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roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 What is Repentance?

Common bilical terms often get changed from their original meanings - through sloppy usage over time. Ex: "Gospel" refers a style of music in the minds of many. "Faith" refers to a particular religion that one adheres to. And on it goes.

Well, I suspect that the same has happened to the word, "Repentance". When someone hears the word, all kinds of thoughts rise up in their minds that may not necessarily be the original, Biblical meaning of the word. I speak personally.

In the past repentance to me was only for those who lived wild lives. It meant, "Smarten up!" Of course repentance was NOT for me because I was a good Christian, and don't anyone tell me otherwise! Any implication that I needed to repent would have implied that I was rejected, not worthy of love. It would fill me with shame. So I worked hard to build up my self-righteousness, so I would never need to feel shame for being regarded as a defect. Really I was trying to keep my pride intact. Really I was avoiding the repentance that Christ was calling me to.

I could not see that repentance was actually a positive thing, a letting go of something inferior and an embracing of something superior. It was a process of letting go of my own righteousness and taking on Christ's righteousness.

I've already done a lengthy word study, with lots of Bible references and examples, so I don't need more of that.

I would like people to speak from their own faith journey. Did you have a struggle with the word like I did? What does "repentance" mean to you personally? What did Christ show you?
Diane


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Diane

 2005/5/26 10:10Profile
mloaks
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Joined: 2004/5/13
Posts: 129
So. MD, USA

 Re: What is Repentance?

I struggle with this, and am thankful the HS translates my groans...

I do know that when I pray over or contemplate my sin and greed and true desires, I am thankful God is long-suffering. I recognize that I can't beat the above foibles without Him, and He understands my shortcomings of faith by His Grace thru Christ.

Not only can I not keep from sin per Paul's Epistle, but I cannot even fully recognize my true need for true repentance, a circumsized heart, and just pure love for my Maker and Redeemer.

God help me.

 2005/5/26 10:39Profile
Forevidence
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Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 711
Riverside

 Re:

"Repentance is naturally necessary to peace of mind in this life. Until the sinner repents he is at war with himself, and at war with God. There is a mutiny, and a struggle, and a controversy, going on within him. His conscience will not be satisfied. Though cast down from the throne of government and trampled under foot, it will mutter, and sometimes thunder its remonstrances and rebukes; and although it has not the power to control the will, still it will assert the right to control. Then there is war within the breast of the sinner himself, and until he repents he carries the elements of hell within him; and sooner or later they will take fire, and burst upon his soul in a universal and eternal conflagration."

-Charles G. Finney


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Giancarlo

 2005/5/26 12:10Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: What is Repentance?

Quote:
I would like people to speak from their own faith journey. Did you have a struggle with the word like I did? What does "repentance" mean to you personally? What did Christ show you?



I used to be sort of fuzzy about the meaning of repentance and I too used to think that repentance was a one time thing when you first called on the Name of the Lord. But God has shown me that there needs to be a daily repentance and cleansing if we are to have any spiritual authority.

This was made clear to me as I studied about hindernaces to prayer and also when I read a booklet by Basilea Schlink called [i]The Royal Priesthood[/i]. As Revelation 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:9 tell us, we are priests. And one the functions of a priest is to bless others. In 2 Chronicles 30 we see where the Levitcal priests did just this;

Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven. (2Ch 30:27)

Their prayer of blessing was heard and granted. Why? If we go back to verses 15 and 22 we can see why;

Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD...And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.(2Ch 30:15,22)

They were ashamed, they repented, they confessed, and they were cleansed, the prayer hindernace was removed. I believe that I need a daily cleansing like this. Coming before God means having clean garments and clean hands. Without cleansing I lack authority.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/5/26 14:32Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

This is pretty much my testimony to date; [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=2161]Repentance.[/url]


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/26 14:47Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re: What is Repentance?

Repentance is a gift from God given to those whom are His. Repentance as the gift, is the substance of the commands that God gives us day to day whenever we are not walking with Him but away from Him. The Holy Spirit declares the way that Jesus wants us to walk. This way is not evident to the carnal mind. This way is the collection of events that one recognizes as he looks for guidance from the Counselor. The substance of this guidance reveals to us the joy that comes from realizing the truth of how God heals us day by day from the corruption that we once were slaves to. The gift of repentance frees us from walking in the darkness of our carnal minds and flesh. Repentance brings victory.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/5/26 16:34Profile









 Re: What is Repentance?

Repentance, as the Holy Spirit has revealed to me means, turning from wrong thinking, wrong deeds, wrong patterns of living, and turning back towards God, and towards His perfect Voice and Will.

 2005/5/26 16:51
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: what is repentance to you?

I realize that I should have called this thread, "What is repentance to you?" or something more personal, because I'm trying to understand it as it relates to real life, not just ideal life.

We tend to view truths through the eyes of our life experiences - esp our formitive years. And that's when we may have picked up distorted ideas. For instance: Repentance is not like "doing community service" as payment for our crimes - doing penance.

Perhaps we can only really understand it as we walk through it and experience the joy that it brings.

