Turning to God… by John J. Parsons ZLM Scholar

torah-scroll-300x200

The theme of the High Holidays is teshuvah (בהּ ָתשו ,(ְּ ֹa word often translated as
“repentance,” though it is more accurately understood as turning back (i.e., shuv)
to God. In spiritual terms, teshuvah may be regarded as a practical turning away
from evil and a turning toward the good, though it is simpler to regard turning
to God as the means by which we turn away from evil. Indeed the Greek word
translated repentance (i.e., meta´noia) means going beyond our habitual thinking,
changing our mind, and learning to see from a radically new perspective.
As we look to God, we begin to see that “everything is new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Teshuvah, or repentance, believes that the kindness of God can give life to
our dead hearts, and therefore it is first of all a matter of faith, trusting God to
perform the miracle for us. However, even though it is a great gift from Heaven,
repentance requires honesty and acknowledgment of the truth. We must confess
our inner poverty, our neediness, and mourn over the loss and harm caused by
our sin (Matt. 5:2–8). Repentance turns away from our attempts to defend or
justify ourselves and instead turns to God to heal our separation from Him
(Rom. 8:3–4). Teshuvah buries our old nature by making it into a new creation.
It is no small feat to believe the message of Yeshua, and indeed, it involves a
passionate inwardness that “scandalizes” the rational mind. Our father Abraham
is extolled as the model of righteous faith, but he was tested to sacrifice the moral
law (e.g., “thou shalt not murder”) when he lifted up the knife to slay his beloved
son Isaac. Faith requires you to change your everyday thinking, to go beyond
natural expectations, to “walk on water.” In the case of Yeshua, we are confronted
with the “Absolute Paradox,” namely, the God-Man, the Infinite-made-Finite,
the Holy-made-Profane, the Sinless-made-Sin, who says to you: “I AM the
resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he
live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe
this?” (John 11:25–26). You will never die; you will never hunger; you are made
whole through My brokenness; you will be cleansed by My defilement, and so on.
It’s not just hard to believe, it’s impossible, which is why it is a miracle of God to be saved (Matt. 19:26). “It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63). The difference is Yeshua: Salvation is of the Lord. We are enabled to love and know God by means of His inner life and spirit, not by means of good intentions or religious zeal. Faith itself is a miracle, the power of God. (Click to Site)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s