Yeah, Repentance Again
Read 2 Timothy Chapter 2
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
It has been a few weeks since we looked at the subject of repentance. In today’s world, where it is rarely taught, we need to remind ourselves often that repentance plays a huge role in the Christian’s life. And of course, in society’s trend toward accepting same-sex lusts and actions as okay in God’s realm, perhaps we SSA men and women need to be more aware of the importance of repentance than most Christians. The tendency to accept false teaching is far too prevalent to ignore.
Paul makes the point very clearly. “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” That is repentance. The word “repent” and its variations are mentioned 73 times in the NIV bible. It must be important. Here are a few of them.
Isa 30:15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Mk 1:2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send My messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—3 “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’ ” 4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mt 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Some of the references to repentance are written to unbelievers and some are written to Christians. The unbeliever must come to Christ with a heart of repentance, and the Christian must repent in order to regain full fellowship with his Savior.
I’m not sure we have defined “repentance” in past devotions. Just in case, let’s do it.
1. Repentance includes a “change of heart (1 Kings 8:47). A change of heart is a turning away from our sins and turning back toward God and His commands. Personal reference – Those times when I failed to understand the destructiveness of my sins, I was not repentant. It was only when I realized how my sins were hurting me and hurting God’s heart that I had true repentance.
2. Repentance includes a desire to take a different path of action (Acts 26:20). In this passage, the writer declares that a truly repentant man will change his ways. A desire to get back on Christ’s pathway is a part of repentance.
3. Repentance includes an earnestness (Revelation 3:19). Another personal note – There have been times in my life when I turned away from sin because I feared discipline and punishment. That is not true repentance. I had to change my repentance to an earnest seeking of God’s ways. Fear of punishment can lead us to a temporary separation from our transgressions, but I doubt that it has any long-lasting effect.
4. It helps greatly to hate evil. (Psalm 97:10). We are in our strongest position when we look at evil and despise it. When we can grasp the ugliness of the things we are tempted to do, it becomes very easy to resist it. A heart that despises evil is a heart which is repentant. Sometimes I think back on some of my experiences and absolutely loath what I did.
Job 42:6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
I feel certain that God did not wish Job to “hate himself.” But his heart-felt sorrow over his sins led him to this declaration. Instead, let us develop and nurture a hatred for those things we do that sadden our Lord and Savior.
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Prayer: Lord, give us a heart of repentance, for all our past sins and for any we commit in the future. Give us a desire to please and serve You with every ounce of our being and every second of every day. Grant us true repentance, that we will not sin against You.