Repentance is a change of heart that leads to a change in the direction of life..
Repentance comes in three stages & it has to do with change; Change of heart, Change of life & living, & Change of master..!
Godly sorrow honours God, trusts in the grace of the Lord Jesus and is enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit..
How can we know we have repented?
– The repentant person will be sickened by their sin.
If I am truly repentant about my sin, I will not treat it as a small issue. I might have wronged many people, but it is primarily and ultimately against God. A simple “Sorry”, with no consideration of any required change, is like sweeping the problem under the carpet. It may join an increasing pile “under the carpet” that will one day cause a major stumble. In Psalm 51 David was dependent on the Lord to change him, knowing that the heart was where the change was required..
– The repentant person will seek to right wrongs.
If I am repulsed by my sin and am genuinely repentant, I will seek to right any wrongs. A good rule in this matter is to genuinely repent and seek forgiveness from the person/s where the offence occurred..
– The repentant person apologises unconditionally.
True repentance will be marked by an unconditional and complete apology, as far as possible, to all we have sinned against..
– The repentant person will change their behaviour.
When the heart is changed there will be behavioural change..
Permanent, God-honouring change can only be produced by the Holy Spirit but needs the co-operation of the believer..
For example, if I am convicted that I have not been using my time in a way that honours God, then I will need to confess that to Him, knowing that my sin has not made God love me less and I will be forgiven based upon the finished work of the Lord Jesus. However, as genuine repentance is a change of heart that leads to a change in the direction of life, then my use of time will now be different. I will think and believe differently about how I use it and my actions will be the fruit of my new thinking. If there is no change of action then there has been no repentance..
True repentance can only be witnessed over a period of time..
“Keep creating in me a clean heart. Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please You…” (Psalm 51:10)
We are prone to grumbling when we fail to see the unconditional love God has for each one of us personally. Christ came into this world and died for all