Bible Study: What is True Repentance?
Written by Christi Given | January 28, 2019
We have all heard of the word “repent” or “repentance” in the Bible, but do you know what it means? Some people think repenting is just saying sorry or apologizing. Confessing your fault or sin is the first portion of repentance but the second half is a willful decision. We must “turn” or make a 180 degree shift in our choices to forsake sin and go away from it. Moving away from sin and stopping it is what repentance means.
“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Like 13:3)
God knows when we have a genuine struggle, for example when he says “the righteous falls down 7 times but he gets back up.” (Proverbs 24:16) God knows when we have a real issue that we are fighting with. God is merciful and compassionate. He never stops pursuing or loving us, even in our ugliest sins. Christ actually DIED for us while we were STILL sinning the Bible says. God knows your heart but he wants us to be FREE from the bondage of sin.
HOW DO I REPENT?
How do we know we have fully turned from a specific sin or habit in our lives? For one, we must choose to obey, and to live holy. Living a set apart life in a culture that bombards us with temptation everyday isn’t easy. Jesus knows and was even tempted in the wilderness. Christ knows the push and pull of the tug of war on our flesh and spirits. He tells us and instructs us to “…watch and pray.” (Matthew 26:41)
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
How do we continually walk in obedience and repentance? First, we must seek God’s face daily in prayer and in worship. When we ask God to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, He will hear us. Next, avoid surrounding yourself in tempting situations if you know that you struggle. For example: if you struggle with partying, avoid parties until you’re strong enough and even then I would avoid your weak areas if God asks you to.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
We must choose obedience, repentance and to walk with God. We cannot walk with God, yet hold hands with the world or the enemy. We must be conscious to be alert and sober for the Bible says the enemy is “seeking whom he can devour…” By reading the Bible daily, we are clothing ourselves with Christ and His word and are protected and more informed. We are in high alert to distractions and temptations when we have the full armor of God on. (Ephesians 6)
Repentance is a heart matter, and if we really want to walk with Jesus and honor him we need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and stop copying the world’s behaviors. At first, it will feel foreign to be set apart or different from your friends, but be honored to be a leader. God desires you to be living in abundance, and joy! He wants you to desire the right thing (righteousness), and then you will be filled with overwhelming peace. There’s nothing like walking with God.
Ask Jesus to help you to be sanctified and transformed in any areas of weakness or places that need to be pruned. Ask God to help you in your weak areas or in tempting areas of your life. Write down a list of things you want to work on and a prayer next to it so you can remind yourself regularly. Write verses down on paper or sticky notes so you can see them on your mirror or in your bathroom. God sees, and He knows if you are willing.
We are praying for you PI girls! Comment below if you have any questions! We love you!