This year, baptized members of the Philadelphia Church of God will observe the solemn Passover ceremony on the night of April 18, commemorating the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that pays for the physical and spiritual sins of all humanity past, present and future once we repent. From April 20–26, everyone in the Church—converted or not—will celebrate the Days of Unleavened Bread, which picture the complete removal of sin from our lives.
As we rapidly approach the spring holy day season, we should be thoroughly examining our lives for sin and preparing our minds to discern Christ’s sacrifice. This can be a very sobering experience as we begin to grasp the horrifying sins we have committed—sins that required the death penalty of our Savior.
During the self-examination process, we must think on God’s goodness. “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4). Obviously, repentance is of the Holy Spirit. But here it says the goodness of God leads us there.
Do you realize how good God is? How good He is to you? How much He has given you? When we evaluate ourselves and compare ourselves with the goodness of God, we see how evil we are. Compare your goodness with God’s, and then you begin to see why we really need to repent toward God and not toward man.
How good is God? Just think about Christ’s crucifixion. Notice Genesis 22. After Abraham proved he was willing to sacrifice his son for God, the Word who later became Jesus Christ said this: “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven …” (Genesis 22:16-17). God swore by Himself in making this promise to Abraham. In other words, He was telling Abraham, I’m going to give my life for you, or I’m going to die trying. Because you’ve done this deed, my death will pay for your sins. I’m going to bring you into my Family. I swear this by my own life.
Yes, when Christ came to this Earth, His life was at stake. He could, indeed, sin. Christ’s life was the greatest risk in the history of man. But He took it because He wanted people like Abraham in His Family—people who would go out and sacrifice their own son if necessary, knowing that God would resurrect him to fulfill a promise (Hebrews 11:17-19). Abraham had that kind of faith and trust in God, and God returned that love many times over. All people who can repent like you, Abraham—I will give my life for them. I know that if I don’t make it, nobody else will. But I’m going to do this so we can build the Family of God. That’s the cost it took for us to receive God’s Holy Spirit.
If Christ had failed, God the Father would have been sitting in solitary confinement for the rest of eternity! That’s the kind of sacrifice these Gods made for us. We can forget that in our callous, carnal thinking. But God the Father and Christ did it—and they did it for you. They want you to be aware of that. Not out of their vanity, but so that you will recognize that repentance must be toward God! We must understand repentance if we are to enter the God Family.
Meditate deeply upon God’s goodness! It is contrary to everything we see in this miserable, evil world. God’s mind is in perfect accord with His law in every detail.
To learn more about this vital subject, study my free booklet Repentance Toward God.