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2 Corinthians 7:10-11
We learned yesterday that true repentance of our sin includes:
- Agreeing with Him that our behavior or thought pattern is ungodly;
- Establishing in our thinking that this sinful habit is displeasing to God;
- Identifying - with the Spirit's help - what would please God; and
- Taking steps under the Spirit's power to turn from sin and walk in godliness.
Whether we are nonbelievers newly coming to faith in Jesus or believers wrestling with sin, we all need to practice Biblical repentance.
There are three key words in the repentance process: recognition, agreement and commitment. If we do not recognize that our behavior or thoughts are sin, then we will not see any need to confess them to God.
Recognition comes as we study God's Word and learn what God identifies as sin. We must then agree that God's pattern for life is correct and ours is wrong. The epistles to the Ephesians and Galatians are both helpful in revealing what pleases and displeases God. Without agreement, our confession would be more of an "I am sorry for the consequences" statement. Commitment is also necessary. Isaiah proclaimed, "Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame (Isaiah 50:7 NIV). We must commit ourselves to turning away from the sin and choosing God's way.
We who belong to Jesus can permanently change. Remember Christ promises that those He sets free will be free indeed. (John 8:36)