From my reading in Luke 13:1-22 in the One Year New Testament.
When most people hear the word repent in our culture today we think of an angry preacher on the street corner with a big sign yelling REPENT. But Jesus uses this word as a way of describing where our hearts need to be in order to come to God.
Someone told Jesus that some people from Galilee had been murdered by Pilate as they were offering sacrifices. In Jewish culture it was common to think that bad things happen to someone because they were a sinner (see the book of Job). Jesus asked the people if they though that the ones who were killed were worse sinners than others in Galilee. Than he answered his own question.
“Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. Luke 13:2–3
To repent in the Greek is μετανοέω (metanoeo) which means “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness.” -Louw Nida
Repentance is a choice to turn from your sin and turn to God.
Without repentance we can not receive Christ and benefit from his forgiveness. That means we have to be willing to let go of our sin and allow God take it away.
The step after turning from our sin is turning to God. We must look to him for forgiveness and not our own effort.
This doesn’t mean that we have to fully understand everything we are giving up at the time of conversion. It does mean that at the point conversion we are willing to obey the best we know and are willing to trust God to change us.
Some sins and addictions die harder than others and it is possible to still struggle with a sin after already repenting of it. Even after conversion we all need to have a habit of repenting when we mess up and restoring the fellowship with God.
It is a tragedy that many modern preachers are afraid to talk about sin and repentance because unless someone understands and agrees that they are a sinner why would they see their need for a savior. Repentance is the key to life change.
Repentance is the doorway to forgiveness.
Do you have anything you need to repent of today?
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