Monday, July 23, 2018

The Scriptural Definition Of Repentance

  • Discussion:
          -There is confusion among professing Christians as to the definition of repentance, namely whether it consists of a change in mind or a change in ways. The Bible does provide a simple, clear answer to this dispute, which will be found unsatisfactory to the many in our culture who preach a watered-down or seeker-sensitive version of the gospel (2 Timothy 4:3). According to the Scriptures, the act of repentance is more than a mere change of mind. It involves turning from sinful ways. It involves entrusting oneself to God, who gives lavish, tender forgiveness. Repentance is not a work, but a change in heart. It is a change in purpose. It is a change in perspective. It is crying out to God, admitting the futility of remaining in sin. This theme was taught especially in the Book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:20-31). The underlying theme of the gospel is repent or perish. Repentance is certainly accompanied with godly sorrow and grief, as was the case of the Apostle Peter who denied knowing Jesus Christ three times in a row (Luke 22:62-64). Notice how the Old Testament records the men of Nehemiah who heard the preaching of Jonah:

          "Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it." (Jonah 3:5-10)

          Note how Jesus Christ alludes to this event:

          "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here." (Matthew 12:41)

          People who profess the name of Christ have no excuse for having their lives continually characterized by sin. A genuine faith in Christ will be evidenced by good works. It will be accompanied with a desire to serve God. These are the evidences of a changed heart. The lives of the apostles themselves are evidence of this truth. If we truly wish to inherit eternal life, then we must turn to God and seek the forgiveness that He provides. If we truly want a relationship with God, then we must follow Him on His terms. True repentance will inevitably result in a changed lifestyle. Repentance is the conviction that sin should no longer persist in our lives. We must recognize that we are spiritually bankrupt sinners who are in need of His redemption. A faith that saves is one that obeys. We need to be given a new heart. We need to be given a pure mind.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the most important topics in my opinion to be studied.