Biblical Discipleship - Chapter 4 - Repent
In order for us to have a relationship with God the first step is repentance. Looking at the original Greek and Hebrew gives us an insight to what this word actually means. The Greek for repentance is translated Metanoia means to have another mind, or to change course (Mt. 4 v 17; Mk. 1 v 15). Hebrew Shub meaning to turn back or U turn. (1 Ki. 8 v 47; Eze. 14 v 6).
Today we have watered the word repent down to mean feeling sorry or regretting something we have done. In Biblical terms it has a more profound meaning in fact, to repent is the first movement of Discipleship.
What is true repentance?
It is a complete about turn in thought and action.
1. We change our thinking.
There is a new perspective of the nature, revealing the awfulness and consequence of sin, helping us to recognize that what we are in ourselves is deeply abhorrent to a Holy God.
2. We change our actions:
We turn to God from our disobedience, selfishness and rebellion. We turn away from sin and we submit our lives to God and make Jesus our Lord. On the Cross Jesus paid the price for our sin and brought us back into a relationship with God, but we have to repent of our sins and then live with Jesus as our Lord. God can do no more; the rest is up to us.
Three important elements in repentance:
1. Repentance is = something to be understood, a change of mind.
In order to repent we need to recognize our sins and what they are to a Holy God. Then we need to yield our lives into His hands and allow the Holy Spirit to help us truly repent, especially as we read the word of God.
2. Repentance is emotional:
If and when? We truly recognize our state before God we will have a powerful emotional reaction (Isaiah 6 v 5). It will involve a deep sense of offence and regret (Ps. 51 v 9).
We can only truly give these feelings over when we experience Gods forgiveness, Godly sorrow is part of the Holy Spirits way of bringing us to a place where we will receive the word of God for our lives. (2 Cor. 7 v 9 - 10).
3. Repentance involves our will.
True repentance involves a complete change to the whole of our lives, mind, heart and purpose, and the start of a new one living under Gods power.
It is God who initiates repentance by showing us our need and our state before Him, but we must act upon this revelation (Rom. 2 v
4. The choice is ours, we need to submit our wills to Him in order for God to be able to do His work. today.
The Power of Forgiveness
Repentance does not stand-alone - forgiveness is its spiritual twin. Once we have experienced our state before God we will experience Gods love and mercy (remember it cost God a lot for our redemption His only son Jesus) He does not take repentance lightly and neither should we. (1 Jn. 1 v 7 - 9) We need to confess our sins before a Holy God, He will then forgive us and blot them from His memory (Rom. 2 v 4).
In conclusion true repentance is:
1. A deep felt sorrow toward God (Ps. 38; 2 Cor. 7 v 10)
2. Confession of sin (Ps. 32 v 5; 1 Jn. 1 v 9)
3. A willingness to give up sin (Proverbs 28 v 13)
4. Having a hatred for sin (Ezekiel 20 v 43 - 44)
5. An attitude basic to our on going relationship with God.
Questions and Discussion Points
1. Can we truly repent if we don‘t know how God sees us?
2. Is it good enough for us just to feel sorry for our sins?
3. What will rule our hearts when we go God‘s way (Col. 3 v 15 - 17)?
Summary and Application
1. What we feed our minds on, will govern our actions and attitudes.
2. We need to repent and turn from our sinful natures.
3. We need to give our lives over to God.
Key scriptures. Read and meditate on them.
Acts 2 v 38 - 39; Luke 15 v 7 - 10; Ezekiel 18 v 30 - 32.