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Christian Life

Girl to Girl Talk: The Importance of Repentance

Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.

Recently, a PI girl asked me about an article I wrote on guilt and shame and learning to forgive yourself. She pointed out some things and asked about when I mentioned that Jesus paid it all, and that He said before He died that the price was paid and “it is finished.” She said there’s also a verse about “faith without works is dead,” and wanted clarity regarding these different verses (James 2 in the Bible). This is a great observation, and to understand this fully, we need to realize the importance of repentance. Join our chat here.

Just because Jesus paid it all on the cross doesn’t mean we have a free license to sin. There are people who abuse the grace given by God. We know that God has full knowledge (He is omniscient, which means “all-knowing”), and knows every person’s heart and motives (Revelation 1:8). There’s no telling what people’s intentions are, but we can share about faith and repentance. What’s so important is that we need to work out our own salvation and seek Jesus for ourselves (Philippians 2:12). We need to have a genuine relationship and have a Holy fear of God. This is not a bad fear, rather a respect and an honor for the King of Kings.

We will all give an account one day and we need to realize there are consequences to sin. Whether or not you bear the fruit of that right away doesn’t excuse sin. (Read Galatians 6.) Yes, Jesus took our place, but we must REPENT.

In the Bible (within the New Testament) in Matthew 4:17, Jesus says himself to “repent.” Jesus even preached that we need to continually repent, and every day it is a choice to turn from our old life, patterns and choices to the new life in the Spirit (Matthew 3:8).

 

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17)

 

For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did NOT REPENT and believe him. (Matthew 21:32)

 

(Read more on repentance in the Bible: Matthew 3:8, Isaiah 30:15, Luke 5:31-32, Luke 24:46-48, Acts 11:18, Acts 20:21, Romans 2:4, Jeremiah 31:19, Luke 17:3-4, Revelation 2:5, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.)

[Source: m.biblestudytools.com]

 

What does the word “repent” mean? And why do we need to do this? Also, where in the Bible does it talk about this? I will go over these questions you may have.

First, let’s discuss what repent means. You probably think it means “to apologize” or “to say sorry.” And yes, you are correct, but there’s more. Repent means to turn 180 degrees away from sin. This means a lifestyle change and a difference in your decision making. That is what being born again is. Not only in your spirit is there a rebirth where you become a new creature in Christ, but also your old ways perish or fade away over time and you start to WANT to live for God and to honor Him with everything you have. I have personally lived this and I now understand from personal experience this transformation—it is SO powerful! I have also witnessed this in Nicole. God is so amazing! All you have to do is call upon the name of Jesus and you shall be saved. Read the Bible, get into fellowship and you will grow.

Remember, PI Girls, living for Jesus is a choice. Honoring God is a choice. The word “repent” in Greek is metanoia (pronounced met-a-noi-a), which means “a change in one’s way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.” This is so good, isn’t it? How many times have I thought saying sorry over and over would work?

How do you feel when your best friend or sibling does something and says, “Sorry,” but keeps on doing it? Their word starts to mean less and less in your mind, doesn’t it? Their word starts to decrease in value when they apologize but continue on with the same behavior. That is how God sees it, too, regarding sin. We need to rid ourselves of what is making us stumble and what is blocking us from the blessings in life! Do you know God loves you so much and wants to BLESS you! He wants to give you an abundant life! (John 10:10) This doesn’t mean life will be easy, or you will be rich or famous or anything that society places a high value on, like success, but yes, you will be blessed spiritually and will have all of your needs met and more. God is good, but He can’t bless us when we are in disobedience. God talks about “willful disobedience,” which is what a lot of people do.

God says in the Word that if we purposefully sin in our hearts, knowing we are doing something wrong, but doing it anyway with the bad intention, there is no more sacrifice to cover that sin (Hebrews 10:26). What does this mean? That means people who think, I will do what feels good now and say sorry later. That’s not how it works.

Every person is different, and yes, we all sin and fall short of God’s glory. Yes, God knows your heart, so don’t condemn yourself, but pray for those who sin on purpose! That is dangerous…not only are you sowing in rebellion against God’s instruction to bless you, but you are separating yourself from God’s presence and grace. Let us each ask for a contrite, humble, obedient heart, amen?

 

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. (Hebrews 10:26)

 

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

 

Yes, we have all been given grace and the invitation to repent, but not all do. It is NOT easy and it is the unpopular, narrow way. This choice to repent and follow Jesus is a hard choice in the natural, but has supernatural blessings. We have peace, joy and fullness. We are whole in Christ and walk in the authority God gives us as children of God (1 Peter). Without the cross and the blood that was shed by The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there is no fellowship with God.

 

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. (Matthew 27:50-52)

 

I used to live a lifestyle where I claimed Christ, but my actions didn’t 100 percent match. Now, I feel like the old lifestyle has faded away and now the new creation has come. I get what the Bible says now about the old and the new because I’ve experience it and lived it! Jesus wants this for you, too! I’ve witnessed this amazing grace work in Nicole’s life, and God has done miracles. He has done Ephesians 3:20 beyond what we could imagine. Why? Because I trusted in HIM. I laid down my old, worldly desires and now I only want to live for HIM!

PI Girls, I pray this article has blessed you and has answered your questions on the balance of not being in willful disobedience versus falling short and repenting. We can’t condemn ourselves, but we also cannot excuse sin—it is all about seeking Jesus and reading the Bible, which is God’s Word and ultimate wisdom. I am limited here on earth, but I try my best to answer these questions. God bless you!

If you have further questions about salvation, the Bible or this article, or just want to email me, message me at facebook.com/ChristiGiven.

Jesus loves you! 🙂

Image: Lightstock | KevinCarden

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