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Repentance from Dead Works (1 of 7)

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 10
Now this happens with believers as well - if the foundations are not there, the consequence is immaturity. Notice what he says: “you are dull of hearing”. You're not actually spiritually sensitive to the things God is saying. In fact, the Bible tells us that in the last days, people will want to hear teachings that tickles their ears, and makes them feel good - not teaching that forms Christ in them. God's plan is not you just get saved and go to heaven. God's plan is that His Son, and the nature of His Son, and His loving life, is formed in you. So the foundations are absolutely essential.

Notice it says that a person who hasn't got the foundations in them - the Bible calls them a babe. That word babe means: one who's so young, they can't talk properly - a spiritual babe. It doesn't mean they don't make sounds; it's just actually there's not a maturity, spiritually, around them. To be of full age means you lack nothing; you've actually been completed in the things God wants to build into your life.

Maturity has to do with being able to exercise your senses to discern good and evil; so a person who is growing in their Christian life - this is what they can do. They have developed their spiritual sensitivity, because their foundations are laid, and they can discern good and evil. Now of course you'll be thinking straight away: well I know good and evil... If someone gets drunk, that's evil; if someone gets sober, that's good. If someone steals, that's evil; if someone gives out, that's good. That's very true, all that's true, but that's not what it's referring to here. It's referring to something different to that.

What was the name of the tree that Adam and Eve ate from, that led them to substitute their relationship with God for something else? It was the tree of good and evil - so you need to compare this with the original - Paul's referring to that. What did they do? They substituted a relationship - a love relationship with God as a Father and provider; they substituted that, with knowledge about what is right and wrong. I'll show you exactly the nature of the fall, because if you don't understand what the fall is, you won't understand why this needs to be laid so strongly.

So to discern good and evil is very simply this: it's the spiritual capacity to tell what is the motivation of something; whether it flows with the life of the spirit, or whether it's just someone putting on a good. Is this real, and the life of God is in it; or is there something at the core of this, you can tell this is just someone really trying hard? In other words, it's the ability to discern what is religious, from what is the flow of the spirit. Many people come into a meeting, they can't even tell the flow of the spirit. Many people don't know how to live the life of the spirit.

If you don't know how to live the Life of the Spirit, you will be living out of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. God wants us, in this coming season, to grow inside - by putting foundations in us, and then learning how to engage, live in, and bring the life of the Holy Spirit into our daily life - but there has to be some foundational things put in.

Notice now it describes the foundations - it gives an overview, and it describes six of them. The first one is repentance from dead works. Notice it doesn't say there: repentance from sin. Most people when they read it read that - repentance from sin. They think: that's for a sinner; that's someone who's just come into Jesus. No, this is a foundation to be a believer. It's something you have to live in. Repentance from Dead Works - we're going to look at that today; and then: Faith towards God.