core studies : repentance

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15


The word repentance means to carefully clear one’s heart and soul from any action or intention that is not perfect in the sight of God (Acts 8:20-24). True repentance always includes some fear and zeal, which come from godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:11). We truly have godly sorrow when we see our sin the way God sees our sin and we are repelled by it as God is (We must see through the eyes of God, because he is the Judge. God will always judge righteously, without partiality) (2 Timothy 2:25-26, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Kings 17:13-15).

Notice the humility and sincerity of King David (Psalms 34:18, Psalms 51:7-17) as he teaches us the value of a heart of repentance in regard to his salvation and the salvation of others (Isaiah 57:15, Isaiah 66:2, Luke 20:17-18, 1 Peter 3:4, Matthew 5:5-9). (God will always honor a broken heart and contrite spirit. He will always resist the proud).

Jonah was a man that God called to preach to an ungodly city. Instead, Jonah chose to run from God (Jonah 1:1-3) until God caused him to be swallowed by a large fish (Jonah 1:17). God instructed Jonah through harsh affliction and the conviction of his heart until Jonah turned from his sin (Jonah 2:1-2). When Jonah repented, he acknowledged God as his salvation (Jonah 2:3-10). Jonah acknowledged that God is true and that he was wrong. God was merciful to Jonah because Jonah repented. We must also never give up hope that repentance will come about—in ourselves and also in others. It is easy to lose hope in other people and in ourselves. It is God that continues to instruct the soul that is in error.

It is God alone who judges the sincerity of a person’s repentance. No other person can be the judge of that (Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 14:12-13). It is the very goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). If a person has a heart of repentance, their actions will demonstrate it (2 Corinthians 7:8-10, Galatians 5:17-24, Ephesians 4:22-32, 2 Corinthians 5:17). There is a difference between having godly sorrow and being sorry that one’s sins were discovered. Godly sorrow leads to repentance, but a man that is just sorry that he got caught will likely commit that same sin again. We can be very sorry about something and yet do nothing about it (Matthew 3:5-8). The wages of sin is death unless we repent of that sin (Hebrews 12:16-17, Roman 6:23, 1 John 1:9). We must seek after God with repentance to have our sins covered in the blood of Christ (Psalms 32:2-5, 1 John 1:9). If a person does not confess his or her sins before God, the sins remain like stains of that person’s soul. All sins must be repented of and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.

It is healthy and safe for us to keep our hearts always ready to be led by the spirit of conviction (Galatians 5:16). This requires reverent fear and great submission to the will of God in your life. We are never good enough to be saved (Psalms 39:5); this is why we must maintain a humble and repentant heart before God.

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