Hello and welcome to the New Life in Christ website. At New Life we are committed to share with you the truth about the word of God. We have dedicated this web site to help people understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance toward God, how to be born again and biblical discipleship.
In this teaching we want to help you understand the importance of true biblical repentance. We want to help you understand why God requires for us all to repent.
Since the fall of man in Genesis chapter 3, the Lord has shown the world through His word that true repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ is required in order to have relationship with Him again. The Lord from Genesis to Revelation, in His amazing grace, love and wisdom, has being telling us to turn from sin, to change our mind toward sin and change our mind about Him. The prophets wept throughout history that the people of Israel would turn back to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with true repentance.
For those who obey God with true repentance and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ, He promises to fill us with His Holy Spirit and give us a new heart. He promises His Spirit so that we can endure to the end with the promise that we will be saved.
Our Current Condition
Repentance is required because we need a change in our thinking about our current condition and how God sees our condition. If everything is fine in our current condition, there is no need to review our condition and no need to understand how Gods sees us. However, if there is an issue with our current condition then does it not make sense that we find out what God thinks about it?
I’m using the word condition to describe who and what we are before God because the word condition is defined as “the state of something, especially with regard to its appearance, quality, or working order."
Our condition is our state or status before God and how God sees us both in our hearts, our nature and our actions. Before we dive into a greater depth of understanding repentance we can only see its importance and benefits when our eyes our open to our current condition.
If you are not born again by the Holy Spirit of God then your condition before God is a person that is a sinner and separated from God. That separation is caused by your sinful ways. This condition, by the way, is something you inherited from Adam, the first man God created. When Adam sinned against God in the garden of Eden, this brought forth sin into the world.
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned..." Romans 5:12
Since all have sinned, we are ungodly before God's eyes and are deemed His enemy. Now for some of you that may seem a bit harsh and not a very nice thing to say, but please hear this, for the truth must be known about who we truly are before there can be any true lasting change. God’s word is truth and it does not lack in describing the truth about our current condition.
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10
The word of God shows us that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16). God so loved the world He sent Jesus to die for the entire human race. This proves to us that when Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), we were still sinners, and when God reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son, we were His enemies (Romans 5:10). Our condition or status is not favorable before the Holy and Righteous God of the universe and in fact, to be more frank, WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE!
I’d like for you to consider then that our condition is very serious in light of God's great Holiness, Righteousness and Majesty. As aforementioned, sin brought in death because the penalty for sin is death. Since I’m a sinner, ungodly and an enemy of God, clearly described to us in scripture, then I deserve death. Not just death in this body, which is appointed for all men to die, but an eternal judgment with an eternal death separated from God forever and placed in a lake of fire to serve out a sentence for all eternity.
Yes, WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE! There is no denying that we have all sinned. Your conscious bears witness with you that you have sinned against God. No one can deny it. It’s just a truth with which all of us must come to grips. We have sinned against a Holy and Righteous God. We know this for sure because we inherited it from Adam. We also know this for sure because we have broken Gods laws. In fact, the law entered (sin was first then the law) so that the offense (sin) may abound.
"Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,…" Romans 5:20
The law entered so that sin may be made known to man. Even though man in his own conscience can sense wrong doing, he does not yet comprehend how detrimental sin truly is until the law shows him.
"Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
The law was introduced by God not to make people righteous but to show them that they are not righteous, to show them that they have sinned against Him and to prove to them that they have sinned against His holy ways.
Who among us can dare declare that they have never lied, or used God's name in vain, or dishonored parents, or coveted things on earth, just to name a few. The law of God shows us that we have sinned against Him and it's time that we come to that conclusion.
Furthermore, we are utterly incapable of saving ourselves. If there was some way we could change our condition, we would do it. However, it’s impossible. If we could somehow change our condition then there would be no need for Christ to die on a cross, and there would be no need for repentance. There would be no need for God to intervene since we can figure it out ourselves. However, it’s illogical to think that man can save himself from his sins.
How has this worked out so far throughout history? History proves man's depravity and his need for Christ. Man cannot put on immortality nor put on incorruption. No, instead man must die and go on to corruption, face God with his sins on his hands and pay the penalty that is due. Please don’t let this be you. Recognize that you have sinned against God, have inherited this sinful condition which reigns over you, and that you need freedom from its powerful enslavement. You will always do the opposite of what God wants and have no other choice but to recognize it.
Changing Our Condition
We now have understanding that God’s word says our current condition is dire with no chance of changing it ourselves. No matter how pious (meaning religious) we make think we are, or how we may compare ourselves to others, or how we may live up to a certain moral code, we just can’t save ourselves. We will one day die. However, by the grace and mercy of God, he desires not to leave us in this dire condition. God’s heart is filled with longsuffering toward us, not willing that any of us should perish but that all should come to repentance. God’s love for us calls us to repent.
