I am reading a Daily Reading of Scripture and commentary from Rev. J.C. Ryle from the 18th Century. Even in Ryle’s day, people faced the same type of sinful nature we face today. For February 1st, he dealt with people who proclaimed to be Followers of Christ and yet willfully sinned. After reading his commentary, I thought about what I constantly see on the internet in social media. I see posts from professing Christians who are in an affair with another person. They are not married but are posting and what they post is an “in your face” type of posting!
An example is posting about their accommodations and the fact they are sharing a bed together. They are bragging about the affair! It’s like they have no shame in it! They are unrepentant! They are not even sorry for it! If they are going to be flaunting their affair, they should just get married and make it right with God!
Don’t continue the sin and post about it! I have even heard people say, “Yes, I slept with him and Jesus still loves me!” That statement may be true, but willful sin cheapens the gospel for what Christ did for them at Calvary. Willfully sinning causes the Holy Spirit to grieve! Then posting about it comes across as bragging about your sin! It’s troubling to know that these people are doing this! We are to be repentant of our sin, meaning that we will not only be sorry for what we have done, but we must turn from it and stop doing it!
Rev. J.C. Ryle discussed Luke 13:1-5. Let’s read it and then discuss it.
“There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
In verse one, although Pilate was a cruel man, this passage is the only passage that records that he killed people in the act of worship. In verse two, Jesus denies that one may deduce from this horrible event that these Galileans were more sinful than others. In verses three to five, all are sinners. Jesus calls on all to repent, otherwise they will perish.
Rev. Ryle wrote, “There is a close connection between true repentance and forgiveness (v.3). The plain meaning of this expression in verse three is that John preached the necessity of being baptized in token of repentance, and that he told his hearers that unless they repented of their sin they would not be forgiven.”
Ryle also wrote, “Do we ourselves repent? This, after all, is the question that most concerns us. Have we been convinced of sin by the Holy Spirit? Have we fled to Jesus for deliverance from the wrath to come? Do we know anything of a broken and contrite heart and a thorough hatred of sin? Can we say, “I repent,” as well as “I believe?” If not, let us not delude ourselves with the idea that our sins are yet forgiven. It is written that “Unless we repent, we shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
As we strive to live a life of Christ, if we are participating in willful sin, then we need to turn from this evil way and ask Jesus to forgive us from this wickedness. Unrepentance can separate us from God in that our relationship will suffer and we will grieve the Holy Spirit.
If you are involved in willful and unrepentant sin, you can change your life by admitting it to the Father, ask forgiveness for it, and pray that He will deliver you from any addictions that you may be involved with. If you are a Christian and you are in a relationship of adultery, then break in off immediately, and run to Christ. He is your only salvation.
Consider this as a reflection and meditation: “We can feel sorry for our sins without turning from them. This is remorse, but it is not repentance. Repentance forsakes sin.”
 JC Ryle, Robert Sheehan, ed., Daily Readings from all four Gospels: For Morning and Evening, (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020), February 1st, Morning.
 Ibid., Ryle.
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