September 4, 2007
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
--2 Corinthians 5:17
I’d like to talk to you today about repentance. So many people, even Christians, misunderstand what repentance is really all about.
First of all, repentance is not remorse. Remorse is simply being sorry for our sin. Many people are sorry because they got caught. Even the rich young ruler was sorrowful when he walked away from Jesus after deciding not to follow Him. He was remorseful… but he wasn’t repentant.
Second, repentance is not regret. Regret is the experience of wishing that something didn't happen. Much like when Pilot… who knew Jesus was a guiltless man… washed his hands of the whole deal in remorse. Yet he was guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ. So repentance isn’t regret.
Third, repentance is not resolve. We all know what it is to make New Year’s resolutions… to resolve to do better and promise to be better. But, resolving or reforming is not true repentance.
True repentance literally means to change your mind. To change your mind about your sin, to change your mind about yourself, and to change your mind about Jesus Christ. It’s true repentance when we come to faith in Jesus Christ… and our direction and affections are changed.
Repentance is a radical transformation of the human heart away from sin and toward a loving God! So if you find yourself caught in sin, I urge you to repent. Sure, it’s fine to be remorseful, regretful, and to resolve not to sin again. But you really won’t be transformed until you truly repent!
turn from your sin to Jesus christ for a new life of hope, love, and transformation