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Exploring the Wonder of Repentance In 9 Different Powerful Ways!

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Are you curious why repentance is such a popular subject of interest lately? Do you know what Scripture means when it uses the term repentance? It is truly an amazing topic that I’d like to explore with you!

Why is There Recently so Much Emphasis on Repentance?

Guest Blogger, Author, Teacher Linda J. Quigley Shares Divine Truths To Help Us Through These Perilous Times.

An urgent call has been issued in the spiritual realm for Christians to get right with God. World events point to the perilous times Jesus spoke of before His return. God does not want us to be caught unaware!

In my previous article, Repentance or Forgiveness or Judgment, What Will We Choose? I mentioned how the Holy Spirit often speaks common themes to the Body of Christ. Most Believers realize that Christ’s return is near. But there seems to be a lack of awareness by many that this is also a time of preparation.

Prepare the Way!

Malachi 3:1 prophesied John the Baptist’s calling over 400 years before his birth. John’s most apparent mission in life was to prepare the way for the Messiah!

Shortly before Jesus’ earthly ministry began, God inspired John the Baptist to prepare the people to receive Messiah’s redemptive work. (Isaiah 40:3) Matthew provides insightful information revealing how John pioneered the way with his primary message, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:1-3)

John the Baptist was so passionate about repentance that he called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers. He even confronted Herod’s adultery with his sister-in-law Herodias. (Matthew 3:7; Mark 6:19-28) John’s mission to call people to repentance offended many – and was heeded by only a discerning few. The religious see no need for repentance because they are “self-righteous.”

Purification is Required for End-Time Christians Is it possible that the verses following Malachi’s prophecy about John the Baptist could also be symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s current role in purifying Christians? Is He preparing us for the second coming of Christ? “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering of righteousness.” (Malachi 3:2, 3) Christ is returning for a purified and holy Bride! (Ephesians 5:27)

Jesus is Calling His BrideThe Holy Spirit is inspiring people to proclaim His end-time message to prepare us for Christ’s soon return! Many are discussing repentance because they’re sensing it is the Holy Spirit’s call for today! “…Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1) It is important not to minimize the role of repentance and grieve the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) Jesus is returning for a glorious Bride, and without purified hearts – we will be ill-prepared! We don’t want to be caught sleeping like the five virgins in Jesus’ parable who failed to make proper preparations to meet their bridegroom! (Ephesians 5:27; Matthew 25:1-13)

9 Reasons Repentance is Important

The benefits of repentance encompass more than this list, but hopefully, it will encourage you to delve deeper into this fascinating subject!

  • God commands all men everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)

  • Sin separates us from God, and He will not hear our prayers. (Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2)

  • If we don’t repent – we will perish. (Exodus 32:33; Luke 13:3)

  • Non-repentance brings judgment. (Psalm 1:5; Romans 2:12; Romans 14:12)

  • If we humble ourselves and cast away our sin – we receive new hearts and spirits. (Ezekiel 36:26; Isaiah 57:15)

  • If we return to God – He will return to us. (Malachi 3:7)

  • If we repent from our wicked ways and thoughts and return to the Lord – He will have mercy upon us and abundantly pardon us. (Isaiah 55:7)

  • If we repent, our sins will be blotted out, and we will – receive times of refreshing from the presence of God. (Acts 3:19)

  • If we corporately repent and seek God’s face and turn from our wickedness – He will forgive our sin and heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Exploring Repentance

Repentance During Salvation Do you remember when you first accepted Christ and asked Him to forgive your sins? I recall it as if it were yesterday! It truly felt like a hundred-pound weight was lifted from my chest! For the first time, I experienced the freedom of God’s forgiveness promised in 1 John 1:9.

There seems to be an impartation of extraordinary grace for new believers! Often the result of their repentance and surrender to Christ is a remarkable transformation, causing everyone who knows them to be astonished. Why do we see the change is short-lived in others? Are they being taught the importance of ongoing repentance?

