Monday: True Repentance Defined

How does the apostle Paul describe true repentance? 2 Cor. 7:9-11. is a God-initiated sorrow for sin. It also includes a decision to forsake whatever specific sins that the Holy Spirit brings to mind (Ezek. 14:6Zech. 1:4). Genuine repentance does not lead Christians into a state of deep depression because of their sinful natures or deeds. “Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10, NKJV). It leads us, instead, to focus on Jesus’ righteousness, not our sinfulness. It produces a “diligence” in “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (2 Cor. 7:11Heb. 12:2).

Throughout the New Testament, the enormity of our sin is never greater than the enormity of His grace. For “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20, NKJV). This was certainly true in the apostle Paul’s experience.

Read 1 Timothy 1:14-17 and Acts 26:10-16. What do these passages tell you about Paul’s sinfulness, and Jesus’ righteousness?

When the apostle Paul realized that he was persecuting the Lord of glory, he was driven to his knees in genuine repentance and confession. Throughout his entire life he never tired of telling the story of his own sinfulness and God’s grace. His repentance did not leave him in a state of depression; instead, it drove him into the arms of an all loving and forgiving Savior. The confession of his sin did not leave him feeling guiltier than before. His focus was not on how unrighteous he was but on how righteous Jesus was.

Have you ever felt that you were the “chief” of sinners? Or, if not the chief, still too sinful to be saved? How can you learn to rest in the assurance that Christ’s righteousness is enough to save you?



Monday: True Repentance Defined — 14 Comments

  1. Adventism is often called a guilt religion. Meny ex adventist say they find liberation from guilt trip when leave adventist church. From lesson is clear that problem of guilt is personal. One must deal with and find Jesus. To find Jesus one dont need to fly from church he can stay and be free from guilt.

    • Zdravo Gorane, yes, I have heard the same thing that they felt free of guilt when they left the Adventist "religion". And that is where the problem is located. In their heart they were part of and a member of a religious organization named SDA. They never became part of the body of Christ. Jesus never became their Lord and Saviour. The church, the SDA church was their Lord and Savior. But the church has no power to free a person from guilt produced by sin, only Jesus does.

      • OR, they were so out of touch with what Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit was convicting them of sin (Jn 16:8-9) which they were rejecting and when they left they were free to do whatever they wished (1 Jn 2:19; Rom 1:24-25). I find that happening so often with many people that go to the many offshoots of the Adventist church which they feel is restrictive. When they do they feel free from the law and requirements of a sanctified life (Gal 5:13; Rom 3:31).

        The law was never made to make life miserable but to give a much more meaningful happy life (James 1:25; Jn 10:10). If you don't think so then perhaps you should consider what often happens when a person grossly exceeds the speed limit while driving and I am not talking here about a law enforcement person giving him/her a citation for a violation of the law. What would life be like without any restrictions on behavior whatsoever? Think about it, what would other people be free to do to you?

  2. Focusing on God's grace, Jesus' righteousness will makes us see our deficiency and desire to be on our knees talking to Jesus for spiritual strength. We will not feel the pain of repenting or regret our sorrow for sin.

  3. I will be blinded if my focus is on my sin and how dark and deep it is. I must know it is dark and deep and look up to Jesus. If I am willing to look at Jesus and all that He did when He came to earth, I can see that it was, indeed, more than enough! I have hope for the future.

    This change of focus is the work of the Holy Spirit. I have talked with those whose mind is closed to the idea that there is any hope for them because of what they have done. I have found I cannot "preach," but must just love and pray. Still, Love can pierce the darkness. The Holy Spirit can speak hope to them.

  4. Whom the Lord loves He chastens. When we are convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit, we need to ask Him for the help to repent and turn. Our experiences will vary. Not all will be able to handle the David experience or the Saul/Paul experience. We can avoid the drama; but if we fail to listen and obey, the drama will get our attention. God Loves us so much!

