Biblical Usage of Repentance! Pt1
Now that we know the meaning of repentance, we now need to go to the Word of God to help us apply it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
One of the most challenging tasks faced by Christians today is to maintain the vitality of Christ’s life. And too often our approach to teaching and learning is institutionalized, as we model on the public school rather than on what is unique in the nature of our faith. Let’s get back to the basics and teach and learn from God’s inspired (God-breathed) Word and not from the options of Gammy Award Winning Pastors and Rock Star Status Praise and Worship Leaders.
For the next four days I am going to give you God inspire scripture from the Old and the New Testament. Take time and meditate on His Word, that you may have clear understanding of His plan and the purpose of repentance.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
This prescription for answered prayer is reflected again and again in the Scripture. First the supplicant must be “called by My name.” The only other condition is “humble themselves.” The words “pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways” describe what humbling ourselves means. It means abandoning hope in ourselves to rely completely on God. And it means abandoning (repenting) our own sinful ways to respond wholeheartedly to God’s known will.
In actuality these are not so much conditions that God requires as they are a description of the person who will in fact pray! Only those with a sense of personal relationship (“called by His name”) who take relationship with God seriously (“humble themselves”) will turn to the Lord for supernatural help.
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
The people must turn from their selfishness and treachery, and begin to show love and honesty in their everyday dealings if they want to be pleasing to God (16–17). He is ready and able to cleanse them, but whether he will depends on them. They must be willing to stop pleasing themselves and obey him instead.
What they should do is wash themselves through repentance and forsaking of evil, then practice righteousness and social justice. And the same is true today.
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
If man is hungry and needs satisfying, he is also wicked and needs salvation. God’s calling and seeking must be matched by those of the sinner. This is a classic statement of repentance, challenging the mind ‘repentance’ and the will, the habits (way) and the plans (implied in the Hebrew for thoughts). It is both negative (forsake) and positive (turn), personal (to the LORD) and specific (for mercy); and its appeal is reinforced by the shortness of the time and the sheer generosity of the promise.
The wicked man must stop doing sin and the unrighteous man must stop being sinful in his thoughts. To repent of our wicked ways and unrighteous thoughts, we must turn around and go the other way.
If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it. And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so. Yet, O house of Israel, you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways.”
The good, the bad, and the repentant. For those who sincerely despair over their sin, it is never too late to repent (33:10–11). God does not delight in judging his people (33:11). Past righteousness won’t save those who sin; past unrighteousness won’t condemn those who repent (33:12–20).
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
When the message was sent to them, they were so ripe for judgment that a purpose of destruction to take effect in forty days was the only word God’s righteous abhorrence of sin admitted of as to them. But when they repented, the position in which they stood towards God’s righteousness was altered. So God’s mode of dealing with them must alter accordingly, if God is not to be inconsistent with His own immutable character of dealing with men according to their works and state of heart, taking vengeance at last on the hardened impenitent, and delighting to show mercy on the penitent.
The concept of repentance is important in both Old as well as the New Testaments. We can sum up the basic meaning: repentance means “a change of heart and life.” While repentance is popularly linked with sorrow and prayer, the basic meaning is one of a change of life direction. A person who repents turns from his old ways to wholeheartedly commit himself to doing the will of God. Is repentance linked with salvation? Yes. But the life-change expressed by “repentance” is a result of saving faith in God, not a condition of our salvation.
Allow these scriptures to resonate in your heart today, as you study also; be attentive to the other scriptures surrounding each scripture. We must do these things so; you may mature and be bold in your choice of being a Christian. Most Christians are feeble in their stance for God because they are pathetic in their study time with God in His Word.
Remember, my motto is study to live, don’t study to teach, but teach what you live.