Thursday, February 11, 2016

Living a Life of Repentance?

Christians often speak of living a life of repentance. After my study of Romans and understanding that we are dead and freed from sin, I decided I was going to look up all of the verses having to do with repentance and see if there were any that said we needed to live a life of repentance. {I will only study those verses in the New Testament.}

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish {Luke 13:3} Yes, in order to be saved, we must repent of our evil deeds and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. After doing this, we are saved for eternal life.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost {Acts 2:38}. This is the same thing as the previous verse. Repentance is a one time act of confession and believing that Christ has paid for ALL of our sins. Once we believe, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; {Acts 3:19} One time act again. When we repent and believe, our sins are blotted out, meaning they are remembered no more!

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? {Romans 2:4} God's goodness leads us to the repentance of our sins and we then begin a life as a saint; cleansed in the precious blood of the Lamb. This is a one time act and it is finished. We are made righteous and have been given the salvation of our souls.

Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn't experience any loss from us. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death {2 Corinthians 7:9, 10} Here is how Matthew Henry's commentary explains these verses, "Sorrow according to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, and wrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble, contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk in newness of life. And this repentance is connected with saving faith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is a great difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and the sorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance are mentioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will be changed." Again, this repentance is a one time action that leads to the salvation of our souls and changed behavior for true repentance changes us.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance {2 Peter 3:9}. God wants all to come to repentance and not perish; a one time event that saves our souls.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness {1 John 1:9}. A one time event that Jesus' death on the cross does for us after we repent; He makes us righteous by cleansing us from all unrighteousness. The next time we sin doesn't make us unrighteous again. No, once we repent of our sins, we are made righteous. It is a one time finished work in us. It is a miracle.

Therefore, there is nothing in the Bible that says we are to live a life of repentance. No, once we repent of our sins and become righteous, God asks that we be thankful and grateful for all He has done for us. If we sin against someone, we quickly apologize to them and ask for forgiveness {Matthew 5:23}. If we have a sin in our life, we confess it to others and pray we'll be healed from it {James 5:16}. 

Yes, we are sorry when we sin but then we remember that He cleansed us from all unrighteousness, we are dead and freed from sin and we thank Him once again for the marvelous work He performed in us on the day that we repented and believed in His finished work for us! This is what we should be focused upon instead of living a life of repentance. Faith is believing what you can't see nor understand; how sinners like us are called righteous, called saints and given eternal life.