Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What Exactly Is Repentance? by Steve Brown

This is from the Fall 2005 issue of Keylife magazine. This is a great magazine and you can have it sent to your home for free. This article is written by Steve Brown.

Repentance is so often misunderstood. Repentance is not changing; it is God's way to change us. The Greek word for "repent" refers to "changing one's mind." It isn't changing one's behavior as is often taught. If it is that, then there are times we can repent and other times (especially in obsessive or besetting sin) when it is simply impossible.

For years, I taught that repenting was not just asking forgiveness for spilling milk ... it was getting a mop and cleaning it up, and then going to the store to buy some new milk for the person who owned it. So, because I believed that, I could not repent of some bad stuff in my life and I thereby robbed myself of one of the most important and wonderful teachings of the Bible. God changes us and sanctification is as much a work of God's grace as is justification.

Thus, I teach that repentance isn't changing. It is "knowing who you are, who God is, what you have done and going to Him with it." At that point, the ball is in God's court and He begins an amazing work of the Holy Spirit in making us more and more like Jesus.

If repentance is something different than what I have just described, I don't have a prayer. Nobody else does either, even if they don't admit it.


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