People often have the mistaken notion that repentance is a guilt-ridden awareness; that is, the bad feelings that come after doing something wrong.
When Jesus began His public ministry, He announced the way to His Kingdom.
15 Repent, and believe in the gospel.
Simply put, Jesus is saying: Make up your mind for the Kingdom! To repent is to keep renewing your mind with what the gospel says about your life in Christ. To believe is to keep living your life by what the gospel says about Christ’s life in you.
Repentance is a positive thing.
It frees you from wrong ideas of God and enables you to believe rightly in Him. It replaces every false belief in your life by revealing every truth of God to you. It points you to the right road in life when you have taken the wrong one. In short, repentance is the right thinking that brings about the right living in your life.
Scriptural repentance is a change of the mind leading to a change in behaviour. The word comes from the Greek word, metanoia which means “a change of mind upon understanding for something better or positive”.
Repentance is by revelation. It is about thinking truthfully and living truthfully after knowing the truth. It is not about beating ourselves up because we feel bad. In other words, to repent is not to think down on ourselves when we don’t accept who we are. Rather, we fill our hearts and minds with godly truths about who Christ made us to be and become in Him.
Repentance does not come by self-effort, but it is Spirit-led. The Holy Spirit convicts, but never condemns or holds our sins against us. He will show how our sinful habits are hurting us and affecting our relationship with God and others. As such, the Holy Spirit continually works on us and in us to set us free.
If you are still beset by certain sinful habits, ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember who you are in Christ. He will remind you how God treasures and loves you, and that you belong to Him. He shall surely come alongside to strengthen you. Only believe!
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? What was my usual idea of repentance before today’s message?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.