[Papercut Press Publishing] 1999-03-15 - Re-Visiting Titanic

If the movie, the musical, the museum, books and web pages are not enough for you, take heart; Orlando, Florida is thinking of you. Soon there will be a permanent attraction in Orlando that will allow you to re-live the Titanic maritime tragedy over and over. In other Titanic news, the movie will be coming to HBO in April. I have been told that my time will be up and I will be forced to see the movie (for the 1st time) then.

On the subject of maritime events. There is a story about the crew of a ship who, day after day, were bailing water from their ship. The water came in, they pumped, carried, and bailed, but the water kept coming. Their great mistake was that they failed to stop the leaks in the boat.

The life of Christian repentance, for some, is not unlike the above ship. We often find ourselves confessing and confessing without really addressing the sin that continues to result in our backsliding. We must remember that confession needs to go with an amended life. We must fix the leaks in our spiritual life-boat. If we fail to change our habits and practices, we will never get beyond confessing the same habitual sins over and over.

Repentance: (rough and ready style) The attitude of repentance is one of humility. The behavior of repentance is one of conscious, determined action. The habit of repentance is one of the keys to godliness. The result of repentance is a changed person.

Repentance assumes humility because to repent is to consciously admit that we have offended someone. Sometimes this is another person, but what is in mind in this passage, 1 John 1:5-10, is more our relation to God than one to another. A repentant sinner goes to God determined to admit fault. But if repentance ends here, it is incomplete. Repentance also has in view a change in behavior or a resolve to avoid such mistakes in the future.

Without the second part, changing our behavior, repentance is incomplete. Doing so would be just like those bailing out the ship mentioned above. Sure, they get some water out, but until the leak is repaired, the water will continue to come into the boat. Repentance must take place with a change in behavior.

This is why the habit of repentance leads to and is one of the keys to godliness. Completed repentance changes a person and makes them more conformed to the will and purpose of God for their lives. Completed repentance makes us more Christlike. “Real repentance consists in the heart being broken for sin and from sin.” --Nevins

Soli Deo Gloria,