Why Must Christians Repent? It is important to remember – only Jesus lived a sinless life. If we think we don’t have sin, we’re deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us! (1 John 1:8) Some people think if they confess their sin to God when they are Saved, there’s no need to do it again. How healthy is a relationship where one party continually sins against the other and then refuses to ask for forgiveness? What if they apologize, but their behavior never changes? Treating God this way grieves Him and arouses His judgment. Scripture substantiates God’s requirement to remain humble before Him and to seek His forgiveness. (Hebrews 10:26-31; Romans 14:12)

Sin Alienates Us From GodDavid was a man of many failures, yet the Bible refers to him as a man after God’s heart. God’s chastisement taught him the necessity of repentance. Psalm 139:24 records one of his insightful communications with God. “And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” David understood the Biblical principle Isaiah spoke of, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) David desired to remain close to God. When we experience intimacy with God – the last thing we ever want to do is allow sin to jeopardize our relationships with Him! Once we’ve learned this, we begin to appreciate the value of living lifestyles of repentance.

What’s Different Between Confessing and Repenting? For many years after my Salvation, I thought CONFESSING my sins to God was the same as REPENTING. (Which entailed admitting my sin to God and feeling sorry for what I’d done.) My understanding was incomplete. It wasn’t until many years into my Christian walk before I began to realize that merely feeling sorry and apologizing to God for my sins was inadequate.

The Act of Confession Honestly, I had a superficial perception of the act of confession. What I didn’t understand was the Greek word used for “confess” in the Scripture goes beyond merely verbalizing our sins to God. It also requires examining our motives and intentions. It’s so much easier to recognize obvious sins than to consider that our hidden motivations and intentions might also be displeasing to God. Often perceiving these things requires the Holy Spirit’s help!

Biblical confession involves examining our sinful behavior using God’s covenant-like attitude based on His purity standards! It is imperative to align ourselves with His Word! Christians commonly judge their behavior by worldly standards and not God’s! We are to be holy because God is holy! (1 Peter 1:15, 16) According to Hebrews 10: 26-31, confession and repentance should never be taken lightly! Both confession and repentance are essential for maintaining healthy relationships with God!

Humble Repentance The English definition means to feel sorry enough for our sins to change. The Greek root words for repent and repentance provide more enlightenment. In addition to confessing our sins to God, they also mean to have remorse, grief, distress, and shame to the point where we begin to think differently, reconsider, and reform. Repentance surpasses just being sorry for our sins. We must also turn away from our sinful behavior! True repentance initiates reformation in our lives!

Choosing a Repentant Lifestyle

To live a repentant lifestyle requires dying to our selfish and sinful desires. Jesus left His place of glory and came to this earth to die on the cross for our sins. He submitted his entire earthly existence to the Father. While He was here, He said and did all the Father asked of Him, voluntarily surrendering His will to Father God. To be a Christ-follower means doing the same. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38 AMP)

Repentance aids us in casting aside lifestyles of compromise which alienate us from God and bring on the curses awaiting those who harbor sin. When we submit our wills to God, repentance becomes a lifestyle.

The Miracle of Repentance

The miracle of repentance is something most easily grasped by people who recognize their sinful propensity. It comes to those who are humble in God’s sight. It is an act of submission and turning away from our evil desires. Perhaps you’ve never thought of it this way – but true godly repentance is a wonder! You may ask how so? Because it enables us to live victoriously in Christ! To recognize our need for repentance – is a divine act of God!

A Humble Heart Those who are seeking meaningful relationships with God – will humble themselves before Him. In so doing, God’s goodness leads them to repentance! (Romans 2:4) Humble, penitent hearts pave the way for God to renew us with His refreshing power. The benefits of maintaining repentant hearts far outweigh the challenges of humbling ourselves. When we die to our selfish nature and surrender whole-heartedly to God, it brings us into the side of God’s blessings rather than the curses which befall those who harbor sin.

My Journey Towards Repentance

My lack of Biblical upbringing, combined with the fact that I’m often quite naïve, sometimes causes me to take longer than others to grasp Biblical principles. After my life seemed to fall apart, this became both increasingly evident and frustrating. Understanding repentance has proved to be one of those challenges that took me years to grasp. But God’s grace finally opened my eyes!

