Repentance and the Mercy of God..........

  • Repentance is Now...And not when you like.
  • You can liken this time to the time Noah was building the Ark
  • People were mocking him, enjoying life till he entered the Ark

Brethren, the Lord is still calling all to repent and come back to Him.  Humanity is at it again, as it was in the days of Noah, so are we getting close to the end of all things.  Consider this period as the period when Noah was building the Ark and preaching to the people of his generation, and all they could do is to mock him.

Repentance is the act of confessing a wrong doing before God in prayer and turning away from such a behaviour. The apostle John warns Christians: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).

Repentance start from recognizing a wrong doing, which is contrary to the word of God, and the desire to reconcile with God.  Repentance is God's chosen method for a man to confess his errors, say I'm sorry Lord and renounce such a behaviouir.  When a person repents of his sins, God is ready to forgive and cleanse his of all unrighteousness.

What is Repentance

Repentance is a change of attitude, mind and actions. Repentance is toward God, sincerely asking Him to forgive our sins and then determining, with God’s help, to change the direction of our life. Those who repent come to a place in life where they recognize their personal sins and understand that Christ died so that those sins can be forgiven. They ask God to forgive those sins and are baptized in water.

Repentance is very important in the life of a believer.  Apostle Paul urged the people on the day of Pentecost to “Repent,” and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). These words means that repentance is an important condition for receiving the Holy Spirit. 

A correct understanding of repentance is fundamental to Christianity. Both old and new converts should know what repentance means, how to repent and when to repent.Believers should also know how repentance relates to forgiveness and divine grace.  We need to understand the process of repentance, which is continuous through life. When you recognize your action is contrary to the word of God, you are expected to confess same to God in prayer, and asking for mercy.

There should be godly remorse in your heart, which the Almighty God would see.  The godly sorrow leads you to confess the sin openly before God in prayer, when you confess your sin, and ask for forgiveness, the Lord will forgive you.

Repentance is the divinely appointed means of repairing the relationship between God and humankind. It is God ordained process for man to express remorse for his wrong doing and ask for mercy from the Almighty God.  God expect a man to acknowledge his sins and the repent of them and ask for mercy. To repent means to change, or to “have a change of mind.  Repentance refers to sin, while change of mind involves turning away from sin and a turning to God.

Repentance is Continuous

This change of mind is a change of attitude, which results in a change in behavior. It starts from recognizing you have done evil before God, and you are spiritually separated from God due to the sin.  A person must acknowledge his wrong doing, before repentance.

 then becomes the confession and turning from that way of life that is contrary to the word of God.  Repentance as a process is more than an occasional act. It is a life long practice that bring restoration to our souls, after we have fallen to sin. The desire to do the Will of God and please Him will involve a lot of trials and temptations.  As human beings, we offend sometimes without knowing.  But, we know that if we should repent of our sins, the Lord is faithful to forgive us.  We occasionally fall into sin, but thankfully, God will accept our repentance and forgive us as soon as we turn to Him and ask for His help.

The desire of God is that all should repent and be saved. As long as we yearn for His loving kindness, even if we’ve temporarily strayed from Him, He is always there for us, always ready to receive us back into full fellowship with Him. Whether you are new to the faith or are a “backslidden” Christian, God desires to receive you into the loving fellowship.  Remember His word in John that: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

How to Repent

The importance of repentance can hardly be overstated.  Psalm 32 is a wonderful scriptures that deals with Repentance.  Some of the important things to note about repentance include:

1. Be honest about your need for repentance.
How happy is the man the LORD does not charge with sin, and in whose spirit is no deceit! (v. 2)

Repentance requires honesty. No one comes to God for repentance without first he is a sinner in need of forgiveness.  You need to first, acknowledged your sins and repent of them, before asking for forgiveness. You have to be honest with yourself and admit like the bible says that there is none holy as the Lord, and none perfect. There should be no guile in your heart, neither self righteousness.  To enjoy the forgiveness of God,  you should never cover your sin, but confess and repent of them.

2. Acknowledge the danger of sin 
The consequences of sin is separation from the Lord and death.  These are no small matters.  So, the earlier a person confesses and repents of his sin, the earlier he is restored back to fellowship with the Lord.  If you are honest, you should be able to remember some actions and worda you spoke in anger, or bitterness , that is not good, and repent of it,  At other times, the Holy Spirit will remind you of what you did that is not good or godly.  Each time, you are prompted by the Spirit of God, you should confess and repent from such sins.  We should honestly seek repentance, because the consequences of sin is terrible.

3. Confess fully.

Confession of sin must be in full.  There should be no half truth or deception.  King David said in Psalms 13:5, saying  "I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.”   Repentance demands full confession. There is no playing games with the Almighty God, who knows all things.  More over, repentance is in our interest, if we are concerned about being in the right standing with God.

What to Repent from:

The Bible speaks of two types of works. One type is godly and acceptable to God; the other type is sinful and unacceptable to God.  There are Godly works , which are deeds or actions that God accepts. Such works are the result of faith action in our lives.  These are also referred to as the “fruit of the Spirit”.  Good works produced by God’s Spirit in us.  They are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Ungodly works
Ungodly works are actions that God does not accept. They are deeds that break His law.  They are the “works of the flesh” referred to as unacceptable works: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21). These actions are the carnal thoughts and actions of the flesh.

Dead works
Dead works are works of our past.  The sins we committed before we came to Christ, which we should not ignore, because it is capable of hindering us in the future, if we did not confess and repent of them.  Therefore, due to sin, everyone has “dead works” that must be repented of and forgiven by God. Dead works preceded our conversion. Works that lead to death must be continually repented of and overcome after conversion.

Repentance from dead works is ongoing, just as repentance itself.  Anytime we fall into sin, repentance becomes necessary. for every human being, excluding Jesus Christ, has sinned. Paul writes, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The Good News:
1. The good news is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land"  It continues further...

2. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. This is God speaking that He will forgive sins when the sinner returns to Him in repentance - 1 John 1:9 

3.Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13    

4. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord - Acts 3:19
5. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance - 2 Peter 3:9 
6. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him - 2 Chronicles 30:9b 
7. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded - James 4:8 
8. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity - Joel 2:13    

9. For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live - Ezekiel 18:32   

10. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.

What to Do:

God says to all mankind  ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord God. "Therefore turn and live!".   True repentance leads a person to say, "I have sinned" and prove it with a 180-degree change of their direction.  Repentance requires heart felt brokenness, not for show or gain saying, so the person does not return to sin again. 

Repentance is an honest, regretful acknowledgement of sin with a personal commitment to change. Repentance motivates inward assessment and deliberate steps to cultivate godliness while eradicating habits that lead into sin. The Lord will give you a new heart as you strive to live holy and to please. The Lord forgive your sin, cast away your transgressions and renew your heart and spirit.

John, whose ministry focused on repentance, and whose baptism is even called a “baptism of repentance” (Acts 19:4), knew that those who were truly repentant would prove their repentance by their actions. Repentance is change, not only change of mind, but change of behavior, as well.

Paul’s understanding of repentance was the same as John’s. Recounting his conversion before King Agrippa, Paul told of how he “declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). Like John, Paul knew that the inner state of repentance, if firmly rooted and nurtured, would inevitably express itself through outward works.

But, if a “Repentance” does not bear fruit, it means it did not take place in the first place, or it was not well motivated.  The person who repented did not count his cost before coming out to confess his sins.  However, such could be the beginning of such a person mind changing and repentance experience.


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