6. Then what is repentance?

The Bible tells us not only to believe, but also to come to repentance. When the Lord Jesus began His public ministry, He said:

  • Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. (Mark 1:15b).

The Bible mentions the word “repent” more than a hundred times. It never says we have to wait for God to convert us. No, what we read is an active call to repentance. But what does it mean when God commands us to “repent”? You feel remorse over your sins, you turn away from evil and turn to God. You begin to think differently and act differently and you confess your wrongdoings to God. You don’t want to live for yourself anymore, but daily you try to focus on God, to serve and follow Him. Repentance actually involves three different things:

1. A change in the way you think
Repentance means a change in the way you think about God and about yourself. The top priority is no longer the way you see things, but the way God sees them.

2. A change in the way you act
Repentance also means a change in the way you act. Your life takes a U-turn; 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Think of a platoon of soldiers stopping in its tracks and then marching the other way. Before you came to repentance, you walked away from God. But now you are walking towards Him. Before, you didn't mind deceiving your parents, but now you want to be honest with them. Before, you always tried to be the center of attention, but now you try to help your weaker classmates, so they can be part of the action to.

3.A confession of the things you do wrong
Repentance is not a fuzzy term; it is very concrete. This means you will start confessing the sins you have committed, honestly and specifically, to God – and if necessary to your loved ones also. The Bible calls this “confession”. To confess literally means “to say the same”, or “to agree”. So basically you are now agreeing with God about your sins; you agree they are wrong. But if you confess your sins, God will forgive them instantly:

  • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

A thought to ponder on your own
Which concrete sins do you still have to confess to God (and your loved ones)? Here are some examples:

- unbelief             - bullying                    - cursing                    - (porn) addictions 

- gossip                - a big mouth             - dishonesty               - disobedience 

- lies                     - theft                         - occult games           - other sins



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