This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I do not promote anything I do not believe in or stand behind.
What is repentance?
Repentance from sins
I remember when I was in the UK, several years ago, to attend a Bible school. One morning I found an empty room somewhere in the building and I sat there and prayed. As I was praying another colleague of mine came in and asked me what was I doing. I told him that I was praying and repenting before the Lord.
And I will never forget the look on his face when he asked me: Repent? What for? Then I was more shocked than he was. Because I know I have to repent every day not only once in a lifetime. But he did not know that, so I had to explain to him about repentance.
I hate when I hear people praying something like: Lord, if I sinned against You in the last week, please forgive me. No, this type of prayer is not correct, because it is impossible not to sin against God— daily. Moreover, I am sure we sin against the Lord every hour and moment, by doing or thinking what we ought not to. Or by not doing things we ought to do. I talk more about sin in one of my posts.
Without repentance we are separated from God
Any person who was involved in any type of sexual sin will tell you that they felt alienated and far from God. Actually, the Bible is stating this clearly in Isaiah 59:2 (ESV)
your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear
Sin separates us from God. And the only solution to sin is Jesus and His sacrifice at the cross (Col. 1:21-23). However, there is no real reconciliation and forgiveness without repentance. Remember that repentance is not cheap as it cost Jesus His blood and life (1 Peter 1:18-19). But repentance at the cross of Jesus is the starting point. 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) says
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Therefore, we must come to Jesus confess our sin and repent of it. Confession means to agree with God that He is right and you are wrong. It means to admit that you have committed sin and deserve death (Romans 6:23). And to agree that He is the only One who can do something about your sin.
Repentance means to turn your back to the world and your sin
We need an Isaiah 6 experience: a moment when we can see God’s holiness and our corrupt nature and sin. Likewise, we need a moment when we accept our sin fully and the penalty for it and that we have offended our Holy and blameless God. We need a moment to realize that unless Jesus takes away our sin, we are lost forever. Moreover, we need to cry out for mercy, humble ourselves and commit for a change.
Repentance means to turn our back to the world and our face towards Jesus (1 Thes. 4:8-9). A complete turnaround. And according to 2 Corinthians 7:8-13 true repentance will produce godly sorrow or grief, as it is a work of the Holy Spirit. And true repentance is always something that God initiates (Romans 2:4) and gives.
Repentance is a change in our way of thinking. A person who genuinely repented experienced a change of mind and heart. We will think about God, ourselves and others as God thinks. As Pastor Robert A. Tucker says in his book Changed from glory to glory
Repentance is a gift from God. We cannot bring ourselves to repentance. It is impossible if God does not intervene in our lives. We could never turn our own thinking.
Repentance is a personal experience
I had to have a moment at the cross of Jesus
A person who experiences the gift of repentance in his life will have a moment at the cross of Jesus where he will pour out his heart in grief and confess his sin and ask for the gift of repentance and the godly sorrow that comes with it. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5)— not even to confess, repent and receive His forgiveness.
Therefore, if your heart is right now convinced by the Spirit of God, ask for His help to use these keys to freedom— confession, repentance, and forgiveness. The secular methods are missing the repentance step, and without it, one can never be free indeed from sin. Whatever the name of that sin is— pornography, self-gratification, lust, fear, etc.
A few scriptures about repentance
Psalm 51 can be an excellent scripture to keep before your eyes as you spend time in God’s Presence. In Psalm 51 we can see David abandoning himself in God’s mercy. And in Micah 7:18-19 (ESV) we read that God loves to give grace to those who repent!
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Repentance produces fruit
Moreover, we need to bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Matt. 3:8, ESV). And true repentance will produce solid and genuine changes in the life of a person and great blessings. True repentance is always followed by a commitment to change something.
In conclusion, remember that in all of our life with God we will have to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us to more repentance, as God wants to continually change us from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18). But change will not come without repentance. Therefore, it is not true that a believer needs to repent only once in life— when he becomes a believer. No, a genuine believer will continue to practice repentance all of his life.
It is never too late to repent. Not as long as we breath. Moreover, only in this life we have the privilege to repent and our choice will matter for eternity. The wife of Lot did not have the grace of repentance when she looked back!
Indeed, to practice repentance is to practice the Presence of God!
Ask the Holy Spirit to take you to the cross of Jesus. And there, talk to God about your sin and how is He feeling about it. Ask Him to give you a fresh revelation of His nature and holiness. Pray and ask for help to give Him your burden and sin and accept His forgiveness and cleansing.
Take the Bible to Exodus 20 and pray the Ten Commandments. Ask the Lord if there is any idolatry, false worship, lust, murder, etc., in your life. Do this every day! And you will keep your heart in a good position before the Lord and will remain connected to Him.
Do you agree?
Let me know if there is anything special going on in your life. And let me know if you want prayer! Needless to say, feel free to share this post with your friends and don’t forget to leave a comment.
And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.
P.S. Whenever you use the links and the banners on my blog to buy something on Amazon or you use other affiliate links on my blog, I receive a small commission. It is a great way to support my ministry. Moreover, over 10% of what I make goes back in supporting other ministries! Thank you!
Finally, if you plan to write a book, check this link!
And if you know anyone who needs coaching to overcome pornography (or any other obstacle in life), let me know.