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Repenting

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by FHII, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    I want to share some thoughts with you about repenting. I’m not particularly talking to one person, because a lot of people here have similar beliefs on repenting, though there may be some minor differences. So please don’t think I’m talking to just one person.

    I absolutely believe one must repent before God. There isn’t a question about that. I’m also not really against what most people say the definition of repent is. I’m not totally for it either.

    Since most of you are aware of the Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionary definition, I'll skip giving them to you. However, I have seen a lot of people define it (not necessarily outright, but by implication) as, “to feel sorry for doing something, then to stop doing it, and never do it again”.

    Now again, I’m not saying any one particular person has said this. It is an overall feeling I get from reading many posts. Furthermore, it is my opinion that this is what many believe. My opinion of course, is fallible and could be wrong.

    So, if my opinion is correct, I strongly believe that when one repents a sin, it is not effective in saving anyone, nor does it do much good spiritually.

    Here’s the reason: You have repented from that sin, but not all the other sins you have done. Even if you are successful in your repentance of that sin (you are sorry for doing it in the past, and you never do it again), there are a plethora of others you failed to repent from. So, you are still guilty of sin.

    Let me give you a case scenario. Adultery; I am against it and I suspect everyone here, whether they are guilty or not, will agree it’s wrong.

    Suppose a person has an affair and realizes it’s wrong and repents from it. They admit they were wrong before the Lord and promises never to do it again. Also, until they die, they keep it. Well, praise God! I think it’s terrible that they did it, but they kept their word and did their best to make amends. I don’t know anyone here that would say that God forgave them of that.

    However, that is just one sin. Undoubtedly, that person is going to have more than just one fault. I believe that because we all do. I am not going to go into confession mode, but I have a multitude of things I’ve done wrong in the past, and the present, and probably will in the future. If you will agree with me on that, I will spare you the list of things we do everyday that were against God’s Law that he gave to Moses.

    So the next step is to repent of every sin you know you’ve done. That could take some time. But if you spend a year examining your life and then repent – and even if you are successful at stopping those things – you must realize that perhaps you forgot some of them, or have never heard of some things that are sin. Or perhaps you simply can't keep all of them (which I believe to be the case for everyone).

    The next step is that if you so much think a sin, you are guilty. This is really hard to do. I take you to Matthew 5:28 which says if you look at a woman to lust, you have committed adultery in your heart (and that is what God is looking at). So whatever is a sin, you can't actually carry through with it (that's a given) but we can't even think about it. Not even for a split second.

    So, let me make my point clear. When you “repent” from a sin, you are still a sinner. You have not gained favor with the Lord, except for that one sin. That one sin is forgiven. But you have a lot of other charges the Lord has against you. And he will hold them against you. Somewhere in the Bible, there is something you are guilty of. And it’s going to be brought up if you are at the White Throne Judgment. So if you drink, you smoke, you flirt with others, and you find a bunch of other sins and quit doing them… I think that’s wonderful and I do believe you are going to reap rewards. God is going to bless you, but there are still others you didn’t repent for.

    Repenting for each of the sins you know you do isn’t going to get you total forgiveness unless you repent from every single sin you have ever done, and quit doing them. That's impossible for anyone. And real quickly, some will jump on "Well with God, all things are possible!" Ok. Has it been possible for God to give you that power? Have you quit sinning? That is a whole other topic that perhaps I'll expound on later, but I don't want to get side tracked.

    Now I want to introduce you to a different way to repent, that is totally effective in gaining forgiveness. Quit the things you can do now, and that’s good. But don’t repent from just those. Follow two Bible examples and repent for being a sinner.

    I want to bring up the Words of Jesus from Luke 18:10-14:
    “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the other men are, extortioners, unjust, adultererers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.”

    Let me break here to say that this was pretty good. This Pharisee kept the law to a degree. He didn’t commit any of these sins. We look down on the Pharisee’s because of what they did to Jesus. However, they did live pretty “holy”. Let me continue:

    “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

    The point of this story is that we can’t exalt ourselves. However, there is a side lesson to be learned. Look how the publican repented. He simply admitted he was a sinner, and asked mercy for it. He didn’t give God a list of things he did… He admitted he was a sinner.

    I would like to take another example from Matthew 6, and what most people call the Lord’s Prayer. From verse 12 we get the words: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” It goes on in verse 14 to interpret “debts” as trespasses. Again, there is not the notion of asking forgiveness of a single sin or a set number of sins. It also says to forgive others who have trespassed against you. But my point is that it is a blanket type asking of forgiveness. Both these examples don’t say anything about stopping sinning, but asking forgiveness for being what we are: sinners.

