We Must Repent to Righteousness!

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates God’s great love for humankind.  Even so, it also speaks to God’s absolute righteousness and holiness.  God’s character is flawless.  He doesn’t do anything wrong.  He doesn’t even think about doing anything wrong.  Therefore, while we may know the story of His love for us, and His desire to be closer to us, we cannot relate to Him very well if we are still sinning.  Sin is thus the obstacle that stands between us and God.  Jesus didn’t die for us so that we could keep on sinning.  Rather, He died for us so that we could stop sinning.  Only as we remove sin from our lives can we relate meaningfully to God.

The essence of sin is selfishness.  By contrast, the essence of love is selflessness.  God is love.  Therefore, God is selflessness.  We can’t very well relate to a selfless God while remaining selfish.  Jesus died and rose again from the dead as Lord of all so that we could have someone else to live for – someone who Himself is selfless and therefore will direct us to live in ways that are beneficial to everyone around us.  Some people question whether Jesus Christ is relevant to us today.  Who else offers us a plan – and the power – to live by love?

Jesus’ intent, in getting you to turn to Him, is not to get you to go to church.  Rather, He wants you to become more like Him.  Because He is able to take sinners and make righteous people of out them, He can do so in your case.  This is a process and doesn’t happen instantly.  Fortunately, He’s patient.  Nevertheless, He does mean to change us day by day.  He said we should love one another even as He loved us, and He said this refers to everything we think, say, and do.  Where can you start?  What aspects of your thoughts and behavior are most in need of change?  Look to Him and He will make the answer known to you through your conscience.  Then you will begin demonstrating His love to those around you.

To “repent” means to change, and specifically to change toward God.  God has told us that we must repent; that is, become righteous as God is righteous.  This is the process I have been describing.  Repentance to righteousness is a path you take, and follow day after day after day.  If you stay on this path you will find Him bringing abundant daily portions of peace and joy to your soul.  If, on the other hand, you think repentance is unnecessary, or a one-time event, or only necessary for others, you’ll be kidding yourself about having a productive relationship with your Creator and Redeemer.  God is loving, but He is also a righteous judge.

For more, see Judgment Is Upon Us and Everyone Is Going to Heaven.

31 Replies to “We Must Repent to Righteousness!”

  1. Martin Luther’s 1st of his 95 thesis reads:

    Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite (repent), willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

    Repentance is an ongoing life style, choice and attitude in front of God.

  2. Repent means to turn away. Turn away from what? Turn away from sin. Why? Because God can not stand the sight of sin. If you repent you will turn away from sin and rely on Jesus Christ to fight the good fight of faith. Because the crown is the gift of life itsef. If we don’t perservere as the bride of christ which is his church then we will be caught with our “pants down” on judgement day. Christ’s sacrifice will not cover our sins it will appear scarlet red on our souls before God and the angels on that fateful day.

  3. AV Jn 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
    No man? But, where does “coming to Christ” fit in then? This can’t possibly be true… I have heard many say ” I came to the Lord. I guess they didn’t realize they were being drawn with cords of love and mercy from a source outside themselves, and they did not choose, but were chosen. It may be too humbling for some to allow for this, though. Let us give glory to God.

    AV Jn 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    AV Ro 9:15-16 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
    “But”, you say, “I willingly accepted Christ of my own choosing!” Really? Is that the picture we get from these verses? Do not be mistaken, “but for the grace of God, there go I”.

    AV Jn 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
    There He goes again, saying how it is impossible for a human being to get something from God if He doesn’t make it happen. Salvation and faith are from God.

    AV Jn 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
    What? Again?
    Try thinking of all that you have, personally, physically, spiritually, and then try to say, “Ah, it is of mine own hand, and marvelous in my eyes”. Honesty can be a killer.

    AV Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    More salt for the wound…

    AV Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
    Hey! I thought it was my own will doing all this good stuff like repenting and serving God. How’m I suppose to take any credit for all the great things I’ve done in His name. Sure, it’s God working in me to do His will, but isn’t there at least a smidgeon of my own will that gets some of the kudos? Not!

    AV Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    His plans are not our plans, are they… Have mercy O God our Father.

    AV Eph 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
    Boy, He sure did a lot to get this ball rolling. A whole new creation, after His own image. Wow!

    AV Ro 8:29-30 . For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    CLV 2C 5:17 So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation (Gk,ktisis= creation) the primitive passed by. Lo! there has become new!

    AV 2C 5:18-19 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
    All things are out of God. Now that’s a hard one to swallow, isn’t it. All things….Hmmm.
    Not imputing their trespasses unto them? What? Are you kidding me? Sinners are going to “hell”, aren’t they? For their trespasses against God, right?

    Fortunately, repentence is not a requirement for salvation. It would eliminate most of us, since there are sins that cannot and will not be overcome in this life. That is the nature of the flesh, to oppose God, and opposition to God is sin. The flesh has been judged and will be destroyed by fire.

    AV Ro 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    AV 2Pt 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

    We, those who follow Paul’s teachings, have been called out from among the rest of humanity. We responded to the drawing of the Father’s love unto His Son. We are not just forgiven, we have been justified, not-guilty, by reason of our belief in the evangel of God. It is not by our repentence, not our good behavior, or even a proper upbringing that got us here. It is an act of God upon sinful creatures apart from anything they could have done on their own. And it is God Who will continue to aid and assist us to stand until that perfect day of His coming again.

