Monday, March 02, 2009

more on repentance

Byard taught and reminded us well, yesterday, concerning repentance as he and Shalini his wife, gave us some helpful teaching related to Lent. Byard mentioned that the elements of true repentance are contritition (sorrow over our sin), confession and remuneration- can't recall the word he used here (making it right where we can, as Zaccheus did).

What I especially liked was the simple teaching that repentance is essentially a 180 degree turn of going from one direction in sin, to the opposite direction toward God. And that through Jesus Christ. A true message of repentance always leaves one with good news, the gospel. And never with a sense of condemnation. The good news being that Jesus became one of us in the Incarnation- God became human, lived the life we are to live before God but cannot, and died for us to take our place for our sins. And that he rose, and that by faith we die and rise with him, to a new life, which begins now, and someday is completed at the resurrection.

I wonder what our experiences of hearing repentance preached have been like. Have they left us with a deep sense of guilt and condemnation, with no answers? I remember when I was ten years of age, I went down to the men's restroom at our "church" and cried out in a loud voice to God over my sins. I found out later that others could hear me, even though they were upstairs and behind closed doors.

But did that acknowledgment by me do any good? Not at all. Because there was no gospel, no good news in it. I needed to understand that my salvation was not in my confession or repentance, but in Christ. Through Jesus I could then truly repent and begin a new life. But that was not to come until some seven years later.

What about you? Would any of you like to share from your own lives on this, or any thoughts?

4 comments:

nAncY said...

good post.

it is good to continually remind ourselves and others of this, for we so easily forget.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

restitution - and a principle that I certainly see in my life. When I am really repentant over harming someone, I always am willing to do what I can to make restitution.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,

Thanks. Very true. We must keep this good news in Jesus at the forefront always.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan,

Thanks for the correct word I was looking for. Surprised I didn't remember it, and the one synonym website I went to with "remuneration" didn't bring it up (not that I saw).

Yes, I agree. Restitution is an important part of our repentance, where we can. An important aspect of loving our neighbor as ourselves.