Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Gift of Repentance

We normally think of repentance only as an action taken by man. It certainly is that, but in Acts 5:31, Peter presents it as a gift from God. God gives us the opportunity to repent. He has created the favorable conditions to allow for this repentance to take place.

What repentance is not

Repentance is not merely remorse. Remorse is the distress that is felt from a sense of guilt. It is regret but nothing more. Judas felt remorse for his sin but he never repented.

Repentance is not doing penance for our sins in an attempt to “balance the books”.

What repentance is

Basically, repentance means to change our mind, or to change direction.

Repentance involves a radical change of mind about God. Instead of being indifferent toward Him or rebelling against Him, the person who repents understands His love.

Repentance involves a change of mind about self. Self is no longer on the throne. Man no longer thinks about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Instead, God is seen as the Creator. Jesus becomes Lord in every area of our lives.

Repentance involves a change of mind about sin. Sin is no longer minimized. It is no longer rationalized or justified.

Repentance involves a change of mind about life. Life is to be lived for the glory of God rather than for selfish indulgence. We live to tell God’s story rather than to tell our story with God’s resources.

What repentance will bring

Repentance will bring forgiveness. Repentance and forgiveness go hand in hand. (Acts 5:31) It doesn’t matter what your background is, if you will repent of your sin, God will forgive you.

Repentance will bring joy. Sin brings pleasure—but only for a moment. But repentance and forgiveness bring joy. There is joy for the person who repents and there is joy in heaven. (Luke 15:7)

Repentance brings change. The life of a person who has repented will not be the same. He will be a new creation.

Take advantage today of God's gift of repentance.

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