True Repentance


What More Does God Need to Do?

Let me ask you an honest question, what more does God need to do for you to live a victorious, fruitful, productive life in Him? What more does He need to do? He defeated the devil. (1 John 5:18, Col 2:15) He forgave you your sins. (Col 1:13-14, Eph 4:32, 1 John 2:12) He equipped you with eternal life. (Rom 6:23, 1 Tim 6:12, 1 John 5:11) He gave you the Holy Spirit to lead into all truth (John 16:13), the Word of God (1 Thes 2:13, 1 John 2:14, Rev 19:13), the lamp for your feet (Psa 119:105). It’s finished folks. The only missing ingredient here is our repentance and faith in Him. And helping our people to deeply repent and grow in Christ by faith.

Dr. Neil T Anderson, "Sanctification & Spiritual Warfare",

What are we to repent of?

The Old Man of Sin

This is the state of our flesh when we were born into this fallen world.

The Old Man of Sin

This is the state of our flesh when we were born into this fallen world.

The New Man in Christ

When we are born again in Christ we are given a new heart and God’s spirit to be a new creation.

Root Causes of Sin

The Goal in Christ

Pride (selfish & self-centered; perfectionism, critical, prejudice, boasting, anger, malice, hate, jealousy, selfish-ambition, conceit)

Self-esteem (because of who God made us to be in Christ - in humility, love your neighbor as yourself implies loving yourself and being self-confidence in Christ; able to receive correction)

Rebellion (against God and authority; independence, disobedience, idolatry)

Submission (accountable to God and authority resulting in freedom)

Guilt (for unresolved sin and the lie of false guilt; defensive and paranoid)

Peace (of God that surpasses all understanding, now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, clear conscience and innocence)

Fear (primarily of death, people and the devil; avoidance and blame shifting)

Love & Faith (in God through Christ Jesus resulting in boldness and initiation)

Hiding (with our sin in darkness; pretension and lying)

Truth (coming into the light of God’s Word which is truth resulting in openness and being teachable)

Death (spiritual & physical - it's a choice, we can and often do choose death, hopelessness and despair)

Life (I set before you life and death - Choose life!  choosing life results in joy and hope)

What is true repentance?

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV)

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 ESV)

When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:18 ESV)

24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV)

True repentance is having a genuine and sincere grief for our sin – godly sorrow. The process involves:

  • First, even though we usually know our own sins they can at times be hidden from us due to our own unbelief (Prov 14:12, 2 Cor 4:4) or through deception (2 Cor 11:3, Rev 12:9). Ask your heavenly Father in humility and sincerity of heart, to reveal the sin in your life. He will by His Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11) without condemnation (Rom 8:1). The Steps to Freedom in Christ is a great resource to help us identify most of the unresolved sins in our lives and the lies we have believed.
  • Second, the acknowledgment of our sin before God – calling/naming the sin what God calls it (pride, rebellion, fornication, stealing, lying, bitterness, covetousness, etc.). Naming the sin is the "what" component but we should also include "who" we sinned against (God is always included here) and "where" and "when" we sinned as appropriate. This is confessing it - saying "I DID IT!" and bringing it into the light instead of hiding it in the dark or minimizing it or trying to justify it, which is the devil's domain and opens the door to give the devil another foothold in our life – leading to more bondage or oppression. Confessing is speaking the truth about what we have done - bringing it fully into the light. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 ESV)
  • Third, we need to renounce the sin (Tit 2:11-12, 2 Cor 4:2) as wrong and deserving of God’s righteous judgment (Rom 2:5).
  • Fourth, since repentance appears to be a gift of God we should humbly ask our heavenly Father to show us just how sinful the sin really is (Jesus had to die for our sin) and to grant us His gift of repentance (2 Tim 2:25) the ability to change our mind, to turn from evil (Psa 37:27), and to stop doing wrong and learn to do right (Isa 1:16-17). When God answers this prayer we will be able to truly repent which means we will see our sin for the evil that it is and sincerely hate it as evil and turn away from doing it again - a change of mind. We need to truly see that it caused Jesus to have to die on the cross for us to be forgiven and free. God had to forsake His beloved Son Jesus on the Cross because of all the sins of the world, past, present and future, that were placed upon Christ moments before His death (Matt 27:45-46).  Godly sorrow must engage our emotions.  Sorrow is an emotion. The mind and will can't truly be engaged in the act of true repentance until we get down, in God the Father's presence, to the emotional core of how terrible our sin really is - that a sinless Jesus Christ had to die a horrible death on the cross so that we could be forgiven and free.
  • Fifth, if it applies, we need to ask God to forgive us our sin as we also forgive anyone who has sinned against us (Matt 6:12-15). Holding onto bitterness will prevent us from receiving God's forgiveness (Heb 12:15) not to mention that God Himself says He will turn us over to the tormentors if we don't (Matt 18:34). Forgiveness is a choice and a decision of the will. We must choose to let go of the anger and bitterness and any desire for revenge.  Forgiveness must also engage our emotions.  The mind and will can't truly be engaged in the act of true forgiveness until we get down, in God the Father's presence, to the emotional core of how deeply we were hurt by the act or acts of another person which caused us to harbor - hold on to - so much anger and bitterness and unforgiveness.  Once we get to that point before God we then need to remember how much more Christ suffered for us so that we could be forgiven.  We are called to do exactly as God did for us in Christ - how can we do otherwise?
  • Sixth, we need to thank God for (1) His forgiveness which was already accomplished in Christ Jesus on the cross (Eph 4:32) and (2) for His promise to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

What is faith in God?

Faith in God means we can truly “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not own your own understanding. Commit all your ways to Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6 NIV)

Like repentance, faith is also a gift from God (Eph 2:8). We should pray to our heavenly Father and ask Him for true repentance and true faith. (Matt 7:8-11)