Repent. This is one of the first commands the Lord gives us in His ministry. This is also one of the first commands we will be sharing as we continue the challenge we offered out to our followers.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.Matthew 4:17
For those of you who missed our last broadcast HERE, towards the end, I issued a challenge to all the listeners to go back into the Gospel of Matthew and write down all the command and instructions Jesus gives, and think about how they can apply to your own life.
What is repentance and why is it important?
Repentance is one of the most important aspects of the Christian faith. One can not enter into the Kingdom of God without first repenting of their sins, and turning to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.Sourced by Google
Repentance is not just a biblical idea, but in our human nature, we find moments in our life when we should do and must repent. This could be caused by an offense we may have committed on a loved one. Or even realizing our criminal actions, and the punishment that awaits us if we continue a life of crime.
It is the idea of feeling deep sorrow for our condition, and the desire to fix it or be free from it. Realizing that our own failures deserve a just response of discipline or resolve.
The bakers bible dictionary shares this...
The act of repudiating sin and returning to God. Implicit in this is sorrow over the evil that one has committed and a complete turnabout in one's spiritual direction: turning from idols - anything that pulls away the affection that we owe God - to God. (1 Samuel 7:3; 2 Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 55:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, James 4:8-10).Bakers Bible Dictionary
Repentance is more than just asking for forgiveness, it is more than deciding to go to church on a Sunday morning, it is more than just recognizing God as the creator. It is a complete turn around from an old sinful way of life.
What are the Elements of Repentance?
This is where it gets scholastic. How we can recognize if we have had a period of repentance can be viewed in this way...
- A recognition of one's sin, its damaging effects on life and nature, its affront to God's word and authority, and its dire consequences (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:23; 8:19-22; Revelation 21:8).
- Personal outrage and remorse over one's sin, grief at one's helplessness, and a deep longing for forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration.
- A personal response to God's grace in choosing a new spiritual direction by breaking with the past and returning to God. This includes confession and renunciation of sin, and prayer for God's forgiveness (Leviticus 5:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9).
- In some circumstances, repentance may require restitution (Exodus 22:1-15; 1 Samuel 12:3; 2 Samuel 12:6; Luke 19:8).
- At its core, repentance is a rejection of the autonomous life and surrender of oneself to the lordship of Christ (Jeremiah 3:22; Mark 8:34-38)
- The proof of true repentance is the worthy fruit of a changed life (Luke 3:7-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 1:10).
If you have not gone through this process, this does not mean it is the end. In fact, this is just the beginning. Christ offers forgiveness to any and all people who would realize their sins and turn from them. If this is you, I would like to encourage you to take a moment to turn off any distractions, find a quiet place and process your sins to the Lord.