WHAT DO YOU MEAN-- REPENT ?
May 09, 2008
REPENT !!! Or else! Firey preachers have for centuries cried the repent warning. Flee from the wrath to come! Turn around and sin no more! Do a 180 in your life. Repent to be forgiven.
Since no one can remove all the sin out of their life many Christians live in the constant fear that they are not repentant enough, not good enough, haven't overcome enough, and literally live their life in mental BONDAGE to a wrong concept of what repentance really is.
Before we say what repentance is let us say what repentance is NOT. Repentance is NOT denying our humanity, not being sorry for all the individual and specific sins we have committed in our life and continue to commit, not turning our life around and ceasing from all sin and living a spotless life in this flesh. So what then is there to repent of? What is real repentance?
Repentance in scripture is translated from the Greek work, Metanoia, which means to "change one's mind or thinking." Or, " think again."
Repentance involves how we look at God and how He looks at us. Wrongly looking at God we would see a God who us just waiting to 'get' us for sins and not 'repenting' of those sins and therefore holding us over the flames of ( Plato's Hell) hell and burning us forever. Much the way Jonathan Edwards' sermon said in " Sinners in the hands of an ANGRY God". Oooooh, not good!
Rightly looking at God we see a Loving Father who devised an eternal plan for us IN Jesus Christ to place us in His life with Jesus making it SO! Through Jesus we have EVERYTHING needed to "make it happen." ALREADY!
Repentance is NOT looking to see what we can do to make it happen or how MUCH we can do to make it happen BUT, seeing what Jesus has already done to make it happen. Repentance is seeing how much God loves us and is DETERMINED to live forever WITH us. ( As Karl Barth said, " God does not intend to live forever WITHOUT us.")
All humanly devised religions have some sort of works and rewards program for the individual to live up to in order to see the after life in a good state. They are all contests to see if one measures up. Their 'repentance' is changing and doing SOMETHING to make it happen. All based on the individuals success and personal merits and accomplishments.
The TRUTH is different. God's plan is a GIFT to humanity IN Jesus without ANY requirements on man's part. In Jesus it is ALREADY done. It is a DONE deal. It is done because of God's GREAT LOVE for us from before the foundation of the world.
Repentance is coming to see this truth. It is coming to believe it. It is changing our mind from a perception of a god who is anything but love and who loves us ETERNALLY.
All of our sins and shortcomings have been taken care of in Jesus Christ. He is the payment or propitiation for ALL sin for ALL time for ALL humans. Period. We all stand in FORIVENESS in perpetuity. Perpetually. Continually.
Repentance is seeing what God has done. It is taking YOU out of the equation. It is reducing your only response to BELIEVING. This believing then WILL produce the changes in one's life through Jesus that demonstrate and witness to the person's repentance.
By not repenting, by not believing one can only live in continual suffering, pain, angst, misery, and in a state of perishing. And, frankly that theoretically could last forever!
"Repent and believe the Gospel." It really is GOOD NEWS!
(See much more on this subject through the links on our web site at www.newlifewcg.org