Understanding Repentance

Understanding Repentance

Repent (Matt. 3:2)!  The Bible says that in order to repent, we must stop living just for self and start living for God daily by serving others in the name of Jesus Christ, His Son (Phil. 2:3; Col. 3:17). If the meaning of repentance was clearly known today and completely understood, wouldn’t we have more true disciples of Jesus Christ and only one church? 

Jesus Christ came to show us individually how to be a servant to others for the glory of the Father (Eph. 5:1; Matt. 20:28). He said the greatest in His kingdom would be the servant of the most (Matt. 20:26; 23:11). We have examples of Christ’s disciples such as Dorcas, who was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she did continually (Acts 9:36). 

To truly repent we must live a life of doing good for God, like Dorcas, and overcome evil by keeping Christ’s works or deeds, which are all good. We must have a faith of good works, not a dead faith (James 2:26). It must not be a faith that professes to know God but is worthless for any good deeds (Titus 1:16). 

This has been misunderstood by some to be preaching “salvation by works.” It is true that eternal life is a free gift from God which cannot be earned, but the Scriptures go on to say eternal life will only be given to those who repent and overcome their evil natures by doing good for God (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8; Rev. 2:11; 3:5). God’s word says we must be considered worthy to attain to the age of the resurrection from the dead and we must have good works to be resurrected (Luke 20:35; John 5:29). 

Satan’s “good-for-nothing” message keeps many people from becoming new creations with Christ formed in them (Gal. 4:19). The people who are not involved in doing good works appropriate for repentance need not be concerned about being complete, because they lack the complete message of salvation (Acts 26:20; James 1:4; 2 Tim. 2:26; 2 Cor. 4:3)!The very first words in the salvation message of long ago, as well as today, are, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Entering the kingdom of heaven requires daily repentance, which is living the Way Jesus came to show us, called the Way of righteousness (Matt. 21:32; 2 Peter 2:21). Repentance means we are to stop doing Satan’s will in our lives and start doing God’s Will (2 Tim. 2:25-26). This is how we cease to be Satan’s children and become God’s children.