  5. In response to the last few sentences for today's lesson, have you ever felt the "chief" of sinners? Yes, I have and maybe we all have at some point in our lives felt this way. The realization came to me that this is why Christ had to die for us, for me. He didn't sacrifice His life for a perfect people, but for imperfect people. What SDA believers and non-Adventists fail to realize is that we're sinners. No one is perfect. We're striving for perfection. This is an effort that should and must take place every second of the day. The only guilt we should have as a people in general, is not taking every opportunity given to know God better and live what we learn after studying His Word. Use guilt in a good way, not for bad. As SDA Christians, we should feel guilty for not sharing God's Word the way we should and that is daily. As non-Adventists, they should feel guilty if their heart has been pricked to walk in this way and they still choose not to follow God in Spirit and in truth. If none of us are following in that way, we're wasting our time. I'll mention this again, until we all confess and repent of our sins, we will not be able take God at His Word. Again, we are our worst enemy. Because of the cross, I have no reason to feel the chief of sinners. According to Matt. 12:31, there's only one sin that can't be forgiven by God and that's blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. All other sins are forgiven by God. The plan has been laid, the price has been paid, I must, we must believe and live as if we're saved. No second thoughts, no hesitation, I'm saved, we're all saved.

  6. [Moderator's note: Please use real full names when commenting. Thank yo.]

    After reading this lesson i think I may need to understand more about the godly grief.Often times after a sermon usually or from reading the word I become aware of my sins and how bad they are then confess but in the process of repentance i set up a strategy for myself of how am going to quit the bad habit or sin then I fail.Does this mean that I will be doing it out of human effort and i should let God get rid of the sin, but doesnt God say turn away from your sins which means he requires us to do it ourselves?Help me its depressing to be stagnant in one level in the faith!God bless you.

    • Remember that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance; it is the convicting power of the holy spirit that brings us to realization of our need for a sin pardoning savior. It is not just a matter of developing a strategy but being more specific about the sin than the mere admission of sinfulness and a recognition of the precise nature of the sin and understanding of the factors that led to its commission is essential to confession and building up strength to resist similar temptation when it recurs.

    • First we must realize we can do nothing of our own strength, it is the power of God that is needed for change to occur in our lives. We must ask God for His strength for those times when we are weak. Next we, must be willing to remove ourselves from situations that may cause us to sin or repeat a sin. After years of not having chocolate of any kind in my diet, Satan woke up a temptation in me to have a Hershey's Cookies and Creme chocolate bar. I haven't had an urge in more than 20 years then all of the sudden, wham, chocolate is on my mind. I know I have a weakness for chocolate, I've asked God to help me keep my temple clean of all substances that are not pleasing to Him, I know that when shopping at Wal-Mart, I can't go down the chocolate isle or go to a checkout counter were chocolate is until I overcome that particular temptation. I've failed miserably several times, but with each failure, God has blessed me to get up and try again. That may seem like a little matter, but it's huge to me because I want to be saved. So many times people think it's the big things that can cause us to be lost, in my opinion, it's the little things as well.

      Again, I know that was a small case scenario, but I believe it can be applied to any situation. Pray, study God's Word for strength, turn the situation over to God, believe no problem is too large or small, do your part to separate from the sin, be encouraged, and thank God for the victory in advance. We're all struggling with something, be it eating the wrong foods, gossiping, lying, stealing, sex, choice of friends, fornication and etc. God has given me strength to overcome my chocolate frenzy day by day and so far, we're doing great. Temptations are dealt with every second of the day and with each pass of the time, we are stronger with the help of God. God can and will help us overcome, if we are sincere about being an overcomer. Be encouraged!

  7. I think that the reason for Adventist feeling of guilt is the closer we come to the righteousness of God the more we realize our own failings. We need to remind ourselves that Jesus died for our sins and keep praying and studying Gods word.

    • What I learned about obedience is to find myself as sinner who cannot leave the sinful nature until I give all to Jesus although He will not take away the sin I do not want to leave because of this any sin that is difficult to leave I leave Him to as He please or create any situation that will make me not to get into again any way that how I pray for every thing

  8. [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    We don't think G-d's forgiveness is adequate because we think that there is still something within our power that we can do to save ourselves


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