This past Sunday I preached from James 1:13-18 and we saw God’s call to us to turn from our sin and turn to Him. He loves us too much to leave us to pursue our own destruction. He has made us his beloved and so he calls us to pursue a lifestyle of repentance.
This week we will have a 2 part blog series on what exactly it means to “repent of sin”.
What is Repentance?
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
Definition of Repentance: A heartfelt sorrow for sin, a turning away from sin and turning to obedience to Christ.
Repentance is not just feeling sorry that you sinned. Repentance means taking action to change.
Why is Repentance Necessary?
1. There is no salvation without repentance
But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (Act 3:18-20 ESV)
2. Not repenting is staying in rebellion against God
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. (Rom 2:5 ESV)
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Heb 10:26-27 ESV)
3. Not repenting invites God’s discipline
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. (Heb 12:3-13 ESV)
4. As Christians, not repenting harms the One we say we love.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (Joh 14:15 ESV
5. Repentance brings us closer to the One we love
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Mat 5:8 ESV)
Repentance is a lifestyle
“Repentance is not confined to conversion. It is an attitude of the heart that continues throughout our lives as Christians. Jesus tells his disciples to pray daily, ‘Forgives us our sins’ (Matthew 6:12), a prayer that, if genuine, will certainly involve daily sorrow for sin and genuine repentance.” Wayne Grudem, Bible in Doctrine
“It is one thing to be a terrified sinner and another to be a repenting sinner... Repentance depends upon a change of heart.” Thomas Watson, Doctrine of Repentance
I encourage you to meditate on these scriptures. Pray through them. And ask God for His help to continue to lead you in repentance, so that your joy in Him might be full and unhindered.
From one repenter to another,