Repentance Series (2 of 9) What is Repentance

Most have heard that repentance is a ‘180-degree turn from sin towards God.’ This is a true statement, but it rolls so simply off of the tongue that we do not see the force of it. We all tend to do a 90-degree repentance; we will be convicted of sin and will dig down deep into ourselves with the intention of putting a halt to that sin. We will turn away from the sin towards ourselves for the strength to overcome the sin. We find the strength within ourselves to resist sin for a short while, but then somehow over the course of time we find ourselves back into the same sin, and usually worse off than we were in the first place. That is not repentance. If your repentance is based on your own personal attempts at piety then my friend you are unrepentant. Your efforts at repentance are proof that you are rebellious against God in that you believe you can overcome sin by your own strength. If you believe that then you are saying that Christ did not die for you, because you do not need Him. Sound harsh? It should, you see God has given us delivery from sin and death through Christ, if you are trying to deliver yourself then you deny the gift.

So the first thing we established is that repentance is a 180-degree turn. I have not quoted scripture because the word repent itself holds this meaning without any context need.

The second thing we must realize about repentance is that it is a gift. We miss this too often! Repentance is given by God, not worked out on our own. If we can grasp this we will truly begin to understand what repentance is. The following verses show that repentance is given from God.

Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”

2 Timothy 2:25 “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

If we fail to recognize repentance as a gift from God that is to be sought after we will fail in every case to repent. Repentance is a purely human work if it is not given from God. If repentance is our work then we are enemies of God because we claim a righteousness of our own, and deny the need for a righteous savior. We also will fail to see the immense love that our Lord has for us. When we attempt to overcome sin on our own and fail over and over again we begin to doubt in the power of our Lord, yet when God gives you repentance unto life then His immense love becomes so evident.

Finally repentance is a turning away from yourself. I tried in this post to make it very clear that repentance is not a work that you muster up the will power to do. Repentance is very much the opposite of that, it is a complete turning away from yourself and your abilities and relying entirely on Him. The biggest hindrance to your repentance is not the temptation to continue sinning, but the insistence the in you is the power to overcome sin.

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

It is through the Spirit, not personal effort, that repentance occurs, and that the deeds of the body will be mortified.

I will summarize:

What is repentance?
1. A 180-degree turn from sin towards God.
2. A gift from God.
3. A turning away, or denial of self.

The next post will be on “How to Repent” will be more practical than this post, but going into that part of this series it is so important that we remember that repentance is a gift, it is turning away from self, and it is turning away from sin towards God.

As always feel free to comment, to do so you just click the title of the blog and then go down the screen to where it says add comment.


Repentance Series (1 of 9)

Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Over the next 9 posts we will be looking into repentance. I have been burdened by the Lord with this simple word, REPENT, for the past week or so, and have come to realize that most of my life I have been taught a ‘gospel’ that excluded repentance. I now am coming to realize that a ‘gospel’ that does not include repentance is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has graciously granted me repentance and continues to do so to this day. It brings so much joy to be broken by our Lord unto repentance, and more importantly when we are living a repentant life it brings great pleasure to our Father in heaven. The posts that are to come in this series will prove to be difficult on all of us, whether we are a repentant believer who desires to share God’s truth, or even more difficult if we are unrepentant and making a profession of faith in Christ. The ensuing posts are not written to make the true believer doubt his belief, but rather to give greater understanding. These posts will be written to bring the false professor to question their faith and not to rest easy until they have sought the Lord and experienced truly His Love and the great joy that exists in the broken repentant life.

The new testament mentions repent, or repentance over 40 times, and over the course of the posts nearly all of them will be addressed. Following this introductory post will be 8 with the following subjects:

What is repentance?
How can we repent?
Why must we repent?
Continuing in repentance
The rewards of repentance
God’s Pleasure in repentance
Preaching repentance
Concluding remarks.

This may take a week, it may take months, each post may become 2 or more posts, or they may be short and simple. I am not sure what the Lord has in store. Let us pray that the Lord would bless this study and bring Him glory by it, let us humbly approach this with open hearts and receive the teaching He has for us.

Please feel free to leave comments throughout the study. That is all for now, expect the next post soon.


A Continuation of prior blog

I desire to continue along the same line as the last post, so if you have not yet read the prior post you may want to do so.

Many will say to me based on the prior blog that I am a legalist, or I am just too hard, or even that I am pronouncing condemnation on people when I have no right to do so. I am not being legalistic, look at the hard words of Christ concerning discipleship, and the narrow way. We cannot just look past the hard words of Christ and focus only on the comforting ones. The apostles certainly did not, nor should we. We need to evaluate ourselves, are we born of God? Are we regenerate? Do you have a new nature? Do you have a heart of flesh in the place of your heart of stone? Or are you suppressing your carnal will in an attempt to regenerate yourself unto God? Is sanctification your work, or the work of God? To often people think to themselves, ‘I must pray more’, ‘I must give more’, ‘I need to worship more’, ‘I need to witness more’, and so on acting if these things are chores. Friends if you are regenerated none of these things are chores, they are the desires of your new heart. If you do not desire the things of God in the depths of your heart then maybe you still have a heart of stone, and are in danger of an eternity outside of the magnificent love of our Lord. This is so critical, you may be doing so much for God out of obligation, or even coercion from your church’s pulpit but it the end our Lord will say ‘Depart from me, I never knew you.’

