Is Your Repentance Real?

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Repentance, not repentence!

Hey TD,
Do you realize that being a well-liked and respected good church girl/guy could possibly be what is holding you back from true repentance, and therefore true relationship and power in Christ?  It’s true.  Lots of long-time “Christians” have never truly repented.
I highly encourage you to read this devotional by Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost For His Highest on true repentance.
Repentance by Oswald Chambers

Conviction of sin is best described in the words:

My sins, my sins, my Savior,
How sad on Thee they fall.

Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God— “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight…” (Psalm 51:4). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.

The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable “goodness.” Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to understand the value of repentance, you allow yourself to remain in sin. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be truly repentant.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

There is nothing, naturally speaking, that makes us lose heart quicker than decay—the decay of bodily beauty, of natural life, of friendship, of associations, all these things make a man lose heart; but Paul says when we are trusting in Jesus Christ these things do not find us discouraged, light comes through them.
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TD’er, Have You Repented From Your Life of Sin?

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Hi TD’ers,

The fact is, you are not a follower of Christ if you have not repented from your sin.  That is not only proper theology, but it is rooted in just plain fact.  You cannot be going north and south at the same time.  In order to go north, you must turn around from going south and head in the opposite direction.

And yet that’s exactly the attempt many church people, many TD’ers, and many self-proclaimed “Christians” make in trying to “follow Christ” while following the world and fulfill their self-centered desires.  They are factually in direct opposition to one another!  You cannot head north and south at the same time.  Jesus made it clear, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matt. 16:24

Could Jesus be any clearer?  If you want to follow Jesus (north), you must cease walking in the direction you are heading (south), turn around, and head the opposite direction towards Him.  And if you do not, you are not following Jesus.  This isn’t being narrow-minded, judgmental, legalistic, elitist, etc.  It’s just plain un-religious common sense.  You can’t go up and down and the same time.

The word “repent” means to change one’s mind  and turn and head the opposite direction. Have you repented from your sin?  Or have you “accepted Christ” and tried to just add Him on to your life?  To the direction you are already heading?  Hoping that adding Him on will result in Him blessing you as you walk in the direction you’ve decided to walk?

If that’s you, you need to truly repent from your life of sin (walking away from the Lord) and follow Him.  It’s the objectively right thing to do.  It’s the smart thing to do.  It’s the loving thing to do.  It’s the moral thing to do.  It’s the best thing to do.  And … it’s the hardest thing to do. You cannot do it in your own power.

But, if you sincerely plead to the Lord for forgiveness of your life of sin, surrender your life to the Lord Jesus and His will, and plead with Him to help sinful, broken you to turn around and follow Him … He will grant that to you and will help you to do so through THE gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:38 says, “… Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Let your small group leaders know if you want to discuss this and begin walking North. – Arthur