Sin, Sinners and Repentance
Repentance, a long forgotten term in our culture. We have preached that God is love so fervently that many believe God is only love. There is no more talk of repentance of sins. There is no more talk of change in lifestyle. But people are coming to Christianity and instead of embracing a new lifestyle they bring their old habits with them. Jesus didn't call anyone to follow him without sacrifice. Without leaving something behind, keeping in mind there is nothing we can leave behind better than what Jesus has to offer, life.
So it's called, "repentance from dead works" (Heb 6.1), that sin produces. These works the blood of Christ cleanses the conscience of a repentant sinner, bringing you peace and forgiveness (Heb 9.1). We want to mention a few different categories of repentance.
(1) First, there must be not only repentance major sins, but also of minor sins. There are differences between sins. Some are larger, others smaller (John 19:11). But both require repentance. Sins against both tables of the law immediately sin against God and sins against men (some sins against men are more perverse than others) as well as those sins against God, such as worshiping idols of gold and silver, etc., murder, witchcraft, etc. There has to be repentance of them all, as well as sinful thoughts, and careless words (Proverbs 24.9).
(2) Second, there must be repentance of public sins and private sins. Some sin notoriously in daylight and are known by everyone. Other sins are secret. A sinner truly repents when he is awakened, and even repents from sins known only to himself and God. This is proof of genuine repentance.
(3) Third, there must be repentance of sins of omission and commission. When someone omits the spiritual duties that must be met or commits sins that should be avoided; God forgives them (Is 43.22-25). Repentance of both types of sin is required.
It's important to keep in mind that there must be repentance of sins of daily life. No man lives without committing sins. Sin is committed daily by the best of us. In many or even all things, all offend God. Just as we need to pray daily and ask forgiveness daily, so we must repent every day (join our daily text devotionals here). Repentance must be continuously exercised by believers because we sin all the time! Anyone who says otherwise is lying, they should repent of that!
Keep in mind we must not only repent of specific sins and transgressions but also the natural and original sin. When David fell into grievous sins and was brought to sincere repentance, he confessed and wrote psalm 51 describing the nature of his original corruption of his nature. "I was born in iniquity" (Ps 51.5). Now, when a sinner confesses, regrets and mourns the original corruption of his nature and the sin that dwells in him, it's a clear case that his repentance is genuine and sincere.
Adam, in his state of innocence, had no need of repentance. There was no sin of which he had to repent. Those who, in their remarks, imagine themselves perfectly righteous and sinless have no need of repentance. Christ said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13).
All men are sinners; all descended from Adam by natural generation. So we are all transgressors from the womb and guilty of sins and actual transgressions. All need to repent, including those who find themselves to be righteous. They might feel they do not need to repent, but that just means they should do it even more.
God commands that "everyone, everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). During the time that John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus were on earth, the doctrine of repentance was preached to the Jews only. But after the resurrection of Christ, He instructed his apostles and ordered, "in His name should be preached repentance and remission of sins to all nations... until the ends of the earth" (Luke 24:47).
You can only repent in this life. When this life is over, the door of repentance and faith will close. There will be no place for repentance. As for the saints in heaven, they do not need to repent. As for the wicked in hell, they are totally desperate and are unable to repent for eternity. So the rich man who was in hell wished that Lazarus be sent to his living brothers, hoping that, by way of one of the dead, to alert them to the place of torment, they would repent. He knew that his relatives never repent there, if they did not in this life, before they go to that place. Therefore, repentance should not be procrastinated.
We would love to accompany you on your walk with Christ. If you would like to reach us please contact us here. If you need any prayer or have any comments please don't hesitate!
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