My Self-Righteousness At some point after becoming a Christian, I unconsciously began to embrace a form of self-righteousness. Much like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, my identity concept became wrapped up in the perception that I was virtuous. (It’s easy to do when you think you’re living a righteous lifestyle.) Scripture tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. (me )

My Imperfect Testimony As a Christian, I felt a tremendous responsibility to “be a good testimony” for Christ. With my upbringing, it was instilled deeply within me that divorce was one of the most heinous of all sins. I came from a broken home. When I became a Christian, one of my heart’s deepest desires was to have a godly marriage and raise godly Christian children. Perhaps it may have been an idol. But regardless of the position this ideology held in my mind – it eventually proved to be a tool in God’s hands that brought me to a greater understanding of repentance and closer to Him.

Deep Brokenness By the age of 53, much to my dismay, I found myself divorced twice. My inability to maintain a “good Christian testimony” for Christ was devastating. The disappointing turns in my life and ongoing chronic illness left me utterly broken. These events compelled me into an unsolicited journey towards understanding the depths of my depravity. I was soon to experience both the kindness and severity of God! (brings)

This journey where the Holy Spirit took me – compelled me to examine depths of sin far beyond the “obvious” sins I’d already repented from in the past. It was an excruciating undertaking to view my sin (at least in part) through God’s eyes. Motivations that I never dreamed I had unfolded one after the other. For three months, I experienced one of the most profound periods of my life. It was distressing to realize the depths of my sin – and the shallowness of my previous repentance.

Before this encounter with the Holy Spirit, I didn’t think it possible to be more broken. But I was mistaken! Dismayed at the upsetting revelations, I remember crying out to God, “God, how is it possible for me to be a worse sinner as a Christian than what I ever was before becoming one?” The Holy Spirit gently replied, “If you were sinless – you wouldn’t need a Savior! Now you realize how desperately – you NEED your Savior!”

My Awe & Wonder of RepentanceBeing confronted by God’s merciful gift enabled me to see my hidden sins and changed my life! Since then, I’ve become convinced that we can’t begin to realize the depths and depravity of our sin without the Holy Spirit revealing it to us!

If we develop self-righteousness or self-justification, as I did, we become blinded from the blessing of God’s conviction! Embracing these mindsets are rebellious and brings on deception and bondage. (Ezekiel 12:2; Psalm 107) As painful as my encounter was – I wouldn’t change it because it taught me the wonder of God’s love and goodness through His gift of repentance! (Romans 2:4) This transforming work has impacted me with profound amazement of God’s mysterious ways. The very word “repentance” offends many. But to me – it brings continual freedom!

When we remain in a state of mindful repentance, we’re able to stand shamelessly before God. We don’t have to live under guilt and condemnation. By abiding in Christ and listening to the Holy Spirit, we experience constant refreshing! (Acts 3:19; Romans 8:1)

Are You Feeling Like You Need To Repent? Pray With Me!

Dear Lord, thank You for paying the ultimate sacrifice for my sins – and for sending the Holy Spirit to lead me to You! Thank You for His conviction of my sins and for Him showing me how to live righteously.

Lord, I need Your help to expose my sins, from the greatest to the smallest – from the most obvious to the ones hidden deep inside me. Please cleanse me from all my unseen sins and displeasing motives. Holy Spirit, please don’t leave a single sin unexposed inside me! Please help me continually examine my heart and prevent me from hardening it against You! Please forgive me for every time I’ve rebelliously justified my sins and hardened my heart against You – and Your conviction.

Lord Jesus, I don’t ever want to crucify You to an open shame again! I’m so sorry if I’ve done that! God, I don’t want my sin to separate me from You! Please purify me and help me walk with truthfulness before You.

Please, dear Lord, show me how to walk uprightly in a lifestyle of holiness and repentance. O God, I desperately need Your help to walk with integrity in your sight! I long for the nearness of Your presence! Thank You for Your wonderful gift of repentance! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for your forgiveness! Amen.

© Linda J. Quigley


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