Are you born of God? We all still sin, this post is not to make a believer doubt their standing with God, instead it is to call out those who are simply saying ‘Lord, Lord’. If you are a believer who is afraid to witness, test your heart, if you really and honestly desire to share the love of Christ but the flesh promotes a fear in you, then friend you are born of God! I say this because your hearts desire is witnessing yet you are hindered by the flesh. If you truly desire to give more, yet you fear what will happen if you do, then you are lacking faith, but nonetheless your desire is that of a new heart. If you honestly desire to read your scriptures more, but fleshly laziness wells up in you, then friend you are born of God because your heart desires His word, you are disobedient in your laziness, but nonetheless born of God. If you do all the things I mention, but you do them out of obligation and not from the hearts desire then you need to get alone with God. You need to plead with Him for a new heart and do not even think to get off of your knees until he has given it to you.

I as much as anyone struggle with my flesh, but praise God that sin is only the desire of my flesh, and no longer the desire of my heart. Praise God that the flesh is at war with my new nature, and not a comrade with it as it was with the old nature. Sin is human nature, praise God that He has replaced that nature. Lets get away from all of our intellectualism, our ramblings about this and that, and lets just get at the heart of it. If you are born of God, praise Him for that! If not, what is holding you back from pleading earnestly to Him until he bestows upon you the salvation and new nature which you desire?


Eternal Security - Repentance = the pit

Eternal security is a precious doctrine, to know that once the Lord has redeemed you, that he will keep until the end is a wonderful bit of assurance for all who are called His. However I think this doctrine wrongly applied has sent many a sinner into the pit. The problem is that people will move on to clinging to this doctrine before they ever repent. How often do you see one who professes to be a Christian living a life of habitual sin? Jesus said very clearly that you can know a man by his fruit. If the fruit of a man is continually bad, you know that he is not regenerate. We all still sin, but if we are regenerate we live in a state of repentance where we are turning from sin, and moreover we have a holy hatred of sin. The doctrine of eternal security some have used to ease their conscience about their sinful lifestyle, where in truth if someone has a sinful lifestyle they are not regenerate at all, and are finding comfort in a doctrine that does not yet apply to them. If you can continually commit the same sinful acts which you know are sinful, and you do not despise those acts, or you make excuses or try to justify your sinfulness then you are not a child of God, and have not a single ounce of security. “Except ye repent ye too shall likewise perish.” It breaks my heart to think that I was given an opportunity to preach on a Wednesday night at our church a few months back and I preached a gospel that never mentioned repentance, and therefore was not the whole gospel. People loved the preaching, and I hope the Lord could still use it to His glory, but I failed.

We need to see that we are called out from the sinful life; we are given a new heart, and new life. If we have new life, God forbids we return to the old one, and he will not let us return to the old one, he holds us eternally secure. If we are living the old life, and there is no evidence of regeneration that we are not being held eternally secure and have never truly been given new life. If we are living the old sinful life it is proof that our profession is false.

I know these are rough words, but they are true. I am done watering down the word for my own ease, and for the ease of others.


Obedient Sin

Obedience for the sake of self is sin. Many Christians labor to be obedient for the sake of becoming better Christians. They seek obedience knowing that a life of complete obediece would certainly be more fulfilling than their current life of disobedience. They seek obedience out of a quest for a better life for themselves. People will apply scriptural precepts to their own lives for their own benefit. Some Christians will strive for obedience thinking it will give them assurance of life eternal. The problem with this type of obedience is that it is ultimately aimed at pleasing self. We are better off being disobedient in an effort to glorify the Lord, than we are being obedient for the sake of self. Our ultimate concern as Christians must be the glory of God... period. If we are going to be obedient in giving to the church we must be giving for the glory of God, not to ease our conscience, or to receive blessing in return. We resist temptation to bring glory to God, not for fear of punishment. It is all about focus. For too long we have been witnessing because we feel bad for people who are destined for the pits of hell, when we should be witnessing to people because God deserves to be glorified in their life. If we are obedient to the call to witnessing for the betterment of mankind then we are serving man, yet when we witness with the purpose of God being glorified then we are serving the most high. We can all think of our own struggles with disobedience, and if we cut through all the details we will see that the reason we are struggling is because we are seeking obedience in a particular area for our own benefit, if our focus was to glorify God, obedience will simply occur. If our hearts are turned toward the glorification of God, obedience will come naturally.

Well I have to leave, I may continue this later. I haven't proof read this at all so there are probably a million typos.