The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Repentance - part 2

All right, this is a day later than what I had intended. Forgive me? (grin)

If you are just getting here, you really need to read Part 1 first.

Repentance defined and illustrated

Having established the Scriptural foundation for the doctrine of repentance and what repentance is not, let's examine what repentance actually is. Here is a good Bible definition of repentance.
I Thessalonians 1:9 "For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;"

From this Scripture, you can see that repentance is "a change of mind that results in a change of direction." (Pastor Bill Wingard) While you may never use the words repent or repentance, the action will be there if the conversion is real.

Take a look at the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. The previous verses deal with two other lost items: a lost sheep and a lost coin. In those instances, the owner searched for the lost items until they were found. The son chose to leave home, and no one went after him. Pastor Wingard pointed out that the father could have pursued his son and forced him to return home, but the result would have been a son who was even more rebellious and discontented than he had been before he left. Instead, the father allowed his son to exercise his free will. Finally, the son realized into what a ridiculous and terrible position he had put himself. He had fallen so low that he even thought about eating the slop for the pigs he was tending!

In that moment, he repented. He could have sent home to his father with a demand for more money. He could have gone home and demanded to be reinstated as a son with all the privilege that came with the title. Instead, his realization of the wrong he had committed toward his father and family caused him to view himself as he truly was. He realized that he was not worthy to be called a son and determined that upon his return he would ask only to be hired as a servant. THAT IS REPENTANCE! All his pride and self-reliance were gone. He realized the immense favor his father would be doing him to even hire him as a servant. The father in mercy restored the son to his birth right, but the son would not have thought him unjust had he done otherwise.

Do you understand how this relates to real life? Do you see how repentance is not only for the unsaved but is for the saved as well? How often do I come to God in "repentance" with the attitude, "Okay, I did wrong; now I'm saying I'm sorry so I can get back to my life." That is not repentance for true repentance changes the repentant. It is my sincere desire that I would be truly repentant when I ask God for forgiveness for a sin I have committed. I don't want to be the Christian who always remains a baby because she never experiences the change and growth that true repentance brings.