Right now I'm praising God because just this morning he gave me a perfect word - it was actually a call to repentance:

Quote:
Strive to withdraw your heart from the love of visible things, and to transfer your affections to the things invisible.

by Thomas a Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ



This a none other than a call to repentance - to face a different direction - Christ himself. That has been a continual process for me, because I constantly get my focus too earth bound.

Then Thomas a Kempis gives a warning, a consequence for not repenting:
Quote:
For if you follow your sensual inclinations, you will stain your conscience.. and the lose grace of God"


I can affirm the truth of those words too, for when Christ is not central, not my focus, then I feel distanced from the peace and joy of God's grace.
For me the process of repentance is a constant struggle, just as some of you shared.

I suspect it may be easier to understand repentance if we simply don't use the word, and instead, substitute practical words that express it - like those above.
Diane


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Diane

 2005/5/27 22:49Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
This a none other than a call to repentance - to face a different direction - Christ himself. That has been a continual process for me, because I constantly get my focus too earth bound.



I suppose this could be a call to repentance in the sense that it is a call to see things from a new perspective.

Here's what Oswald Chambers says about repentance, "Repentance means that I estimate exactly what I am in God's sight and I am sorry for it, and on the basis of the Redemption, I become the opposite. The only repentant man is the holy man. i.e., the one who becomes the opposite of what he was because something has entered into him." (from [i]Baffled to Fight Better[/i])

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5-6)

All of that, the new perspective and becoming the opposite, is God's work of grace in my life.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/5/27 23:22Profile









 Re: About repentence

Good thread Diane,
I suppose everyone struggles with this term and it's meaning if God is dealing with us in any way shape or form. I do think there are ungodly folk who give no thought to it.
I do believe that repentence means a change in direction. So does disobedience. I often try to find practical illustrations to help me understand divine principles.

I was recently shown that there is only one road in life. You can only travel in one of two directionsat any given moment in time. One end of the road is wide, the other as narrow as a sheep gate. If you are walking toward the wide end, it gets wider and lower as you go. If you are walking toward the narrow end, it gets narrower and higher as you go. One is after the Spirit, and the other after the flesh. I'm sure you know that when you are after the Spirit, the road gets narrower and steeper as you go and the crowd thins out considerably.
To turn from the wide road or after the flesh, the carnal natural sinful way, is repentence. You simply cannot turn around and follow the Spirit without repentence.
As christians, we are generally not always walking in the right direction. Some days we gain ground, others we lose it. The narrow way is the way of obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Remember, to know to do good and not do it is sin.
I've seen a new "demension" to this recently. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the childrens game of "Chutes and Ladders". The game board has a "way" on it that curves this way and that as it climbs higher up the board. It begins at the bottom with the start and ends at the finish up top. Now in the kids game, the first one to finish is the winner. On the road of life, all who finish at the top are winners.
Now, in the kids game, you could, I suppose go in either direction, but the children would tell you that going back toward the start is very foolish indeed. You would likely get laughed at.
In the kids game, there are "chutes" and "ladders" along the "way". A ladder stretches from a square on the road to another square farther up the road. A chute is the same way. When it is your turn to move, if you land on a square at the bottom of a ladder, you get to climb the ladder and place your taw on the square at the top of the ladder. So you get an advance without having to roll the die and go one square at a time along the way. If you land at the top of a chute, you have to slide all the way down to the bottom of the chute and place your taw there and begin up the road again from that point. Please note, that from start to finish, you are always on the way. Your progress depends on the roll of the die, and how many chutes and ladders you encounter in your travels.
To me, this is a wonderful illustration of how life as a christian works. I start the life at day one, born again, and I finish at the top on my last day. Regardless of which direction I am traveling, I am still on "the Way". Jesus is "the Way". Uphill is obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Down hill is when I'm smarter than God and do my own thing. The ladders represent the blessing and grace of God. I advance along the way by grace, unmerited favor, and move up without any merit of my own. God just boosts me up. The chutes are when I really mess up, and I have to go back down and start over at some point, and retake the ground I lost coming down the chute. But either way, I'm always on "the Way". If I persist long enough, I will reach my goal, the finish line. Alleluia.
We are always on the way, Jesus Christ, as long as our faith and hope for eternal life is in Jesus Christ and His shed blood. He sanctified us (there's that word again) by His shed blood. Going up or tumbling down, we never leave "the Way" because if God be for us, who can be against us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He leads us along "the Way" and in the right direction. Obedience will sometimes advance you up the way where serious disobedience will bring about chastisement and your life will take a slide. But you won't fall off the way, as long as Jesus is your hope for eternal life. Turning up is repentence and obedience, Turning down is selfishness, pride, all ungodliness and disobedience. Hint, keep your direction up hill by walking in obedience.
Now comes the huge problem with a very simple solution. We cannot go up the way on our own. We can't even find up without the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot see one square in front of the next. We only have today's square to work with. Where the next one goes, we must trust God or our own effort. Guess which one is successful. So to overcome all that would take us "down", we place all our faith in the One Who is leading us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ok, ok, this is my analogy. Hope it blesses somebody. Enter into the rest beloved. Let Jesus show you the Way. Stop looking for it on your own and trying to find another way. There is only one way. It's the direction you are traveling that makes you foolish or wise. I hope to see you along the Way, headed up hill of course. God bless you one and all.

 2005/5/28 7:48





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