As a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I find it vitally important that I understand repentance not just as an "event" that "got me saved" but also as a daily discipline that keeps me humble and dependent on His grace.
Too often we stress the need to repent (to turn around or turn away) from sin and selfishness as a means to salvation, making it a one-time prayer that guarantees us entrance to heaven upon death. Repentance, however, is much richer and involved than a quick prayer at an altar. It is much more a lifestyle that we must embrace in order to begin to walk in the Spirit and abide in the life-giving vine of Jesus Christ.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This promise from 1 John 1:9 applies to us in the regard that when we do sin, we need to come clean with it by confessing our guilt to God. Every time. And every time, God forgives us and cleanses us from the shame and guilt we feel as well as the eternal consequences of the sin. He can do this because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus from the dead on our behalf.
The more we sin, the more we need to repent.
The more we repent, the more God forgives and cleanses us.
The more God forgives and cleanses us, the more glory He receives.
The more glory God receives, the more people are drawn to the beauty of the gospel.
So repentance must be more than an event we look back on. It must be a daily reality that we constantly embrace as a means of receiving God's love, mercy, and grace.
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