REPENTANCE

 
     
 

MEMORY VERSE: For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. 11Corinthians 7:10.

BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew. 3:1-12
INTRODUCTION: What do we mean by repentance? How do we know someone who has repented? When someone who has been doing something evil feels sorry for it, changes his mind about it and decides not only to stop doing it but actually to start doing the exact opposite of the evil he has been doing before, then he is said to have repented. Repentance then is a change of mind that leads to a change in conduct. For example in Matt. 21:28-32, the boy at first refused to work in the vineyard but later repented, changed his mind and then went and actually worked in the vineyard.

WHY IS REPENTANCE NECESSARY?
There are several reasons why repentance is so necessary in the life of any man. Infact repentance is given so much prominence that the first sermon preached by our Lord Jesus Christ after his baptism and testing in the wilderness was on repentance. (Matt. 4:17). We shall give three main reasons why repentance is very important.

In the first place, repentance must precede salvation or conversion. (Acts 3: 19). No one can be saved without first repenting of his sins.

In the second place, repentance is necessary to prepare us for Heaven. (Matt. 4:17). This is because of the first reason above, since only saved souls can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Jn. 3:3).
In the third place, it is God’s commandment that everybody must repent. (Acts 17:30). That makes it compulsory since failure to obey God will lead to eternal condemnation (LK. 13:3).

WHAT ARE INVOLVED IN TRUE REPENTANCE?
Three basic things are involved in true repentance.
First, a change of attitude or way of thinking. The way of thinking about sin and righteousness must change. True repentance brings about a hatred of sin and a love of holiness and purity.
Second, an expression of sorrow for past wrongs (Ps. 38:18). We find an example of this in the case of the Publican in Luke 18:13. He smote upon his breast as an indication of the sorrow in his heart.
Thirdly, a turning from sin (or the devil) and a turning unto God. 1 Thess. 1:9. It is the devil that is the author of sin. He also has the power to keep those who stay with him to go on sinning. But whoever repents is saying goodbye to Satan and welcome to God. (Acts 26:18).

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE?
True repentance brings pardon and blotting out of past sins. (Isa. 55:7 Acts 3:19). Note that repentance merely prepares the way for forgiveness. It is not forgiveness itself. Also, true repentance causes joy in heaven. (Lk. 15:10). This is because everyone that repents ceases to be an enemy of God and becomes His friends.

HOW CAN I TRULY REPENT?
When a person hears the message of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin leading to a great sorrow of heart that finally leads to repentance (11Cor.7:10). Note that the sorrow is prelude to repentance and not repentance itself. Any sorrow that is not accompanied by a determination to forsake sin and turn to God is useless. (Heb. 12:17). So that true repentance is actually a gift from God through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 11:18).
Has the Holy Spirit been working upon you since you started this lesson? Then do not hinder Him. Repent.

QUESTIONS
1. What is true repentance?
2. Why is repentance necessary?
3. What are the signs that someone has truly repented?
4. What are the results of true repentance?
5. How can you repent?

 
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