Repentance often puts a sour taste in our mouth. We often cringe at the thought of admitting our error and announcing our faults. Repentance is a word often thrown around in christian circles with no depth or solid meaning. Even worse many “christians” remove this word from their vocabulary entirely. Repentance reminds us of our evil willed hearts and in the secular world this does damage to our self-esteem.
God empowers people to repent of their wrongs as part of the solution of their spiritual problem. Repentance is a serious decision commanded in scripture and necessary for salvation. Repentance isn’t a perfect separation from disobedience but it is a purposeful turning from those desires to please God himself.
And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
Throughout the gospels the apostles are commanding all men to repent. He is calling them to turn from their sin towards the savior, Jesus Christ.
That they should repent , turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. Acts 26:20
Why is repentance so important? When we repent we are acknowledging God’s authority as supreme. We are recognizing that he is creator, he sent his son to be a substitute for us, and he poured the wrath we deserve upon Jesus. Now because of that we expose our true hearts to God in a humble and thankful manner. We recognize we cannot save ourselves from God’s wrath and we trust the provision is enough. Without this humble display of submission to God we will push Jesus away and continue on our road of selfishness.
Let me clarify that repentance is different from worldly sorrow. There is a grief that follows getting caught in a fault. There is often guilt and shame that follow a wrong act but if that does not lead to change then it wasn’t true repentance. Can someone commit the same foul after true repentance? Yes! They can struggle with the same sins over and over throughout their christian life but as one matures they should be giving in less and less. Worldly sorrow may involve tears and the seeking for forgiveness but true repentance involves change.
There are signs of repentance when a person takes action to fight against whatever the struggle might be. Look at the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5 as some of the manifestations of change. This change does not happen over night, it takes time and discipline. Sin is ever-present and is ever seeking our full attention therefore we must stay in the word of God and in prayer. We need to pray for a more sensitive spirit towards sin and hold ourselves up the standards found in the bible. If what we think, say, or do is against the bible we need to submit and repent. There are a lot of specific situations or actions that aren’t mentioned in scripture in these cases we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and seek Godly counsel.
Understand to live in an unbroken state of sin (broken by repentance) is to live in opposition to God himself. If this is you and you’re not bothered by your sin then you are not a Christian. You cannot claim to be a child of God and deny his authority in your life. Do Christians sin? Yes! Will Christian ever by perfect? No! The difference is that a Christian will mature and grow to hate their sin more and more because of the affectionate relationship they have with their creator! Love God and turn from your disobedience! Put off the wrong and replace it with something that is right. Don’t just stop stealing but work and then give to the poor. If you are a Christian and you are living in sin don’t expect God to bless you, repent!
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
With Great Love and Truth,