Sunday, January 21, 2024

A Look at Repentance

By Brian Mitchell

    As we continue to look at God’s Plan of Salvation, we now turn our thoughts to the subject of repentance, which is another part of God’s plan to save humanity from their sins. In the OT, God often called upon the children of Israel to repent. “They said, repent now everyone of his evil ways and evil doings, and dwell in the land that the lord has given you” (Jer.25:5). In the NT, repentance is listed as one of the preconditions to our salvation from sins—Mk.1:15, Lk.13:3. So given this, I think we should want to know what Repentance is.
    A Sunday school teacher once asked her class what was meant by the word repentance. One little boy put up his hand and said it means to be sorry for your sins. A little girl also raised her hand and said, please, repentance is more than being sorry for your sins, it is being sorry enough to quit sinning. The little girl had it right, repentance is more than being sorry for sins, it is being sorry enough to say I am going to run from sin from now on.
    Repentance involves being cut or pricked to the heart—it has to do with the mind and conscience—Acts2:37-38. On Pentecost, Peter preached that Jesus was the crucified Messiah from God and that they were the ones guilty of crucifying Him. Upon hearing and understanding their guilt the Bible says they were cut to the heart and thus asked: what must we do, to which they were told repent. Before one can repent, they must realize that they have sinned against God and then they must have a desire to seek God’s forgiveness.
    W.M. Taylor said that, “True repentance hates the sin, not merely the penalty for sin; and it hates the sin most of all because it has discovered and felt the love of God.” Godly sorrow is thus produced by a change of mind in regard to sin that is brought about by a change of understanding in regards to what sin really is. Sin is an action, word or thought that violates the holy nature of God. Thus, repentance takes Godly sorrow and turns it into a changed life, with changed actions that has come under a change of management.
    In the end, repentance comes down to one of two choices—Repent or Perish. Those are really our only choices when it comes to sin, we can repent or perish. If we repent, God will save us. Have you repented of your sins. You do not want to go before God carrying the heavy burden of your sins. God will take them away from you if you let him. So if you are carrying the burden of sin today why not give it to God. “For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21).

- Brian Mitchell serves as a minister with the Jackson Church of Christ in Jackson, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at

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