If anyone wants to live in the right direction, this is always the starting point. If anyone wants to build themselves up as a spiritual house, a dwelling place for the Spirit, then the foundation of repentance has to be laid. The writer of Hebrews is even more specific. He says, the first principles of following Christ as our Chief Cornerstone is initiated in repentance from dead works.
What are dead works? Anything we do or have ever done that is done apart from Jesus’ will and kingdom. A dead work is a work rooted in ourselves and not rooted to the grace and sacrifice of Jesus. A dead work is a work that is reflective of our sinful nature rather than the result of us being a new creation in Jesus Christ.
This is why Proverbs can say, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” (Proverbs 21: 4 KJV) Even good activity carried out apart from the anointing and leadership of the Holy Spirit misses the mark. This is why the scripture says Jesus begins his ministry “full of the Holy Spirit”. (Luke 4: 1)
So repentance becomes a necessity. Every good work or wish becomes a dead work apart from the Spirit. There must be an alignment with our spirit with the Spirit of God. This is why the Bible talks about us turning to God. It is so we can move with God. Jesus says to love God with all of our heart, with all of our mind, with all of our soul, and with all of our strength. It is our with-ness that makes the difference.
As Jean Holmes, a dear saint of the Lord once told me. “You’ve got to have a with-ness before you have a witness.” This is why, if you are to frame your life to be a spiritual house for the Lord, you daily and sometimes more often than that, lay a foundation of repentance from dead works.