- Repentance is the prerequisite to receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins and His eternal salvation (1Ki 8:48-50; Luk 13:5; Act 3:19-20, 8:22, 11:18; 2Pe 3:9; Hence the reason the gospel is not simply “believe” but “repent and believe” – Mar 1:14-15).
- Repentance means that:
2.1. I acknowledge/confess my specific sins (when committed), am truly sorrowful for my sins (Lev 26:40-42; Psa 32:5, 38:18; Mat 11:20-21; Jam 4:9, 5:6; 1Jo 1:8-10; Job 42:6-7).
2.2. I now hate sin (most especially my own) and am therefore genuinely thankful when God’s Word or others reveal its presence in my life (or those I am responsible for – e.g. kids, wives, congregation) so that it can be dealt with (Psa 141:5; Psa 119:128, 163; Jer 3:5 w/2Ti 3:16, 4:2; in re: to kids – Gen 18:19; Eph 6:4; in re: to wives – Eph 5:26; in re: to congregation – 2Ti 4:2).
2.3. I am now ashamed of my former sins and therefore do not revel in them, but rather avoid their display or those who like to relive them as happy memories of the past (Rom 6:21-23; Heb 12:2 – “Consider Jesus [as your example] who despised the shame [of sin]; 1Pe 4:2-4; Jam 4:8; 2Co 6:14-18; e.g. Class Reunions?).
2.4. I am not fearful of sin being revealed in my life since I am not aware of any sinful practice and genuinely want to deal with hidden sin or sins of ignorance (1Co 4:4; Psa 19:12-14, 139:23-24).
- Repentance requires that:
3.1. I turn from/forsake the practice or approval of any and all things revealed to be sin (Eze 18:21-23; Pro 28:13 – “confesses AND forsakes”; Act 26:17-18 – “turn from darkness” [1Jo 1:6-8 = darkness refers to sin] = forsake sinful practice; Phi 1:9-10).
3.2. I accept all of God’s Law as still in force since this is necessary to identifying sin (1Jo 3:4).
3.3. I remove all those things/people that are sacrilegious (a profanity of what is sacred – e.g. false Christians) or hinder me from practicing obedience and put in their place whatever and whoever necessary to guarantee that obedience will be the pattern in all areas of my life (Mat 18:7-9; Heb 12:1; Luk 13:23-24; 1Co 9:27-30; 2Co 6:14-18 w/11:1-13; 1Jo 1:9-11; e.g. Act 19:8-9, 19).
3.4. Righteousness (obedience to God’s Word/Law) is the new pattern in the area once defined by sin (Joh 5:14; Luk 3:8-14; Act 26:20 – “keeping” = the practice/pattern of your life).
3.5. I fulfill justice (according to what God’s Word requires) for my sins – no matter the cost (Lev 26:40-42; Luk 19:1-10; 2Co 7:9-11).
- Repentance includes rejecting as idolatrous and treasonous all thinking or beliefs that are revealed to be contrary to the teaching of God’s Word (Act 14:11-15 – “turn” = repent of/forsake their idolatrous thinking/beliefs; 2Ti 2:14-19; 2Co 10:3-6; e.g. Theistic Evolution/denial of literal six day creation – idolatry in re: to God/Jesus – Heb 11:3 ; treason in re: to Moses and Jesus – Exo 31:17; Mar 10:6, 13:19 and Luk 11:50-51).
- Repentance is something I must continue to practice for the rest of my Christian life if God is to continue extending His forgiveness and salvation to me. If I ever refuse to repent, I will forever forfeit both my ability to repent, and any chance of forgiveness or salvation (Eze 18:24; Rev 3:19-21; Deu 29:18-20; Mat 18:15-20; Heb 6:6, 10:26-30, 12:17).
- Repentance will not happen – nor continue to happen, unless I am a person who is first and foremost committed to God’s glory/name/honor/reputation over my own (Rom 3:1-4 = Paul was aware of the poor light his prior words were casting his fellow people in, but was committed to making sure it was God’s honor/glory/name/reputation that was defended and lifted up rather than his or their own; Mat 6:9 = This is what we commit to in our daily prayer; Rom 1:18 = Defending one’s own name/honor/reputation is why people when confronted w/the possibility of their own unrighteousness “suppress the truth”).