  4. Phil,

    Repentance is not necessary to get into heaven when we die, for everyone goes to heaven. However, there will be a final judgment for everyone who goes there – which is to fill out and finish the judgment that we experience here on earth.  Therefore, we must live lives of repentance between now and then so that our final judgment will be more favorable.

    Even apart from judgment, however, we should repent in this life out of love for Him who first loved us.  And, as an expression of that love, we should want to see Him glorified by others for the changes He works in us.  Through our repentance – that is, through our becoming less like the devil and more like Him – we  bring attention to both His love and His power that the world around us might be redeemed from darkness.

    To Him be the glory!

  5. I guess I understand what you are saying. It is more philosophical than scriptural, yet contains elements of truth. This is what confused me. I understand repentance in a different light, to accord with the word of God, versus generality

  6. Actually the word repent in the Hebrew is ‘Nacham’ and it means to ‘be sorry’ there are more definitions than that, but this gives us the picture of Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Also this carries with it the point of ‘It’s all or nothing’ just a little bit is not good enough. Another word used in the Hebrew is Shuwb, this means to turn back to YHVH with all the heart. Which again carries with the ‘All or nothing.’

  7. I agree that repentance is necessary. My question for you is what happens after physical death to those who, through their entire earthly existence, refuse to repent, refuse the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ?

  8. It’s easy to get yourself out of organized religion. You make the choice, just do it: and don’t look back!
    What’s more difficult is getting organized religion out of you.
    The world view of “Church” is an organization.
    My view of “Church” is ECCLESIA !

    We all have been so programmed by our past to think of repentance as turning away from those 7 deadly sins and the rest of the family tree of sins connected to them (they can be slightly different for all of us according to our past),
    Pretty much everyone totally forgets about repenting from the “original problem sin” which is: listening to some Being other than G-d (Himself) / and eating from that tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that is surely must be the correct way to solve any problem we could ever have with G-d.

  9. Amen to that, Mike.

    ‘Therefore, while we may know the story of His love for us, and His desire to be closer to us, we cannot relate to Him very well if we are still sinning. Sin is thus the obstacle that stands between us and God. Jesus didn’t die for us so that we could keep on sinning. Rather, He died for us so that we could stop sinning. Only as we remove sin from our lives can we relate meaningfully to God.’

    So true!

    The only thing I’d like to mention here is that although our relationship with God is the most important relationship we can have, regarding our sins, we may never forget the people around us and particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ [I am referring to (Jesus who) ‘will direct us to live in ways that are beneficial to everyone around us’, as you also said above, Mike].
    What do I mean here?
    Sometimes it might be tempting to think it is enough to confess our sins to God through Jesus’ name in order that we experience peace, love, and joy through the forgiveness of our sins once again. And most often, this is the way God wants us to return to Him. Yet not always, for it is written,

    “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ” (Jas 5:16 – KJV)

    “And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Mt 11:4-6 – ESV)

    Which cases are here spoken of? Ought we not to apologize whenever we have wronged a brother or sister in Christ? Is it not God whom we have offended by hurting our spiritual family?

    “Verse 16. Confess your faults one to another,…. Which must be understood of sins committed against one another; which should be acknowledged, and repentance for them declared, in order to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation; and this is necessary at all times, and especially on beds of affliction, and when death and eternity seem near approaching: wherefore this makes nothing for auricular confession, used by the Papists; which is of all sins, whereas this is only of such by which men offend one another; that is made to priests, but this is made by the saints to one another, by the offending party to him that is offended, for reconciliation, whereby a good end is answered; whereas there is none by the other, and very often bad consequences follow.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, Jas 5:16).

    Since one day our Lord and King will say,

    “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Mt 25:40) and ” Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” (Mt 25:45)

    Our Father in Heaven and Lord Jesus Christ, please, let us not be those who are blind to see Christ’s hidden face in our brothers and sisters or who are too deaf to hear Your voice speaking through them. Amen.

    “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
    And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
    And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
    And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
    And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Acts 9:1-5 – KJV)

    1. If someone is interested in browsing a blog site that is written by different authors who are used to hearing the Lord’s voice through their sisters and brothers, one might check “A Wilderness Voice Blog”. I was really amazed at Michael Clark’s reply to my very first comment on his article “What Is Salvation?” which is linked as follows,


      Thank you, Mike! 😉

  10. No doubt you already know this, however, in the Hebrew the word ‘Repent’ really does not mean to change. It simply means ‘regret’ or ‘to be sorry’. The Hebrew word is ‘Nacham’, however there is another aspect also and that is the Hebrew word, ‘Shuwb’ which means ‘to return or turn’ both words get used for the english version of ‘repent.’ In the Greek ‘repent means to change ones mind, however in the Hebrew there is lot more involved than just the mind or the mental belief system. The absolute best picture of what YHVH requires for repentance is found in Psa 51. Here, you can see that what really pleases our Heavenly Father is the absolute brokenness of heart and spirit over sins that been committed. One of the really unfortunate tragedies of modern Christianity is we have allowed men to redefine what ‘Sin’ is. YHVH has another version, HIS version of Sin. Which is violating His Commandments. Which by the way is what is required for any Covenant with Him. That is simply even as Yahshua said and His words are eternal life, ‘Keep the Commandments and Live.’

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