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5. the importance of repentance
Repentance is a command from God for our lives (Acts 17:30). Therefore, the notion of repentance for the forgiveness of our sins, must be embedded in our lives. We can never have a life of holiness if we do not have a practice of repentance for the sins and offenses we commit against God and those around us. Repentance shows faith, humiliation, fear, rectification and submission to God.
In the Old Testament, God sent through the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc ....) the message of repentance for the sins committed by the people of Israel. This call for correction showed the people of Israel that if they repented of their ways, their hardness of heart and neck, God would forgive their sins and forget their sins. The same message of repentance was the one that was transmitted both by the last prophet of the Old Covenant, John the Baptist, and through our Savior, Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44-48, Mark 1:14-15).
Note: It is interesting, but rarely mentioned that Jesus began his ministry preaching repentance (Matthew 4:17).
But the message of repentance, at who is it focused? Is this is a message only for the unbelievers who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior? Or rather is it focused at Christians only?
Actually it is a message that is focused for both: unbelievers for the forgiveness of sins and salvation, together with Christians as an act of submission, obedience, love towards God and for forgiveness of sins. Both groups need to be rectified from their wicked ways.
Why is repentance important?
Repentance is important because it leads to correction. When we were not saved and accepted Christ as our personal savior by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38), then faith accompanied by repentance led us to change our way of life and become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now, in our daily lives as Christians, we go through trials and temptations (often caused by our own desires) and if we do not maintain ourselves firm, we fall into sin. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (through brothers, by the Bible, by sermons, by our consciousness etc ...) repentance will lead to forgiveness and correct our ways. In chapter 30 of Jeremiah, we see how the people of Ephraim recognize their sins and repent with constriction (pain). In response to the repentance of His people, God, always faithful, just, and of great mercy, forgave them (verse 20).
When we sin we must mourn our sin and repent. We need to have that inner sense of contrition of having hurt God with our actions, thoughts or offenses (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). This shows that we have the Holy Spirit in our lives and not a life of continual sin (1 John 3:8-9). It is the Holy Spirit who gives us conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16: 7 - 11). The Lord will never reject a repentant heart and a repentant sinner. God is merciful and forgives the repentant forever!
2 Corinthians 7:9-10
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything [a]through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance [b]without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Repentance as a practice
Repentance must be a practice in our lives. We must repent of our transgressions against God. When we sin and do not repent, our heart thickens and hardens (read the example of the people of God in Jeremiah), but when we repent, our soul is revived and God forgives us.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
The consequences of not repenting are devastating:
But [a]because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
We must therefore have repentance as something present in our daily lives as Christians. Repentance brings sanctification and spiritual growth. It restores our communication with God and brings us closer to Him. Let us therefore produce fruits worthy of repentance and be examples both in (church) as well as outside!
Note: This is a brief explanation of the topic in matter. If you need the explanation of a verse or have any other questions, please contact us and we will explain it gladly.
This is a brief explanation of the topic in matter. To learn more about the Bible, or if you want more details of its truth please contact us and we will gladly explain everything.