The word “repent” means to turn around, to change one’s mind and direction, but many believers think that repentance is only for the heathen. Some teach that repentance is not necessary for the believer and even demonstrates a lack of confidence in the finished work of the cross. Such teaching demonstrates a profound lack of understanding and robs it’s followers of one of the most powerful secrets to a victorious Christian life.
The misunderstanding begins when we think of repentance as turning AWAY from sin; 180 degrees in the opposite direction. But a man could turn away from his sin and still be lost. For example, if a man is hiking through the wilderness, he looks at his compass and realizes he is off course, he will need to turn. But spinning wildly and randomly moving in another direction will not help him. Turning away from his lostness is not enough. He must make sure that he changes his direction in such a way that he is now heading towards his desired destination. Turning away from sin is important, but what you turn TO is more important than what you turn away FROM. We do not need to turn away from sin as badly as we need to turn TO Christ. Incidentally, when a man turns to Christ, he automatically turns away from sin.
Let’s say that our hiker discovers that he is only 2 degrees off course. Though he is only slightly misdirected, he still needs to turn, to change direction, to “repent” if he wants to arrive at the desired destination. The hiker needs to constantly reference his compass and adjust his orientation accordingly. To think of repentance as being only for the rank sinner, the unbeliever and prodigal is a mistake. Repentance is NOT ONLY for those who are committing gross sins or living in blatant immorality. Repentance is the practice of the righteous. We must constantly turn our hearts to God; from darkness to light, from the flesh to the spirit, from the temporal to the eternal, from death unto life.
As the people of God our hearts must be focused on Christ. He is our goal and we must be always moving towards Him. If we are moving in any other direction, pursuing any other thing, or having our desire and affection set on anyone else, we are off course and we need to “repent”.
With this understanding, “repentance” takes on a whole new definition. If I have lusted or lied, I must repent…yes. But, I am not simply “repenting”, or turning, FROM those sins, I am turning TO Christ. Bringing Him back into focus and setting my heart upon Him afresh. If my focus is on the sin, I will miss the real point and may even still be off course. Instead I recognize sin as a symptom of a deeper problem; that I am moving in a direction contrary to Christ. If there is hatred, malice, envy, or strife in my heart, it reveals to me that my heart is not towards Christ. Therefore, I must refocus it. I must recalibrate it to bring myself back into alignment with Christ.
I find myself repenting all day every day. I am not repenting because there is so much sin in my life, but because I need to constantly refocus my heart, my attention and my affection on Christ. This is the only way to live and walk in the Spirit.
We are called to uphold the Word of God, and not the opinions of man.
14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
Its a nice blog telling a profound doctrine in simple words. I understand that being born again is a process and it begins on the day of salvation and continues untill we are transformed in the image of His own son.
What a wonderful provision God has made for His children.
Sure thing Larry.
It was only several months ago that we came across the information that some preachers are preaching that repentance is not necessary after salvation. We had never heard such a thing! We do have a book, “Hell’s Best-Kept Secret”, that addresses the absence of the teaching re: true repentance, and now to know that some are teaching that repentance is not even necessary after salvation is something that cannot be comprehended. Anyone who can read God’s Word can see that it is very necessary. We are in the perilous days that God’s Word has warned us about. False teachings abound, Bro. Daniel.
May Jesus bless you, Bro. Daniel, for teaching and preaching God’s Word in spirit and in truth.
Yes, it is true that there are false teachings out there regarding salvation, repentance etc. My point in this article is that even those who believe in repentance often see it as something for the unsaved, while it is an important part of the victorious inner life. Bless you Stephen and Bonita Ann. We are still praying for you.
Excellent, repentance is ongoing and ever changing as our relationship with The Lord Jesus develops. Repentence builds the character we will need to serve in His Kingdom.
Thank your precious Holy Spirit.
Yes Glenn…we never outgrow our need to keep our hearts focused on Christ. That is what repentance is; recalibration, refocusing and “turning” back to Christ. Bless you Glenn.
Think You I really needed that please keep me &my wife in your prayers.