Monday, February 27, 2023

True Repentance

Monday, February 27, 2023

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

True Repentance
If you are already a Christian, the scripture above tells us that after being honest with yourself and admitting your sin, you need to repent.  If you are not, should you also follow with a public confession by being baptized.  

What must I do? 
The scripture above was in response to a question asked by the crowd of thousands of people that Peter was preaching to in Jerusalem during the Pentecost.  He had been preaching the first gospel sermon ever preached in the name of Jesus and at one point in the sermon, conviction was so strong that the audience cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37).  Peter’s answer was direct and clear; repent and be baptized – every one of you. These are not just words; these are words that carry weight.  

Repentance is turning away in Godly sorrow from all sin -- sins of thought, word, and deed, secret sins and known sins. When we truly repent, we are ashamed of and sorry for all sins alike because they are wrong, and we turn from all sin - even the ones we don’t want to let go of. It does not require a long time to repent; these people repented on the spot.  We understand the word repentance as confessing our sin and changing our ways.  In our minds repentance is all about modifying behavior.

Changing behavior has been the object of many programs, especially in addiction.  Shick had a program that used what was called “aversion therapy.”  A person was forced to perform the behavior until they were sick so that when they thought of doing it again, they remembered the pain.

It has been aptly remarked that repentance is the hardest command for man to perform. 
·     That may well be because real repentance is not merely changing what I do, it is changing who I am. In short, a man must be set free from the sin he is, which makes him do the sin he does.--George MacDonald

·     Any concept of grace that makes us feel more comfortable sinning is not biblical grace. God's grace never encourages us to live in sin; on the contrary, it empowers us to say no to sin and yes to truth. -- Randy Alcorn 

Incomplete Repentance - Why repentance does not work for some

·     Repentance is not just regret. They had already been cut to the heart. (v.3) And now Peter says, "Repent!" Repentance is more than feeling sorry. It means following through on that conviction and turning around  - changing your mind and your heart so that you are no longer at odds with God but in sync with God.
      The kind of repentance that works changes more than just behavior. It is a radical change in one's 
attitude toward sin and God. It implies a conscious, moral separation, and a personal decision to forsake sin and to enter into fellowship with God.  Real repentance is more than changing my behavior out of fear of hurting others or fear of being caught (sorrow).  It is changing my behavior because now I see things differently. It is ceasing to think like the world and beginning to see things with our new mind in Christ.  It is where truth meets sin.

I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians  7:9-10

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