrong way of viewing our bodies that our culture handed us. We live as strangers here, and we live in reverent fear of one true judge who has already made His judgment call - very good.
We are marvelously made. We can worship in adoration of God's breathtaking creation, which includes us. And we repent of our sins and revere the creator as we do.
Live out the Truth:
This week if you find yourself saying something you learned from your culture or comparing yourself to an image you've seen or that is stuck in your head, say to yourself (out loud if possible): I no longer live by that standard, I have been redeemed. This is repentance.
Then, find some things you like about your body or that fascinates you about the human body and worship God for His creation.
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