    Conclusion:

    You can repent for the sins you know you are guilty of, and even stop doing them completely. Some might say that if you experience a moment of weakness and commit them again, you can re-repent and start over. I don’t have a problem with that, and perhaps you should repent from particular sins and stop them. However, this style of repenting falls short in that you haven’t repented from all your sins.

    But if you simply break down and say, “Lord, I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness”, you’ve covered all your sins. Clearly, you are not going to stop breaking God’s law in the flesh. None of the patriarch’s could stop, and no one other than Jesus Christ has ever succeeded. Yet, because he did, we don’t have to succeed. I encourage others to do their best and remember that the many Laws God put forth are for our good. They are good rules to follow! Just don’t account them to your righteousness and don’t think you are measuring up to them, because if you break one law, your guilty of the whole law (Jas 2:10).
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  2. Prentis

    Prentis New Member

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    God knows our hearts, and even it's hidden sins.

    God isn't looking for someone who tries to list all their sins, say sorry for all of them, and try real hard to stop doing them. Though the person might genuinely think that's the way to go, it doesn't work! I agree with you that the contrite heart is what God desires, in other words, the heart that is broken before God, and sees it's own flaws, and pleads for his mercy.

    Repentance could be defined as 'a change of mind'. To repent, I would say, is to see that 'no good thing dwells in me', and thus forsake our ways, and seek God's.

    If we do this genuinely, and we seek with all our hearts, God will teach us his grace and teach us to walk in a manner pleasing to him.

    Now there are two things I would add to this... Firstly, that this is only the first level of righteousness. This is the breaking of the fallow ground, but this is not equivalent to walking in holiness, power, and doing only what we see the Father doing... After all, how could we do only what the Father does and yet sin? ;) Impossible! In Christ, we can actually take on HIS nature and walk as he walked.

    Secondly, that we must be very careful not to become smug and think that because we humbled ourselves once, we have this guarantee of entrance. A righteous man must continue in the way of righteousness. (Ezekiel 18:21,22,23,24)
     
  3. prism

    prism Blood-Soaked

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    Repentance is simply the opposite side of the coin as faith. You cannot have one without the other. Repentance is a turning away from/(rethinking) whereas faith is a turning to the object of our confidence. For example, as I turn to the Lord to save me, I am at the same time letting go of all other resources for my salvation, otherwise it is neither true repentance or true faith. The Reformers use to say, even our repentance needs repenting of, and Scripture has one crying out 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief'.
     
  4. Prentis

    Prentis New Member

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    Hmmm... I like that! Repentance is the turning away, and faith the turning to!

    Repentance is where we are honest, and true, and thus forgiveness is available.

    Faith is where we can receive grace, power ( ;) ), thus being enabled to do what pleases God.
     
  5. Comm.Arnold

    Comm.Arnold New Member

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    I think you make a big move when you even acknowledge that you have done anything wrong. There are a lot of people out there christians included who are too proud to admit that they have sinned and that it was wrong. Especially something like an affair Proverbs 6:34 "for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge." If that is something one is struggling with you better deal with it now and be very sincere about it. You have to get in a quiet place before God and list everything you have done before God make yourself look bad before him. In the end he is more than merciful in fact he can even use some of your faults to his advantage, it is part of his perfect plan and how he helps us overcome sin and it's bondage.
     
  6. jiggyfly

    jiggyfly New Member

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    FHII, I agree repentance is more than “to feel sorry for doing something, then to stop doing it, and never do it again”. Prentise was scratching at the surface so to speak in saying "repentance could be defined as 'a change of mind".

    The Greek word metanoeō means more than just changing your mind in the sense what your opinion was concerning this or that, it literally means to change the way that you think or to start thinking differently.

    This is why John the baptist and Jesus preached "repent for the kingdom of God is at hand" to Israel. Israel's thinking was all wrong concerning the law, the Messiah, and God's kingdom. They needed a shift or change in their paradigm in order to understand what God was about to do and without this adjustment they would miss it completely.
     
    Shirley likes this.
  7. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    Repentance is looking elsewhere for you happiness and fulfillment
     
  8. beloved one

    beloved one New Member

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    im so glad you posted this! ive been thinking about alot this week & im glad to read others thoughts.
    thats all :)
     
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