We can agree that sin is like a sledgehammer that smashes the godly road to spiritual growth. Therefore, continual repentance from a humble heart leads to godliness, and it requires daily scriptural studies, prayer, and fasting. It takes effort.
The scriptures reveal that even though we were sinners, Christ died for us, making a way for us to repent and be forgiven. (Romans 5:8, and Luke 5:32). Furthermore, it is the only way to live responsibly as a born-again believer in Christ. Repentance opens the door for us to experience progressive spiritual change that transforms our minds and thought process, gradually purifying our hearts to live free from the sinful nature of the flesh. Through the Holy Spirit who is Christ’s helper (John 14:26) He enables this Christ filled transformation.
Moreover, when we perceive repentance as a privilege rather than a challenge, it results in significant moral transformations in the lives of Christ’s followers. We start to become more conscious of our sinful nature, and engaging in anything that displeases our Father becomes a thing of the past.
This truth is not to say that we become flawless, but with Christ’s perfect grace, He enables us to strive to live for Him and be accountable. Which is pleasing to God and not self serving. Jesus made this way of repentance possible through His sacrifice on the cross, and when we honor it as sacred, healing becomes more attainable.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
By prioritizing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and living in gratitude for the gift of atonement through His work on the cross, our perspective changes compared to an unrepentant heart. I say “heart” because genuine repentance comes from a heart that grieves for hurting God with our wrongdoings and sins.
Psalm 51:7-17 NLT says:
“Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Paul shares also in 2 Corinthians 7:10 that “godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation.”
But what does he mean by “godly sorrows”?
Often, we may feel self-disgust or shame for our sins, but without godly sorrow, it becomes more about how we appear to others rather than genuinely grieving before God. It’s like waking up in the morning after doing something sinful the night before and worrying more about who saw it instead of recognizing that God witnessed it. This mindset is carnal and not Spiritual repentance but shame.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NASB
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Godly sorrow is the conviction that we have wronged God. It is a deep sorrow and regret for disappointing Him and hurting our Father. While conviction of sin is not typically a common practice in a person’s life, a heart convicted of sin certainly paves the way for extreme life changes. The old is gone to welcome the new. Our walk with God becomes pure, and we no longer desire to sin but seek Christ’s righteousness.
Christ’s Spiritual fruits begin to grow when we are genuinely rooted in Christ like a vine produces fruit. Simultaneously, the transformation of a genuinely repentant person is visible in our lives. This change is not just evident in what we say, but it can also make us unrecognizable to the people who knew us best, such as family and friends.
We begin to understand the scriptures more accurately because a clean vessel enables us to be spiritually present as students. Jesus told us that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict people of their sins.
John 16:8 says, “When He comes, He will prove the world to be wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.”
Notice what Jesus says when the Holy Spirit comes. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity of God. They are all the same, together as One, and omnipresent, overseeing all things. The power of God is so incredible that it is impossible for us to fully comprehend. So don’t be too hard on yourself for not knowing everything. It takes time, and through studying, we gain more wisdom. However, none of us will have all the answers until the day we meet at the banquet.
As Christians we all have questions, I’m sure, but until that rewarding day arrives, Jesus is the only Way. He made it possible through His work on the cross. So, let us repent, live righteously, and wait.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Moreover, the Holy Spirit brings to our attention the severity of our sins, and His awareness becomes our own, opening us up to a new ability to sense God’s presence. Our sins become burdensome because anything that hinders our relationship with God begins to feel loathsome. We no longer care about how we appear to people; instead, we become focused on presenting ourselves virtuously before God. He is all that matters.
We become more Christ-like! We stand out from the world! Psalm 51:4 says, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.” This same conviction of sin helps us become more like Christ, and through spiritual blessings, it rewards our obedience to honor God and crucify our flesh.
Obedience indeed pleases the Lord. It’s not about perfection but proficiency. Scripture teaches us to strive for faith and to become more perfect in Christ. Matthew 5:48 says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
Meanwhile, as we strive to be holy as Christ is holy, we demonstrate that Christ has done a great work within us. We cannot achieve godly repentance through religious traditions or man-made sacraments, but only through Christ.
1 Peter 1:16 says, “For it is written: ‘Be holy because I am holy.’”
Godly repentance leads us to joyfully walk away from old patterns of a sinful lifestyle because we are a new creation in Christ. Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
God reconciled the whole world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. Jesus calls us to commit to the message of reconciliation. It is a spiritual covenant with God.
Romans 8:9 says, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
We must all strive for godly repentance to be in right standing with God. It takes humility to endure the sudden sharp pains of repentance and follow through, allowing Christ to bring about holiness that pleases God.
Galatians 4:19 says, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.”
While researching teachings on repentance, I came across an old Puritan prayer called “the gift of tears.” I encourage you to search for it online. You will not be disappointed.
Finally, to enter Heaven, we must remember that Christ is coming for a spotless Bride. Knowing this fact puts us one step ahead. However, knowing without acting is not enough. We cannot do it alone; we need Jesus and the reason He sent the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:27 says, “And to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
John 3 tells us that Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’”
We receive the Holy Spirit in this way, and no ceremonies or religious rites of passage can achieve the same. All thanks and praise belong to Jesus Christ. The one who died for our sins to make all things possible for those who believe. I encourage people from all sides, colors, religions, and nations to run to Him, to be saved, sealed sanctified, and forgiven.
Jesus is coming!
Much love and respect,
C. Beach ©️