God is faithful and just to forgive
The most common translation of the word “repent” means to turn or return and more specifically from a theological perspective it represents turning away from evil and turning to God.
Though most of the world is in denial, our heavenly Father has a very strong desire, actually a demand, for us to resist being saturated with sin and to willingly devote our life completely to Him. Many people commonly want to know what they have done that is so bad, and why do they need to ask forgiveness?
For anyone to believe they are exempt from judgment is a huge problem because we are all sinners and cannot save ourselves. This has never been a popular message because with us being notoriously rebellious and often referred to as depraved, we have a built-in compulsion to live life “our way.”
However, the gospel reveals that saving us from ourselves is why Jesus went to the cross. First Peter 1:18,19 says, “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”
Repentance is centered around a conviction to stay close to God and to live according to His standards of purity. I admit, I have my share of daily failures even though I know the dangers of temptation.
I’m convinced that every person gives their love and attention to what is important to them as we serve whom we obey. The more we learn the more we are accountable for and yet it seems many times we still neglect the discipline to live what we believe.
A key ingredient within repentance is having regret and remorse. If we are not broken-hearted and nauseated over what we have done or what we are doing then it’s highly unlikely we will call on God to forgive us.
When we come to a point where we are not bothered by our transgressions and have no sense of urgency to make things right, something is terribly wrong. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a person sows, that shall they also reap,” Galatians 6:7.
There is more to forgiveness than just saying we’re sorry. True repentance is having a change of mind and completely turning away from those enticements that are attempting to control us.
When we realize we are guilty and in need of God’s grace, conviction leads us to confess we are wrong and inspires us with a commitment to walk with God instead of against Him. Billy Graham is quoted, “The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.
In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was a wealthy superpower, unconcerned and self-centered. When the prophet Jonah finally arrived and proclaimed God’s warning, the people listened, repented and was forgiven.”
Wherever you are today, He wants to forgive you and give you a brand new life. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” I John 1:9.
Dr. Billy Holland is a Christian minister, chaplain, and author. Discover more about his ministry at billyhollandministries.com