Repentance is the first step we take to receive the salvation that God offers to us in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2Cor 7:10)
‘…God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ When the people heard this, they were cut to heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied,’ Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven’ (Acts 2:36-38).
Repentance is 180-degree turn, turning away from sin and going back to God.
A. What Repentance Is Not
1. Not just feeling guilty
-Feeling guilty about sin comes before, but is not repentance itself. No one repents unless they first feel guilty about their sin, but not all who feel guilty actually repent.
(See Acts 24:25) Felix felt guilty but did not repent.
2. Not just being sorry for your sin
-Some people are very sorry because of the consequences of their sin, or because they have been caught. Many people are sorry, not for what they have done wrong, but for the penalty they receive in being caught. (See 2Cor 7:10).
3. Not just trying to be a good person
-Many people try in their own strength to become a better person and change their way of life. Any self-effort has a root of self-righteousness in it, which does not acknowledge the need of repentance from sin. (See Isa 64:6).
4. Not becoming religious
-The Pharisees in the Bible were extremely religious in behaviour and practice. They fasted and prayed and had many religious ceremonies, yet never repented. (See Matt 3:7-10, Matt 5:20).
5. Not just knowing the Truth -Having an intellectual head-knowledge of truth does not necessary guarantee that the truth has become a living reality in one’s life. Believing with the head and believing with the heart are different (See Romans 10:10, James 2:19-20).
B. What True Repentance Is
1. Being sorry to God for your sin -True repentance is a sorrow not just toward one’s self, or toward another person, but first and foremost it is true sorrow toward God. (See Psalms 51:1-4, Psalms38:8)
2. Being truthful about your sin -“Then I acknowledge my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said ‘ I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and forgave the guilt of my sin. (Ps 32:5, 1John 1:9).
3. Turning away from your sin “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whosoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
4. Hating Sin (See Heb 1:9, 1John 3:9)
5. When possible, paying back to others what you owe (See Luke 19:8, Lev 6:1-7)
C. What Repentance Involves
1. Turning From Sin (See Gal 5:19-21).
2. Turning from the world (See 1John2: 15).
3. Turning from own self (See 2Cor 5:15, Gal 2:20).
4. Turning To God (Zech 1:3)
5. Turning to Right Living (Romans 6:13).
Today I decide to repent and will keep turning from sin as God reveals wrongdoing to me.