REPENTANCE OF ACTS THAT LEAD TO DEATH
To repent, according to the dictionary, means, “to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude . . .” But repentance, according to the Bible, means so much more. The Greek word used in the New Testament for repentance is μετανοέω (metanoeō), and it means to change one’s mind for the better, to amend with abhorrence one’s past deeds. In simpler terms, repentance means to feel bad about the sin you have committed, and to turn to God, while turning away from your old sinful ways.
Romans 7 tells us that the law is holy and just, and the law revealed people’s sinful nature, and showed us that we do what is contrary to God. But the law could do nothing to restore our relationship to God. Paul then laments the fact that his own body is killing itself because of his own sin.
Now when we talk about death we don’t just consider it a metaphor or an expression for our spirit, our soul, or whatever you want to call that part of us that is made in God’s image. It is also a physical death of the body, much as Paul describes, it is our own sin killing us day by day. No wonder Paul cries out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Then Paul tells us, it is Jesus. Only He can set us free from the sin that is killing us, inside and out, every day of our lives.
There are opportunistic acts of sins like lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, anxiety, fear, etc., but the extreme addictive acts of sins lead to death like sexual sins, gluttony, anorexia, drug addictions, over indulgence, extreme risks, worldly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10), etc. These sins open a door to the demonic.
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 sets a pattern on what God
deems as correct behavior: love God only, don't bow to any graven image or anything as a god, don't take the Lord’s name in vain, remember the Sabbath, honor your father and Mother, do not kill, do not commit adultery, don't steal, don't bear false witness, and don't covet what is your neighbors.
So how do we repent? Here are a few biblical ways:
1. Verbally asking God for forgiveness, states 1 John 1:9.
2. Openly confessing sins to another person states James 5:16 also results in healing.
3. Audibly renouncing our sins states 2 Corinthians 4:2.
The kindness of God leads to repentance states Romans 2:4. Repentance then guides you safely and leaves no regrets states 2Cor 7:10. God then is provided the opportunity and access to your life to keep you safe.
1 John 5:16 states that if anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. 1 John 5:18 states we know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the ONE who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the entire world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know HIM who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Let’s look at biblical examples and results of repentance:
Both Matthew 3:11 and Acts 19:4 show John’s baptism with water was unto repentance.
Both Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8 has John requiring fruits of repentance before baptism.
Both Luke 24:47 and Acts 5:31 show Jesus giving repentance and forgiveness to us.
Both Acts 11:18 and Acts 13:48 state repentance leads unto Life.
Acts 20:17 states repentance is the prerequisite to have faith.
Acts 26:20 states after repentance, this allows us to do the works that God set up for us to do.
2 Tim 2:25 states that repentance leads to the knowledge of the truth.