Repentance is a grace of the gospel that leads to life. Just like faith, repentance must be preached by every minister of the gospel. Without this message we fail to preach the full council of God.
It is repentance that help us to sense the danger of our sins, and see how dirty and hideous they are. And more importantly, we see how contrary our sins are to God’s holy character and his perfect will. It is because we repent of our sins that we learn to realise the grace of God’s promises to grant us mercy in Christ. As we grieve for and hate our sins, we turn from them to God, we become determined to walk with our Lord and keep his commands.
Yet we can never rely on our repentance by believing that it partially pay for our sin or that it is the reason why God will forgive it. No, our sin is only redeemed and forgiven by God’s free grace in Christ. Yet it remains necessary for each of us and we shouldn’t expect to receive a new hart and life without it.
There is no sin so small that it does not deserve to be condemned. But there’s no sin so big that it will condemn those who truly repent, relying on the grace of God in and through Jesus Christ.
And we are not content with repenting of our sins in a general sense. Healing comes from grieving each and every individual sin that plaques our conscience and restrains our intimate relationship with the Lord.
We have to privately confess our sins to God, and pray for forgiveness.
God shows mercy to us when we ask for forgiveness and hate our sins.
When we sin against and dishonour a brother or sister in Christ, or the Church, we must willingly confess our sins to the person or people we’ve offended – sometimes in private and publicly when it is appropriate to do so.
We must be remorseful because we have sinned and tell those involved that we have asked for God’s forgiveness. Then our brothers and sisters will become willing to be reunited with us and receive us back in fellowship with them, in love.
“Our Father in heaven, forgive us our sins, as we forgive them that sinned against us. Amen.”