“Repent!” That word used to be a fighting word for me. It was a fighting word because I was yet to fully understand its meaning. With truthful delivery, repentance is not a legalistic thing at all. It’s a wonderful gift from God! It’s very healthy for us to engage in repentance! If we make a mistake, we can repent, learn, grow, and mature.
Repent simply means “turn from,” “stop, go the other direction,” “change your perspective and behavior so your life will improve.” Sadly, the modern church has twisted true repentance into a works-based system. Those who struggle with biblical context have made repentance of actions and attitudes the caveat to being forgiven–and worse, to staying forgiven.
The truth is we can repent until our repenter falls off, we must be born again. This only happens by way of repentance of unbelief in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. This repentance secures us. Our one-time heart confession of, “I’m a sinner who needs to be forgiven by Jesus,” cleanses us of all unrighteousness, once. Such also quickens us into no longer being sinners, but saints, by nature. If this weren’t true, Christ would have to repeatedly die because only a bloody death can forgive us, not words or works.
We must never get the two types of repentance out of order. First comes repenting of not believing in Messiah’s forgiveness to believing. This is the repentance which saves, a one-time action of faith. Afterwards, ongoing repentance of our thought life and choices is fitting for us as children of God but not saving us. Only Christ’s life does that and He’ll never die again. Therefore, this type of repentance happens over the course of our lifetime, allowing us to enjoy who God has recreated us to be! Repent today, repent often! Enjoy Jesus Christ and be yourself, believer!
Romans 2:4, 3:22, 6:23, Acts 3:19-20, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 1 John 1:9, John 3:6-7, 2 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 7:22-25, 9:22
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