In this chapter of Hebrews the author in passing mentions the elementary teachings of Christ. The first one is repentance from acts leading to death. The second is faith. There is a direct correlation between faith and repentance. If you don’t understand this, your faith can be hindered in its effectiveness.
The repentance he refers to is the changing of our actions from those that would lead us to death. Death is separation. Adam died in the Garden of Eden when he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet Genesis records his life span as 930 years. The first stage of death was separation from God. He was removed from the garden and he no longer walked with God in the cool of the day. The second stage of death is separation of the spirit from the body and that happened for Adam hundreds of years later.
When we sin, we act unrighteously. We miss the mark of the high calling. We react in the flesh and protect ourselves or pursue our own interests over everyone else’s, including God. When we sin, we have performed acts that lead to death. These acts separate us from God. Matthew 6:14 and 15 says: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This scripture is very clear that sin will cause a problem with the heavenly Father. Mark 11:24 and 25 say: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (25) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Jesus in his teaching was saying to have faith in God and when you pray, believe in faith and you will have what you prayed for. He then says in conjunction with faith if you hold anything against anyone; forgive, so that your Father may forgive.
Our heart can tie or untie our faith. If we are harboring unresolved issues in our heart we are binding our faith in God from working. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Our source for faith is in Him. If we allow sin to separate us, we are hindering our faith. When we repent, we release faith. The two are inextricably tied to each other. Faith comes from the heart, not the head. If our heart is bitter, not one of love, for God is love, then we are separating ourselves from the very source of our faith.
This is a very powerful truth. I know from personal experience that the bible is true in this regard. Having forgiven and received forgiveness for harboring envy, strife and bitterness towards a friend one day, the next day I had a release in faith that I had been praying to happen for weeks. The forgiveness released faith. Think about it! Is there anything you have been trying to have faith for but have not yet seen the result? Could your problem be an issue of forgiveness? He’s able to confirm it to you if it is the case. All He wants is your heart to be right and full of love and contentment.
(excerpt from Faith: The Currency of Heaven - available through our website/Amazon)
(image courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)