Monday, March 23, 2009

repentance that matters

According to Byard "repentance is a vanishing concept today, even in the church." We have mentioned something of this before, but what stood out to me yesterday, as we worked through some news paper articles for discussion on this is the truth that "the person repenting must have a firm purpose and a definitely expressed resolution immediately to break with this specific sin ('I have hated my iniquity')."

Byard talked at some length of how we can have deep emotions and sorrow over our sin, yet fall short of true, biblical repentance. And words spoken, or not spoken do matter. We looked at cases where the person made excuses, shifting the blame on someone else for the wrong they had done. Another expressed concern over the way their open sin was handled, while church leaders called on others not to judge.

So we're reminded that when we do sin against another we need to take full responsibility without excuses. And we need to express a resolve to not do the sin any longer, and to change. Of course grace is needed, but it's offered to all from God through Jesus Christ. And the church is called to hold sinners accountable for their sins.

This kind of teaching is needed. And as we hear it, it helps promote godliness in us all. While we examine our own lives and seek to prayerfully call those who have fallen into sin, to true repentance.

What would you like to share on this?

8 comments:

yipeng said...

I have personally often seen repentance as an action to be taken after sin... rather than an "attitude of repentance" since all who accept Jesus as their Savior repent...

Every Square Inch said...

repentance is a vanishing concept indeed - what a shame

Lanny said...

How do you think submission fits into true repentence?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yipeng,
Yes. I believe repentance is a part of faith, or one might call it submissive faith, since saving faith is by nature, submissive, even if that happens not to be at the forefront of one's consciousness at the time.

But repentance in Scripture is ongoing as well. In the life of believers, and churches. I think it's inherent in ongoing confession of sin.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Yes. I'm afraid Byard is right on this one. Not to say that's across the board. But it's a part of our culture, the practical denial of repentance or need for it. But we must learn to be guided by the Spirit through Scripture, as I'm sure you'd fully concur.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
Surely we're thinking of submission to God's revealed will as necessary in true repentance. And at the heart of it is agreeing that we're in the wrong when sinning, and purposing by grace to make a 180 degrees turn.

Certainly does mean submission to God, and God's will in Jesus.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Funny - I talked about this with the 3rd and 4th grade tonight at BSF - we talked about the fact that you not only have to admit that you're wrong, you need to be willing to "do a 180" as the kids said. I think that expressed it very clearly.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan,
Yes. There has to be that purpose of resolve for a complete change, for sure.

Good that you could teach those 3rd and 4th graders, and on such an important subject! May God bless and bring it home to their hearts.