Bible Study: The Importance of Repentance
Written by Christi Given | March 19, 2016
The Bible is full of verses about the free gift of salvation and the fact we are saved by grace, but let us as believers not forget daily repentance and the significance of being truly born again (John 3). The faith walk is a growing process and takes time, and sanctification happens as we learn, feed on the Word, in worship and in prayer, and through growing in fellowship and under sound doctrine and teaching (Hebrews 10:24-25, John 15:5, Psalm 100:1).
Many people use the grace and mercy of God as a license to sin. Yes, Jesus paid it all on the cross, and sin, death and iniquity have been nailed to the cross, but as Paul says in the book of Galatians, that doesn’t mean we keep on sinning.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)
Of course as young people in the faith, there is a maturing that happens over time, but let us not forget that God knows our hearts; we need not fear a futile relationship with Him, but we MUST revere Him. When we TRULY repent, our lives will change and will eventually reflect the fact that we are following Jesus.
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
So in this message, I want to share with you PI readers the two-sided coin of salvation with grace and repentance (Ephesians 2:8). We walk in both, not out of performance to get to God, but we know that when we TRULY have a sincere, willing, obedient heart to crucify the flesh and all of its sinful desires and we walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:16), we won’t WANT to sin, but rather our spirit will flee from it.
A perfect example is that I USED to want to go to the clubs and dance and have fun with friends (no shame if people go for a birthday celebration, etc.), but I mean a lifestyle of partying is no good, and now as a born-again believer, I don’t desire to be in darkness. If I am in a place where darkness dwells, I am to shine a light to others, but the presence that is in the midst of nightclubs or bars saddens my heart because it reminds me of those who don’t yet know Christ and/or I realize how lost I once was. (I am not saying people who celebrate at a restaurant or have a celebratory dance are evil or not with God, but I am talking about my old lifestyle I walked away from.) I hope what I said makes sense, but I am trying to give you an example that when we TRULY repent, which means to change our mind or to physically turn in the other direction, we are walking in obedience to God’s will.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We must crucify our flesh (meaning we must deny ourselves and our selfish ways, humble ourselves and carry our cross daily), which is only by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you feel it’s too hard for you, you’re right! It’s impossible to obey and do this in your own strength. You need the Holy Spirit to help you, and you need to resist the devil and temptation and it shall flee from you. Ask God to make Jesus Lord of your life and invite the Holy Spirit in your heart. It is truly by grace we are saved, but not of ourselves, because the only one who is perfect is the Lord Jesus, who took our place at Calvary.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 5:16)
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
This comes with having a real walk with God, learning, maybe falling seven times, but getting back up and really working out your own salvation. There is no condemnation for those IN CHRIST, but you need to be IN CHRIST, in the Word and walking it out. Let us walk the walk and not just talk the talk, amen?
I hope that the topic of repentance becomes more serious to us all. We need to remember we have a real relationship with God; truly at the end of the day, God knows your heart. He knows if you have a genuine, willing heart that is soft. Those who have a hardened heart may not hear His voice to obey (John 10) or maybe God will use circumstances to humble that heart of stone.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left… (Hebrews 10:26)
I pray you have a softened, willing heart that is childlike to obey our Father so you may be blessed and have an abundant life with Him, which is what He ultimately desires for us all here on earth and into eternity.
PI Girls, if you have questions, concerns or prayer requests, message me: Facebook.com/ChristiGiven