Saturday, May 29, 2010

On conviction, confession and repentance

Tyson Supasatit's comment on 27 May 2010 in the Charisma Magazine's facebook page:

What's up with the cover story on Joseph Prince? His teaching is popular, but wrong. In Destined to Reign, he teaches that the Holy Spirit does not convict Christians of sin (only unbelievers), that only unbelievers need to confess their sin, and that repentance does not involve remorse or sorrow for having sinned. (See pages 107, 108, 187, and 233 in Destined to Reign.) Forget about his views on Law vs. Grace, it's really about his views on conviction, confession, and repentance that should trouble us.

Lip Kee's comment:

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S CONVICTION

Let's hear what Jesus Himself said with regard to the Holy Spirit's conviction, shall we?

"And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." (John 16:8-9)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am convinced that Jesus has made it clear that the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict:

(1) the unbelievers of the sin of unbelief;

(2) the believers of our righteousness in Christ, even though we do not see Jesus physically with us, and

(3) the devil that he has been judged and is a defeated foe

It does not take the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sin. My own conscience convicts me of sin. It takes the Holy Spirit to convict me that I am still a beloved child of the Most High God, and to convict me that I am still righteous in the eyes of my Father.

It is this conviction that my Heavenly forever loves me and sees me righteous, and will never leave me nor forsake me, regardless of what I have done, what I am doing, and what I will do, that causes me to fall deeply in love with Jesus.

And when I am in love with Jesus, I am then able and willing to stay away from sin. For apart from Christ (and His enabling love), I can do nothing. (John 15:5)

THE BELIEVER'S CONFESSION

How do I, as a believer, confess my sin(s)? Do I confess the same way an unbeliever confesses?

Do I focus on myself and what I have done, or do I focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done?

I believe the New Testament way of confession for believers is to put the focus on Jesus and His work on the Cross, and to proclaim our total and perfect forgiveness found in Him. All of Him, none of me.

And this is exactly what Pastor Joseph Prince is teaching: confession that is not self-centered indulgence, but Christ-centered celebration.

So, I honestly don't see why I should be troubled by his teaching on the subject.

Tyson, would you like to elaborate more specifically, what is it about Pastor Joseph Prince's teaching that troubles you?

REPENTANCE

"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

The Bible says it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

By preaching God's grace, by unveiling Jesus, by expounding on God's goodness, Pastor Joseph Prince is helping us to repent (i.e. change our mind, turn away from ungodliness to God), don't you think so?

Tyson Supasatit's comment on 28 May 2010:

Hi, Lip Kee. Repentance involves more than just a change of mind. It also includes an abhorrance of one's past sins, or a "godly sorrow" that leads us to the cross and then leaves no regret. Where did you learn that repentance does not include remorse or sorrow?

lip kee's response:

FEELING OF REMORSE AND CHANGE OF MIND

Hi Tyson. I have a conscience. I would feel remorse and sorrow when I know that something I did causes pain or grief or loss or damage to another person.

Feeling remorse or sorrow is a normal emotional reaction to pain, grief, loss or damage. The feeling of remorse or sorrow by itself is NOT repentance.

I don't know about you, but I know that I cannot control my feelings. Much as I wish I could, I must be honest and admit that I have absolutely no control over my feelings. I can decide how I act in response to how I feel, but I cannot control how I feel. I simply feel.

Maybe you are different. But for me, when I see and understand the pain, grief, loss or damage caused by my sins, I cannot help but experience strong feelings of remorse and sorrow.

But the important thing is what do I choose to do next. Do I choose to wallow in those feelings of remorse and sorrow, beat myself up, and cry my eyeballs out? Or do I decide to focus on Jesus and His forgiveness, to put my trust in the Cross and its redemptive power, and to renew my mind according to His Word?

I repent (change my mind) because I abhor the destructiveness of sins, and because I am attracted by my loving Savior Who only wants the best for me.

I believe the New Covenant mindset is one that does NOT focus on one's ugly self and the introspective feelings.

The New Covenant mindset is consumed by our beautiful Lord Jesus Christ and the glorious magnificence of His Cross.

Hope you see where I am coming from. Peace.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/charismamagazine

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