Sunday, May 11, 2014

What is repentance?

There are different theories on why Christ had to die for our sins.

Most people have heard the one saying that we were let off because Jesus has volunteered to bear a punishment instead of us.

It may seem like a foolish theory.

If God was willing to forgive us, why He did not do that without any unnecessary sacrifices?

I’m praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me Because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, So they’ll be as unified and together as we are— I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.
John 17:20-23 MSG
What possible point could there be in punishing an innocent person instead of us?

If you think about a punishment in judgment and court-like sense, there is absolutely no sense.

On the other hand, if you consider it like a debt, it starts to make sense.

If a person who has plenty of assets and wealth pays the debt in behalf of someone who has not, it makes a lot of sense.

 “And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn’t put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we’re not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets.”
Acts 10:39-43 MSG

But if we think it as getting ourselves in trouble and needing a hand to get out of it.

Then it is quite obvious we need a kind friend to save us.

What is the kind of trouble that the man has gotten him in?

Our trouble is that we have tried to set up on our won, to behave as we belonged to ourselves.

Like C. S. Lewis says, “In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms. Laying down your arms, surrendering, saying you are sorry, realizing that you have been on the wrong track and getting ready to start life over again from the ground floor – that is the only way out of our “hole”. This process of surrender – this movement full speed astern – is what Christians call repentance”.

But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:21-24 MSG

Repentance is not fun.

It something very hard and it is not only humbling you.

Repenting means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into.

It also means killing part of you.

Undergoing a kind of death to come out clean.

“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.
Matthew 18:15 MSG
To repent, you need to be a good person.

And how you can be a good person if you haven’t repented?

For us alone to repent, to be cleaned, to admit our wrongs and make ourselves new people is impossible.

In C. S. Lewis’s words, “Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person can repent perfectly. The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it. The only person who could it perfectly would be a perfect person – and he would not need it”.

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
1 John 4:17-18 MSG
Only way we could repent and be changes, is if we had already been changed.

If we already were something new, and good, someone perfect.

The same evil, badness in ourselves, that makes us need the repentance, makes it impossible for us to repent.

“Remember, this repentance, this willing submission to humiliation and a kind of death, is not something God demands of you before He will take you back and which He could let you off if He chose: it is simply a description of what going back to Him is like. If you ask God to take you back without it, you are really asking Him to let you go back without going back. It cannot happen”, C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.
Romans 6:6-11 MSG

This post is part of an on-going series.

To begin, read Natural law. A post about the law we all have in our hearts.

If you would like to know what comes after read the post about Moral law.

Having read that, you'll need to know Which moral law to choose

If you agree we need to choose a moral law, maybe you'll agree that We need God  

After we have understood the need we have for God, it is time to research What is sin

Having accepted your need for God, what kind of God is exactly a Christian God? This you can find out about in What we Christians believe

Why is it so hard to follow Christian faith? What prevents you to believe in God?

Do not let yourself to be fooled by Christianity and water

Who was first? The chicken or the egg? Read the post Of good and band - who was there first? The chicken or the egg? 

If God is above everything else and did not create evil then Why God accepts the evil in the world?

We run on God, like a car on gas. This is why We cannot live without God 

Do you want to know about the good dreams God sent to us? Read Who is Jesus?

Are you ready to believe? Do you know who The Perfect Penitent is? And what He means to us.

But How can God help us if He has never needed help Himself?  

Would you like to know how to obtain this new life in Christ? Then read Conductors of the new life


  1. Here's my"theory", Joanne. Because the Father told him to and he said "not my Will but your Will be done." Just because....

  2. I'm very grateful for repentance and that it's made possible through Jesus Christ.

  3. Its not all about repentance, its about believing Jesus is Lord and Savior, he died s we didn't have to

  4. You really gave me something to think about today.

  5. Repentance is a necessary principle of the Gospel. Without it, the atonement of Jesus Christ cannot work in our lives because it is, like you said, what gives us the humility to listen to the Holy Ghost. Great post!

  6. "The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it." great quote! puts things in perspective, especially when feeling frustrated

  7. Repentance. Haven't thought about why that's so important in such a long time. I guess it really depends on what you believe. Thanks for this enlightenment.

  8. Repentance is the twin of forgiveness. We need both in this complicated world...