Understanding Repentance

For those who truly desire to live a holy life, repentance must become a way of life for you. The problem is that most believers don’t understand what repentance really is.

Have you ever seen someone caught in some kind of sin, and they weep and weep in repentance, for what they have done, and then go out and do the very same thing again?  The reason this happens is because that person never really understood what repentance really is and how it works.

Repentance is a casting off of sin and disowning it altogether. It doesn’t belong to you any more!

You see, Jesus already dealt with the sin issue long ago. He bore all of our sins and paid the penalty for them. He actually took ownership of your sins, as if He did them Himself!  Do you understand that?  Does that make sense to you?  He owns your sins, so that you don’t have to own them anymore, and He wants you to SHAKE those sins off, and disown them, as if they never belonged to you in the first place. He wants you to live free from sin!  He wants to walk in righteousness!

The Apostle Paul wrote:

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV.

Yes, God poured all of your sins into Christ on the cross, and then He poured all of His righteousness into you, when you became a believer in Christ. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ. You are now holy in Him! Now He wants you to focus on His righteousness and His holiness in you, and shake off everything that is unholy or unrighteous. That is living the life of repentance!

As I have stated before, a spiritual babe will not walk at the same level of righteousness and holiness as a more mature believer.  This also applies to repentance. As you grow in the Spirit, you will find yourself repenting over things that you never thought of repenting over before. In my own experience, I repent over even the smallest things in my life. I don’t want any of those things to take root in my heart and grow into bigger sins. Neither will you!

Do you remember that old saying: A stitch in time saves nine?  It isn’t Scripture, but it is true nonetheless.  If we deal with sins when they are still small, we can often keep ourselves from falling into much greater sins.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV

This applies to spiritual growth. Those things we thought were okay as spiritual babes, become unacceptable when we become more mature in the Lord. When the Holy Spirit reveals these areas in our lives, we need to shake them off, so that they don’t cling to us any more. This is what true repentance is all about!

Let me say this:  You have authority over sin, just as much as you have authority over the devil. You need to use that authority to shake off any sin from your life, and keep it under your feet, just as you would keep the devil under your feet. Do you understand that? That is the victory you have in Christ – the devil, and any sin he might tempt you with, is under your feet!

Finally, repentance not only applies to sin, but you need to also shake off the things of the world, and those distractions that keep you from being fully devoted to God. You need to also shake off the values of the world, and all those things that are contrary to the Word of God. This is what living a life of repentance is all about. This is how you draw near to God and live a life that is pleasing to Him.

You are holy!

In my next post, we will look at: “Understanding Forgiveness.”

Steve Smith