READ: Genesis 7-9, Psalm 3, Matthew 3, Acts 3
The Ark Of Repentance
Knowing that the thoughts and imaginations of man are only evil, all the time, God decided to destroy the earth. The wrath of God was poured out through the flood, the fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven unleashing His anger. Noah and family were shielded by remaining in the ark for over one year. All other flesh died.
All sin has to go. Mortification is not selective. We cannot think God can be appeased by our efforts to eradicate one bad habit, one tendency to temptation, or one besetting sin. All our sin must be crucified. We cannot diffuse the wrath of God by partial or conditional surrender. All must be laid on the altar. God’s fountains and windows will be unleashed in total war against the total man. We often think of repentance in terms that are specific and momentary. God wants us to live a repentant life.
John the Baptist understood the stakes and warned the religious pretenders against the “wrath to come.” Only repentance saves us, a repentance that is ongoing and active. Peter in his Acts 3 sermon insists all “repent and be converted,” namely that there is ongoing humility and change that we might experience the blessing of Jesus turning us away from our iniquities.
Total mortification seems unrealistic. John Owen reminds us: “It is man’s duty to mortify sin, but not in his own way. The Spirit alone mortifies sin in believers. He has promised to do it, and all other means without Him are empty and vain.” Only by the ongoing humility of living in the ark of repentance can we position ourselves under the reforming and renewing hand of God. Let us not think we can repent over select sins alone; let us live with the horror of our sinful natures and in the glory of being freed and forgiven from them. We must ever sense the waves crashing against the ark in order to appreciate its sanctuary.