Sin and Repentance

The root of all sin is a heart that rejects God. As Paul presents it in Romans 1:18f, “…they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened (1:21 NAS) …exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image (1:23 NAS) … exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator (1:25 NAS) … they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer” (1:28 NAS).
We read something similar in the prophets. The Lord laments His people’s failure to remember Him: “Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number” (Jer. 2:32 NAS).
Sin is both a consequence of forgetting God and the fountain from which sin compounds. Luther argued that all the commandments at their root violate the first commandment: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Oftentimes, our repentance is focused on the sinful deeds that we have committed, which is proper. The problem is that sin is not just misbehavior. Sin is also not loving God first and foremost. Could it be that our repentance needs both a Godward focus, that is, loving Him, and a behavioral focus, that is, turning away from evil.
Therefore, in all our repentance, let us be thankful to God, glorify God, worship God, and seek God as our highest good.

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