This week, the elders of Emmanuel Baptist Church would like to share with you this blog post written by Pastor Bill Morgan of Grace Baptist Church in Schreiber, Ontario.
“And after these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me”. So he left all, rose up and followed Him. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees (self-righteous religious people) complained against His disciples saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well (spiritually self-righteous) have no need of a physician, but those who are sick (spiritually lost). I have not come to call the righteous but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-32)
The very first message that Jesus Christ gave to mankind was the message addressing their greatest need! Most of us believe that in the spiritual area of our lives, we are O.K. Our judgment upon ourselves is usually based upon what our church tells us or as we compare ourselves to others (usually those worse than us, rather than better in our estimation). Repentance has to do with a change of mind about ourselves in light of how God judges us. When Jesus sat down and ate with tax collectors (known as cheats and thieves) and sinners, He was aware that these individuals would have no problem understanding that they didn’t meet God’s approval, and yet had a desire to do so. Jesus Christ visited mankind in order to provide a way for sinners to be made righteous, because we all enter this world as unrighteous. Only God can change that condition!
Our lost condition is stated over and over again in the Bible in order to persuade us of the need to repent of our sinful and unrighteous life. “For there is not a just man upon earth that does good and sins not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (God’s standard of righteousness).” (Romans 3:10, 23) The first message given by Jesus Christ, in order to meet our greatest need, was: “The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
Our greatest need is to be persuaded of our lost condition and to acknowledge our guilt. We then need to turn to God and trust that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save our souls through the mercy and forgiveness of God. This is exactly what God desires for you!! He longs for you to repent and believe the good news concerning His salvation. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Our greatest need – Repentance. God wants to bless you!!