“When we talk about repentance in the Bible, we are referring to “repentance towards GOD.”
In order to understand what this repentance is, let us first see and establish what this repentance is ‘NOT’.
Repentance is not falling on our knees, begging God for forgiveness.
There is nothing wrong with falling on our knees. We can fall on our knees both in sorrow and grief, and also in joy. But that is not what repentance is.
Wrong Is Wrong
Repentance is not trying to undo something wrong, by trying to do something right, in order to balance it out.
Wrong is wrong and it will forever stay wrong. There is nothing we can do about it.
Repentance is NOT PENANCE, which is punishment inflicted on oneself as an outward expression of repentance for wrongdoing.
This is one of the greatest lies and deceptive traps of the devil designed to keep us in bondage of guilt and shame for the rest of our lives.
It is not “turning over a new leaf” either, maybe because we’ve realized, that certain aspects our lives have not been good. We have resolved, and even successfully changed for the better.
All of this is good, however, it is still not repentance.
Repentance is certainly not feeling regret and sorrowful, no matter how deep it is and feeling bad or guilty for the rest of our lives.
One thing that this pretty much guarantees to do is make us unhealthily passive & lethargic.
Repentance is by no means isolating ourselves by cutting our self off from the world and taking off into the wilderness or mountains somewhere for the rest of our lives. There is nothing wrong in taking a break in silence for a season. That would be good for any of us.
I’m sure there’s a lot more that can be added to this list, and none of them would be repentance towards GOD.
What SaithThe Scripture
In other words, “What does Scripture say?” For only what “Scripture says”, is the Truth.
First of all, repentance towards GOD is directly related to His Kindness towards us. The Kindness of God and repentance go hand in hand.
“Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the ‘KINDNESS OF GOD’ leads you to repentance?” [Romans 2:4]
Scripture further tells us that, “For GODLY SORROW produces REPENTANCE leading to SALVATION, not to be regretted; but the SORROW OF THE WORLD [or worldly sorrow] produces DEATH.” [2 Corinthians 7:10]
(Note: For the most part, whenever the Bible talks about death, it refers to the second death, as described in Crumbs – 0010. The above Scripture is one of them.)
So every point mentioned in, “ what repentance is not”, and whatever else may be added to that list, is what the Bible calls “the sorrow of the world” [or worldly sorrow].
This worldly sorrow will eventually lead to ‘death’, because it is void of the free gift of Salvation that God offers us, through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.
However, a godly sorrow, that is a sorrow towards God Himself, will bring about true repentance. leading to Salvation.
And that is what God is primarily about today. HE is about Salvation.
In fact, Scripture tells us in in [2 Peter 3:15], “that the longsuffering of our Lord IS SALVATION”.
A Change Of Heart
This repentance means a change of mind, which is a genuine change of heart.
When we choose to believe with our heart, in the death, burial & Resurrection of Jesus Christ; that Christ Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again, it is from a place of ‘unbelief’ to ‘belief’.
There’s been a change of heart, a change of mind.
From a place of unbelief we have willingly chosen to believe + nothing else.
We have humbly acknowledged that we are sinners and “come short of the Glory of God” [Romans 3:23].
By acknowledging that we have acknowledged our need of a Saviour in Jesus Christ, and believed in the Gospel of our salvation.
So repentance has taken place at that very moment.
And that is categorically and absolutely the “Kindness of God” that brought us to that place.
God’s forgiveness towards us “ALL”, took place in full when Jesus Christ died on that cross for “ALL” sins of “ALL” men, past, present and future, and was a “Fully Accomplished” work.
So it would absolutely be in order, if one so wishes, having recognized their sinful nature, and needing God’s forgiveness, to even tearfully, fall on their knees in godly sorrow, relief and thanksgiving.
And appropriate ‘by faith’, this ‘free gift’ of God’s forgiveness and Salvation.
Now write this on the front-let of your heart and mind and “SETTLE IT” once and for all: