Series: Growing with the Lord

Action File


Acts 17:30

"God now COMMANDETH all men everywhere to REPENT".

What Repentance is Not

1. Repentance is not just conviction of sin.

Conviction comes before repentance, but is not repentance itself. No one repents unless they are convicted, but not all who are convicted actually repent. Genesis 6:3; Acts 24:24,25.

2. Repentance is not just worldly sorrow.

Some people are very sorry because of the consequences of their sin, or because they have been caught. Many people are sorry, not for what they have done wrong, but for the penalty they receive in being caught. 2 Corinthians 7:10

3. Repentance is not "turning over a new leaf".

Many people try in their own strength to become a better person and change their way of life. Any self-effort has a root of self-righteousness in it, which does not entertain the need of repentance from sin. Isaiah 64:6.

4. Repentance is not becoming religious.

The Pharisees were extremely religious in behavior and practice. They fasted and prayed and had many religious ceremonies, yet never repented. Matthew 3:7-10; Matthew 5:20.

4. Repentance is not just mental acceptance of truth.

Having an intellectual head-knowledge of truth does not necessarily guarantee that the truth has become a living reality in one's life. James 2:19,20.


What is True Repentance?

1. Godly sorrow for sin.

True repentance is a sorrow not just within oneself, or towards another person, but first and foremost it is true sorrow towards God. Psalm 38:8; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

2. Confession of sin.

"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin". Psalm 32:5. See also 1 John 1:9.

3. Being willing to forsake sin.

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy". Proverbs 28:13.

4. Having a hatred of sin.

"... and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed....." Ezekiel 20:43,44.

4. Restitution included

"and Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold". Luke 19:8.  See also Leviticus 6:1-7.

What Repentance Involves

  1. Turning from sin.                Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5.
  2. Turning from world.           1 John 2:15; James 4:4
  3. Turning from ourselves.   2 Corinthians 5:15; Luke 14:26.
  4. Turning from the devil.     Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:13.
  5. Turning from idols.             Deuteronomy 7:25,26; 1 Thessalonians 1:9.


Copyright 1981,1996 Paul, Bunty and David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

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