Theology Thursday: Repentance

cross being held up to the sun by someone

Repentance is more than just being sorry that you were caught. Biblical repentance is a change of mind and conveys the idea that you have realized that sin is destroying your life and you are ready to surrender your life to God and the principles of Scripture.

What Difference Does it Make?

According to the writers of the New Testament, repentance is an essential step in our reconciliation with God. John the Baptist preached repentance and baptized those that had repented (Matthew 3:8, 11; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3, 8). Peter preached repentance (Acts 2:38) and Paul implied that it is essential to our relationship with God. “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10, ESV). Perhaps most importantly, Jesus proclaimed that repentance is essential to our relationship with God. “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5, ESV).

The importance of repentance then is that it is an essential step toward reconciliation with God and part of the process of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. But when we repent and accept Jesus, it is strictly through the grace of God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV).

How Does This Apply to My Life?

If you have never repented and accepted Jesus, then the first step would be to do so. Just tell God that you are sorry for the mess that you have made of your life and ask Him and His Son Jesus to enter your life and help clean up your life and make it pleasing to the Father. If you have already repented and accepted Jesus Christ into your life, then repentance should be practiced on an as-needed basis. Most of us need to do this daily since none of us are perfect and we sin in some way every day.

Not everyone will spend eternity in Heaven, only those that have accepted Jesus will experience eternity with God. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18, ESV). If you have never repented, then please do so now and accept God’s gift of His Son Jesus Christ. If you have repented and accepted Jesus Christ, then remember that there are always sins that we commit daily that require regular repentance.

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