Repentance has always been a cornerstone of Christianity. Anymore, Repentance is far and few a part of Christian-life. It is rarely practiced or preached. Nevertheless, Repentance is still required.
Three major misnomers across Christendom:
Really?: Repentance was only required at Salvation.
In order to understand just how wrong this is, one must first understand the legal predicament man is in as a result of the fall.
Point blank: Sin is and always has been what gives Satan legal right to hold man in bondage. For the unsaved soul—this amounts to an entire dominion over his life. For the Saved man—this amounts to particular areas of his life wherein he is still gives place to the Devil (Eph. 4:27)—known as strongholds (II Cor. 10:4). Just as we got Saved repenting for an entire life of sin (Acts 19:4), so to are we called to examine our heart regularly and agonize over our remaining sinful inclinations before the Lord (I Jn 1:8).
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
– Romans 6:9
Neither give place to the devil.
– Ephesians 4:27
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
– II Cor. 10:4
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
– Acts 19:4
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
– I John 1:8
Repetition? Routinely asking God for blanket forgiveness of sins is enough.
For those who think this amounts to Repentance, know that this leaves us in no better condition than the one who doesn’t even think twice about Repentance. Only true Repentance breaks the legal rights of the Devil. Repetitious recitals only serve to reaffirm his standing to hold the sinner in bondage. The Greek word for Repentance is “Metanoia,” which means to “change one’s mind.” Three things:
- God is allowing the tribulation to continue—hoping the sinner will ultimately come back to Him. (II Peter 3:9)
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
– II Peter 3:9
- God only recognizes true heartfelt Repentance.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
– Acts 3:19
- Real fruit always comes from true Repentance.
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
– Acts 26:20
Repentance? Real Repentance.
So, we know Repentance isn’t a one-time deal, we know reciting the forgiveness prayer on our bathroom mirror is not enough, now, let’s get really get real…
We also must understand that even Repentance itself is a Gift from God. Man does not come to a Repentant heart lightly, and doing so is and always will be a Work of the Lord.
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
– Acts 5:31
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
– Romans 2:4
Always remember, if it is not by him, it is not for Him.
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
– John 1:3