How does repentance fit into the grace/true life message?
Awesome question! We don’t talk about repentance much. You’ve alerted me to a need for me to address this in weekend teaching. Thanks.
Repentance means, “to think differently” (metanoeō – to think differently or afterwards, reconsider, repent).
The Apostle Peter tells the listeners in Acts 2 to “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38, NIV). The Church began when people changed their minds about Jesus and were publicly identified as His followers. They decided to not think selfishly and not identify with those who did. They became uniquely Christ-like and it began with repentance – a changing of the mind.
This is why we want to “think like Jesus.” Our tendency is to think selfishly and defensively. Jesus thought selflessly as a servant and securely as one who trusted God explicitly. The more we think like Jesus, the more we love like Him and serve like Him. The result is, we truly live like Jesus and embrace full life – JOY.
If I don’t see my thoughts and actions as converse to Jesus, I never consider changing them and I never ask for forgiveness and receive grace. I need not be defensive or experience false-guilt. God doesn’t reveal to me the areas of my life that require change to make me feel badly about myself. He reveals them to me so that I might change my mind, receive his affirmation, and empower me to think and act like Jesus.
Repentance opens me up to forgiveness, change, grace, and full life!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)
Live Like Jesus Today!