"The Lord is not slacking concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
What is Repentance?
The Greek word in the new testament for repent or repentance is “Metanoeo” or “Metanoia” which means a change of mind. In the Old Testament the word repent is the Hebrew word “Shub” which means to turn back. Repentance involves changing the mind about sin, and this change is followed by a corresponding change of heart toward sin. If you are willing to change your mind about sin then God is willing to change your condition. God is reasoning with us all with facts about whom and what we are. When we see the truth, our eyes will be open to our sinful nature, which is in desperate need of salvation. Then and only then can we change our minds, repent, and decide to no longer be enslaved by the grip of sin and be set free from sins' reign and power over our lives. Our new way of thinking about sin must line up with God’s thoughts about sin. Godly sorry, which God requires, must always come from a godly view of sin.
A Change of Mind
When someone truly repents, sin looks like a very different thing from how it looks to someone who has not repented. Instead of looking desirable and fun, it looks just the opposite, detestable. In fact, he is truly astonished that he could ever have desired such a thing. Sinners may look at sin and see, because of its destructive ways, God will punish them for it; but they still love their sinful ways. They still desire it. If their sin could end in happiness, they never would think of giving it up. To the truly repentant person it is different; he looks at his old conduct and hates it. He looks back and declares: how dangerous, how destructive, how detestable, how worthy of hell, this thing was to me.
When sinners are strongly convicted, they experience a change of mind and see their sin in the same way a Christian does. Remember, a change in our thinking is essential for true repentance. The heart never goes out to God in true repentance without our minds changing first. There may be a change of opinion or morality without repentance, but no genuine repentance can happen without a change in our thinking about our condition.
The convicted sinner comes to see his sin as destructive to himself and everyone around him: in spirit, soul and body. Remember the word translated repentance implies a change in the state of the mind, including all these areas.
The one who truly repents not only sees sin to be absolutely horrible and wicked, he hates it and rejects it. When he thinks about where sin leads a person, it awakens in his heart a passionate desire to stop it, to save people from its grip and to show them the gospel, to roll back the tide of death.
When someone truly repents, he has come to the knowledge that sin deserves everlasting punishment and understands God’s righteous judgement to condemn him to eternal death. He is far from finding fault with the law of God that condemns him. Instead of thinking it hard, or strict, or unkind of God that sinners are sent to hell, he is in wonder that he is not sent to hell himself. He has a great gratitude for how God has transformed his life and is now indebted to tell the whole world the power of the gospel.
Have You Repented?
Do you believe that you have repented? If so, let’s review the fruits of repentance.
If your repentance is genuine, there is a conscious change of thinking about sin.
Now, can you say this? Do you know, that on this point there has been a change in you, that old things are gone, and all things have become new?
If you have truly repented, you do not love sin any longer. You don’t stop because you fear punishment; you stop because you hate it.
How is this with you? Do you know that your desire to commit sin is gone?
Look at the sins you used to practice before you repented. How do they look to you now? Do you give them some fond memories, and would you really love to do them again? If you have the inclination of sin still inside you, then the old man has yet to die through repentance. Romans 6:6 tells us:
"knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin."
If you have not changed your mind about sin, and the love for sin still remains, you are still in bondage and still a sinner.
Paul wrote: 2 Corinthians 7:9:
“that your sorrow led to repentance." 2 Corinthians 7:9
Godly sorrow produces a change in how we live. Paul is teaching that a change of mind produces a change of life, ending in salvation.
Now, let me ask you, are you really different? Have you surrender your right to sin?
Or, are you living in your sins still?
True repentance is a permanent change of character and life. The scripture says:
"For godly sorry produces repentance leading to salvation not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." 2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorry produces repentance leading to salvation and it “leaves no regret”. In other words, true repentance is a change so deep and fundamental that the man never regrets repenting and so never changes back again. The love of sin is truly abandoned. The individual, who has truly repented, has so changed his views and feelings that he will not change back to them again, or go back to the love of sin.
Does this describe you? Are you truly repented? If not, today is the day for you to change your mind about your sin condition and let God change your condition. If you now know that you need to repent, do so, and if you need further assistance please go to our contact page and we will do everything we can to help. Jesus said:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15
We encourage you to browse the rest of this website for bible studies on the gospel of Christ, how to be born again and discipleship. We are committed at New Life In Christ to help as many as the Lord will bring our way. May the Lord bless you and thank you for reading this study on repentance.