For Monday, October 20, 2014
“What is Repentance?”
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Today is October 20, 2014, and you’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. Here is today’s Scripture:
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31).
What is repentance? I think the question may be best answered by first looking at what repentance is not. That being the case, our plan today is to look at repentance from two perspectives: first, what repentance is not and, second, what repentance is.
But before we even get to that, let me address this: why am I dealing with this in the middle of domestic violence awareness month? The answer is because there could be someone who is listening to me today who is abusive to someone else. If that is the case, we want to make no mistake about it: you must repent. In fact, anyone in sin must repent. How do we do that? Let’s return to today’s considerations.
First, let’s look at what repentance is NOT. Repentance is not conviction, that is, the awareness of a sinful condition. Conviction plays a role in leading to repentance, but it is not, in itself, repentance. Further, repentance is not fear. The Bible often discusses the punishment for the unfaithful, and this may bring fear to one’s heart – it should! But being scared and repentance are two different things. Next, repentance is not sorrow. Some people are sorry that they got caught for doing something, but they are not sorry for what they did. Think about the rich young ruler of Matthew 19 who “went away sorrowful,” but, as far as we know, never repented. The New Testament states that godly sorrow will lead to repentance (2 Cor. 7:10), so sorrow is certainly involved in repentance, but it isn’t itself repentance. Finally, repentance is not reformation of life. This is a fruit of repentance; it’s what happens when one repents. Paul preached that people”should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20).
So fear, confession, being sorry, awareness of sin, prayer, remorse, even coming forward is not repentance.
So, what IS repentance? When Jesus commanded that one must repent, or perish (Luke 13:3, 5), and when Paul preached on Mar’s Hill that God commands all men everywhere to repent, the Greek word that was used is a compound word that literally means to think afterward, or to think differently. Repentance means changing the way you think.
James Meadows has been a gospel preacher for many years. I like his definition of repentance because he not only tells us what repentance is, but he also includes the components that surround repentance. Bro. Meadows says that repentance is a change of mind (mental act) that is brought about by godly sorrow which results in (leads to) a change or reformation of life. That’s a great definition and explanation of repentance. Inasmuch as the heart, or the mind, is the seat of your activity, what you think becomes who you are. Therefore, repentance does have an affect on your actions, but repentance itself is not a change of life. It is, biblically speaking, a change of heart that leads to a change of life.
Let’s wrap it up: Change doesn’t happen over night, does it? Repentance is a process. Sometimes people worry because they say they don’t remember when they repented. That’s because repentance is not a “one-and-done” situation. It is an ongoing process – especially for weak human beings who give in to temptation and sin.
You and I must understand that if we find ourselves in sin, our hearts are at the core of the problem. So do you struggle with domestic violence? That is, at its core, a heart problem. You need to repent. If you struggle with lying, that is, at its core, a heart problem. Do you struggle with gambling? That is, at its core, a heart problem.
Simply put, sin is a heart problem. It begins on the inside (James 1:13-16). It will only be solved by transforming your mind (Rom. 12:2), renewing your mind (Eph. 4:23), and putting on the new man. That is repentance.
Memory Verse: Our memory verse for this week is Ephesians 3:20, which describes our amazing, powerful, almighty God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20).
The New You 10 Week Challenge for a Better Internet! Let’s work together to make the Internet a better place. Each week, I’ll give you a challenge, and I want to encourage you to take to social media with that challenge, followed by the hashtag #NewYouChallenge.
This week I want us to answer this question: What moves you most about the cross of Christ? So head over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like and compose a post which says, “What moves me the most about the cross of Christ is _____. #NewYouChallenge” This is week 4 of the 10 week challenge for a better Internet!
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. New episodes of this broadcast are released each weekday, Monday through Friday, from The Light Network. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts are available there, too, at thelightnetwork.tv.
To check out all of our content related to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, go to thelightnetwork.tv/stopviolence.
I welcome your questions, comments, or suggestions for the show! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my voicemail number is 903-26-LIGHT, that’s 903-265-4448. I’d love to hear from you!
This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!