HERE IS HOW TO REPENT
1/ THE LAW OF GOD MUST BE EXAMINED AND FACED JUST LIKE YOU WOULD IN A COURTROOM [Exodus 20, Matthew 5-7, Galatians 5, Ephesians 2]- Why? because the law of God produces guilt
“Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.” [Romans 3:19 (NLT)]
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” [Gal 5:19-21 (NLT)]
2/ RESPOND TO THE GUILTY VERDICT WITH FULL ADMISSION OF YOUR SPECIFIC CRIMES, FOLLOWED WITH DEEP SADNESS – Why? because guilt produces godly sorrow
“Come close to God and he will come close to you. Realize that you have sinned and get your hands clean again. Realize that you have been disloyal and get your hearts made true once more. As you come close to God you should be deeply sorry, you should be grieved, you should even be in tears. Your laughter will have to become mourning, your high spirits will have to become heartfelt dejection. You will have to feel very small in the sight of God before he will set you on your feet once more.” James 4:8 (Phillips NT)
3/ FULLY REPENT AND FOLLOW [LIKE A SLAVE] JESUS, YOUR NEW LORD – Why? because only deep godly sorrow produces true repentance
“For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].“ [2 Cor 7:10 (AMP)]
“Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.” [Eph 4:28 (AMP)]
True repentance means first to stop your crime and in our example of a thief that is only the first step because this is only partial repentance. Next, the thief must get a job and earn his money. But this is still partial repentance because it does not deal with the heart of the sin, GREED. A greedy person steals and cheats, but a fearful or careful greedy person just works hard to stuff his own pockets. Here the Bible explains that true and full repentance is only proven when the ex-thief makes a 180 and joyfully gives some of his hard earned money to needy people. He no longer takes but turns around and gives.
AN EXAMPLE PRAYER WOULD BE LIKE THIS
I realize you are my Creator, the Almighty God, and the only one who is good and fair. Because of this you have the power to establish the law of the world, and the authority to tell me what is right and what is wrong. So I now bow to your authority and justice. I admit have broken your law _____________ [fill in the blank], and I am sick with grief in how I have acted.
Please, please forgive me! I now understand your love and mercy so I accept your offer of forgiveness through Jesus dying in the place of my judgment. I turn from all the crimes I am practicing, I have no excuses, And I now am grateful for your mercy. Father in heaven, I choose to please You and follow my Lord Jesus by obedience to His commands all my days.
THE NARROW ROAD OF OBEDIENCE – YOU ARE EXPECTED TO LEAVE THE LIFE OF CRIME AND OBEY FROM THIS DAY FORWARD – THIS IS THE NARROW ROAD
Your new lifestyle begins with Christ’s words, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” [Matt 7:12 (NLT)]
So be careful Jesus warns many will try to make the way to heaven easier than the narrow way of repentance. “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” [Matt 7:21-27 (NLT)]
Also, Jesus explained the narrow way of life his followers take, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” [Matt 22:37-40 (NLT)]
BUT WHAT IF I FAIL? YOU MAY AT FIRST, BUT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE GOD’S MIGHTY GRACE THAT GIVES YOU NEW DESIRES AND STRENGTH TO OBEY YOUR NEW LORD
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. [1 John 2:1-7 (NLT)]
Give yourself a break at first and remember you are a new baby in the faith. When babies learn to walk it takes time and even when you are older you may fall down, but it is less and less of an issue over time. Don’t be discouraged, you will find God’s strength because He gives His Holy Spirit to you and you gain the power to obey consistently. Give God time to work inside you, trust Him.
Let us help you. Have you come to the place that you know your spiritual crime, are sorry about it, and willing to bend your will to Jesus? If so let us know here.