Yesterday, at church, the pastor preached a sermon on repentance from Jonah 3. It was such a helpful and convicting message for me that I thought I would share it with you! First, he summarized true repentance as being four things:
- True repentance involves God’s claim on our life.
- True repentance involves an attitude of contrite submission to God.
- True repentance involves a turning away from specific sins.
- True repentance involves the sure hope of mercy.
Hetold us that it is impossible to repent without first feeling weight and sorrow over our sin. Which caused him to ask us, and this is a question that I have been asking God to answer in me since I heard it—is my sorrow over sin leading me to turn from it? So often I feel guilty about things but do nothing about it. I just let the guilt either eat away at me, or simply ignore it. But God does not ignore it. My sin should make me sorrowful and then rush me to the Cross of Christ for forgiveness. Without his blood I will be judged for my sin.
He then asked three questions that are a sort of heart check with regards to our own repentance. We must always be repenting of our sin, which means we must always be conscious of our sinfulness. He asked:
- Is there any ongoing sin in my life that I am not repenting of, or actively fighting against?
- Am I avoiding or inviting temptations? When it comes to sin, every single one of us is holding a bombshell.
What am I doing and why am I doing it? Why do I watch certain television shows? Why do I visit certain sights on the internet? Why do I buy certain things? Why do I say certain things?
He said that as sinners we owe God everything, including repentance. He has created us and we are the created. We have sinned against our creator and owe him repentance, and he owes us judgment. But he does not give us what we deserve. He gives us mercy and hope in the work of Christ on our behalf. “The nature of true repentance, he said, “is saying ‘God, I owe you everything and am so unworthy. You owe me nothing but judgment.” Praise God that he does not give us what we deserve!
I was extremely convicted that my life is not one of active, daily repentance, but rather occasional repentance. But this only reveals my pride, not my lack of sin. The statement that struck me most was “my standing before God is not based on the absence of sin in me, but in the absence of sin in Christ.” This truly is a great salvation!
The messages usually are posted online. So, if you want to listen to it you can visit the website and listen!