Do You Understand Repentance?

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

John Calvin wrote that repentance “may be justly defined to be a true conversion of our life to God, proceeding from a serious fear of God, and consisting in the mortification of the flesh and of the old man, and in the vivification of the Spirit.”

In the Solid Joys  Daily Devotional by John Piper (for January 28) we see this, “A vague, bad feeling that you are a crummy person is not the same as conviction for sin. Feeling rotten is not the same as repentance.  This morning I began to pray, and felt unworthy to be talking to the Creator of the universe. It was a vague sense of unworthiness. So I told him so. Now what?  Nothing changed until I began to get specific about my sins. Crummy feelings can be useful if they lead to conviction for sins. Vague feelings of being a bad person are not very helpful.  The fog of unworthiness needs to take shape into clear dark pillars of disobedience. Then you can point to them and repent and ask for forgiveness and take aim to blow them up.”

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 6:16 B-7:1, 9-10  “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

These are just some of the things I have read lately.  I hope to follow-up with the personal side to this soon.  Can you see where this is going though?  Maybe we should just contemplate about true repentance.  I wasn’t a true believer, following after the Lord in faith until 2007.  I knew all the Jesus answers, knew plenty of theology because of the church I grew up in, but I missed out on the biblical truth of repentance.  Whenever I started struggling with it I couldn’t stop wrestling.  I am so grateful!  I would lay and cry at night knowing who Jesus was, knowing bible stories, and knowing I said a prayer, but I knew that this repentance stuff was never understood when I was small.  What about you?  I went to church and learned all of this because my mom took me all of my life.  I found out that I can’t live out my mother’s faith, or my dad’s.  As much as I looked up to my sister…. I still couldn’t trust in just the words she said to me.  I had to repent.   I couldn’t just think about repentance and say to God, “I want to repent”, if I didn’t understand it yet.  That would be like a skydiver trusting me that I packed his chute right. Just because I saw it once on YouTube doesn’t mean I can pack a chute correctly…he would surely die.  I couldn’t just repent that once either.  When we understand this concept and follow Christ because of it then we will find repenting a daily need.  This is something we have to know about.  So dig in.  See what the Lord says.  Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

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