Saturday, September 1, 2007

What is Repentance?

I was questioning this the past few days in my mind.

I had always questioned this, because of how repentance is defined by the Church. It just contradicts something else I hear from the Church, which is "You don't clean yourself up and then come to God."

Also, it just doesn't make sense with the freeness of the gospel to me at all. Now, I believe in repentance, but I do not believe it means "turning away from sin". I'm sorry, that just doesn't make sense.

If repentance is, as they say, "Not just feeling sorry for your sin, but turning away from it", then no one has ever completely repented because no one is ever sinless. So there must be something deeper here.

Also, I'm reminded of what Jesus said in Luke chapter 13.

"Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Which brings me to the ridiculous theories, some so-called Christians have come up with about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Some have said these people suffered in that way because of "all their sin". Do we even read the Bible? Having eyes to see, do we still not see?

The sin is unbelief. This, I think, is the sin we repent of. Otherwise, if repentance were turning away from sin, then how much sin must you turn away from before you're able to come to Jesus for salvation? Excuse me, but I thought Jesus was the Physician. I thought He was the Savior. But you're saying I must reach some unknown level of sinlessness before I can be saved? I thought you just said that we don't clean ourselves up in order to come to God?

If you think I'm saying It's ok to sin, you've missed my point. My point is that sanctification does not start until after salvation. And this is an ongoing process. - Edit: If anyone has any information on how to speed up this process, then please tell me.

This is just another reason I think people are hindered from coming to Christ. People have put cost on salvation. People cannot quit sinning. Even if they did, you still have the problem of spiritual death. So even if they do eventually learn to muzzle their sin, then what good is that if they're dead on the inside? First let them come to Christ and receive Life.

I may be wrong on this, but I just don't see how todays definition of repentance fits with the gospel.


Gary Kirkham said...


I come to your blog often, but this is the first time I have commented. I think that you are right about repentance. It isn't possible for us to give up all or our sins, because we are sinful in ways that we don't even know about.

Repentance literally means to change your mind. In the case of salvation it means that we change our mind about our condition before God (dead in our trespasses and sins) and we change our minds about His provision (Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead so that we might receive His resurrected life). So, as you say, repentance is going from unbelief about our condition and His provision to belief.

In Christ,

Daelon said...

Hey Gary,

Thank you for commenting. I'm glad you enjoy reading here.

I have always thought there was something that just didn't fit with the Church's definition of repentance, but I eventually brushed it off, thinking maybe I was just being soft on sin or something. But the idea of repentance being turning from your sin caused me to doubt my faith many times. I didn't know how to have assurance of my salvation, because I had absolutely no idea how sinless you had to be in order to have considered yourself repentant.