What does Scripture teach about repentance? The most common translation of "repent" is "turn" or "return". Two requisites of repentance included in sub are "to turn from evil, and to turn to the good." Most critical theologically is the idea of returning to God, or turning away from evil. If one turns away from God, apostasy is indicated. Three times Ezekiel included God's call to the people of Israel: "Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!" "Repent! Turn away from all your offenses", "Turn! Turn from your evil ways". Such a call was characteristic of the prophets.
Confession of sins is both commanded and frequently illustrated. When one is guilty of various sins, "he must confess in what way he has sinned" in order to receive atonement and forgiveness. Thus, confession belongs to repentance, and is needed for divine forgiveness. A great prophecy/ promise is given in the Book of Isaiah: "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins".
In the New Testament, the key term for repentance is metanoia - It has two usual senses: a "change of mind" and "regret/remorse." In both books of Mark and Matthew Jesus began his public proclamation with the call "Repent." In addition, Paul is said to have preached to both Jews and Gentiles/Greeks to "turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus"
Repentance is only a condition of salvation and not its meritorious ground. The motives for repentance are chiefly found in the goodness of God, in divine love, in the pleading desire to have sinners saved, in the inevitable consequences of sin, in the universal demands of the gospel, and in the hope of spiritual life and membership in the kingdom of heaven.
True repentance leads a person to say, "I have sinned" and prove it with a 180-degree change of their direction.
Repentance requires true brokenness.
Repentance is NOT asking the Lord for forgiveness with the intent to sin again.
Repentance is an honest, regretful acknowledgement of sin with commitment to change.
Repentance leads us to cultivate godliness while eradicating habits that lead into sin. Learn more about the true meaning of repentance in the Scriptures and Bible verses below.
A Prayer for Daily Repentance
Dear Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you for not abandoning us to our mistakes, but for reaching out instead to bring us home. Help convict me of sin and help me accept your mercy without shame. Thank you for the love you have poured out for me and all of your children. Help me live out of that love today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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