And if your whistle's weak, yell "Jiminy Cricket!"

     There have been many times, predominantly as a lost sinner without hope, and even sometimes as a regenerate believer, that I have confused the stings of conscience for repentance and turning away from sin; I have deceived myself by obscuring the true condition of my heart on countless occasions by mistaking the painful feelings of guilt I experience subjectively for the forsaking of my love for sin and disobedience towards a holy God. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). More often than not, I simply regretted the results of my actions which bore negative ramifications and consequences rather than any kind of inherent offense against God for my wrongdoing. For me to make a sacrament of regret doesn’t glorify God- it only makes an idol of my conscience and in so doing suppresses the truth in my heart. Sin isn’t about failing my potential and letting myself down, it’s about rebellion against a righteous God.     
     God doesn’t call us to wring our hands and perform a kind of penance through sadness and being down in the dumps- He calls us to repentance and restoration through Christ’s atoning blood. God’s command is for all to abandon both their sin (as an object of action and thought) and their fundamental attitude towards sin (our love for sin in its various forms) and to simultaneously depend upon Christ’s active obedience (in His lifetime of perfect pursuit of holiness) and His vicarious death on behalf of sinners so as to be made right with God (through His forensic declaration of our being righteous) and to purify our conscience from the slander of Satan, whose accusations against us all, prior to our being born again, are incontrovertible. The Father, in keeping His eternal covenant with the Son, will never fail to justify them whose sins the blood of the Son has covered- He will ever and always be faithful to His promises. In fact, He delights in doing this because it glorifies the Son, whom the Father loves with a love more profound than we can fathom this side of eternity. Let us strive then for a clean conscience before God through true repentance and embrace the Spirit of renewal who removes from us the pollution of sin as we grow in grace and truth.

     “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:14)


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