Dear Friends, Repentance is commanded in Scripture. Some say repentance is hard – the Bible says it’s impossible! Augustine got a handle on this conundrum when he said; “God gives us commands we cannot perform that we may know what we ought to request from Him”. Pray to the Lord to show you your sin (not just what bugs you) then take it to Jesus. In Him, George. Authority. Word on the Week. 17th April 2010. In Roman times in Palestine there was no difficulty in recognising where the authority lay. Her soldiers used crucifixion. 2,000 in one day makes a pretty clear statement as to who is in charge. In ecclesiastical matters excommunication, with its attendant fear of hell, enabled the church to establish its authority. Add superstition and the withholding of scripture and authority was relatively easily imposed on the people. Today in our secular society, democracy has hampered those in government from abusing power – in case they lose it! In ecclesiastical societies, the ability of churches to abuse has been dramatically reduced by the availability of an open Bible. No longer do people look at large buildings and fine vestments and think, “that is where the power lies”. This week the epitome of all that in Vatican City has begun to be exposed. The ability to self-destruct simply by failing to own up to error is built into the human physic. Add the notion of infallibility and you have burned the bridge to Gospel country. What does the Bible say to all this? In Psalm 51 David realises that covering up his sins may fool man but cannot deceive God. “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” The Bible is not selective when it comes to exposing sin. The Apostle Paul proclaims that “God is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent” Acts 17 verse 30. There are no exceptions. We must look back to the cross where God’s Lamb took the sins of the world. There were no sins too sinful. As St John wrote in his 1st letter “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.” Where does authority come from? Authority comes from the God of the Word who has all authority and the faithful application of the Word of God by His redeemed servants. May God grant the grace to truly repent and trust in the work of Jesus.