Sin in the life of a person calls for confession with his mouth and turning away from it. When a person is genuinely remorseful of his action and plead for forgiveness, then we say the person has repented from his evil act. Normally one is not expected to return back to such acts confessed and forgiven either by God or man but the human nature in us continue to war against the nature of God in us hence the mercies of God are renewed upon our lives each day. Let’s look at the word repentance as defined in the dictionary.
What is Repentance?
The word is explained in various ways but we shall look at it in the form defined here. Repentance is the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings. Do we know that without repentance we cannot be redeemed. So it becomes the first step required for our souls to be reconciled to our maker God.
Some passages to look at based on this topic are ; Jonah 3:1-5,10; I Cor.7:29-31; Mark 1:15 and others including 2 Samuel 11-12. Let’s state what they are and see their relevance to this topic.
Jonah 3:1-5 and 10 says: And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time saying, Arise go unto Nineveh that great city and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose and went unto Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey and he cried and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least of them… And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that he had said that He would do unto them and He did it not.
From the reading we saw how God called His prophet to go and warn the people of Nineveh because of their evil acts. God wanted to punish them but the people repented of their sins or turned away from their evil acts and turned to God for mercy. The report is that both great and small in their midst fasted and fell before their God and what was the action of God?
Their action moved God as can be seen from the passage. God changed His mind about the calamity that he had planned upon them. Is their any lesson we can take home after reading through this piece? We need to know that the entire nations of the world, we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God hence most of all these problems facing us in this mother earth; let us all return to God and be remorseful of all our sins so that God will look down from His throne of Grace and be merciful unto us and heal our land as well as deliver us from all the evils that beset us.
In another development, the First letter sent to the Corinthians Chapter 7:29-31, we saw Paul admonishing the christian brethren that the appointed time is near; let those with wives live as though they have none, those who mourn as though they were not mourning; those rejoicing as though they were not; those who buy as though they had no possession and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. Why? It stated that this present form of the world is passing away.
In the same vein, Jesus came proclaiming the good news by saying: “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near; Repent and believe in the good news (Mk.1:15). John the Baptist who was the forerunner of Jesus also came preaching the good news of repentance and this made so many people including some of the leaders/rulers then to confess and turned away from their sins and were baptized. Let’s cite some of these verses from the Big Book of Wisdom to confirm as to build our faith on these words of salvation.
Matt.3:1-11 (paraphrased); “in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight….Then Jerusalem, all Judea and all the region around Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Brood of vipers who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance and do not think to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (meaning judgment on the last day of every man).
John further reiterate that: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire ( The Day of Pentecost is relevant i.e. Acts 2: 1-12). His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire”
He is the same Lord Jesus that is at the right hand of our God interceding on our behalf as reported in Rom 8:34 and I quote: Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us”
Why do you think He intercedes for us?
The Bible recorded in 2 Peter 3: 9 that: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent (NLT) . Here, we can see the love of God for us. This same love and compassion He also exhibited when He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to come and die for our sins so that through Him we will have salvation which is free and which only requires our obedience to His commandments and belief on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Know that this Repentance is for everyone. Don’t say I cannot be forgiven because my sins are so numerous and so outrageous. Take note of Isaiah 1:18 where God is calling us to come so we can reason together that no matter our sins He will make them as white as snow… The Bible also told us in Roms.3:10 that ; There is none righteous, no, not one. Know that Jesus came for you and for all.
The Bible stated in I John 1: 8 that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him(God) a liar and His word is not is us.
It went further to state in Chapter 2: 1- 2 that “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not; And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Christ finished His task and passed on this great commission on us of proclaiming this good news as stated in Lk.24:46-47: …Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His named to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
I pray that we all will answer this call; repent from all our sins as it is a product of our heart and thoughts but does not emanate from outside us as the Bible rightly put it in Mk.7: 14- 23 and I quote: When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, Hear Me everyone and understand.
There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear: When he had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, Are you thus without understanding also?
Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him because it does not enter his heart but his stomach and is eliminated thus purifying all foods? And He said, what comes out of a man that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy,pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.
Before I draw the curtain on this topic, I want to cite one important situation concerning one major character, a man after God’s heart, a leader loved by God and men of his time as to see what genuine repentance brings to our lives.
What does genuine repentance bring to us?
It absolves us of our sins, enable us to trust wholly on God, build trust in God and those we erred against or those who err against us. It also enable us to cast our burdens upon God; it enables the light of God to shine in our lives and grant us His blessings, enlighten us in all our endeavors and we receive the most precious gift of salvation to our souls.
This topic will be inconclusive if a mention is not made on the issue reported in 2 Samuel 11-12 which involves King David, Uriah and Bathsheba. The story has it that when kings go out to battle, David sent out his men and he remained behind. But one evening as he walked on the roof of his house, he saw a woman bathing and saw that she was beautiful he inquired about her and went into her.
During this period, her husband has gone to defend both the king and his nation. But the meeting of that one time produced result that could not be hidden either from men or from God. David was informed of the situation and he tried to hide by returning the woman’s husband from war so he could go home to his wife and spend some lovely time with her but Uriah refused to visit his home for any pleasure not also knowing the reason for such recall. After so much appeal and favors granted by the king which proved abortive, the king issue him a letter containing his death warrant to his leader hence he was killed at the battle.
God who sees our hearts and actions and knows the secrets of our hearts sent His prophet Nathan to confront the king. Nathan meandered through the issue by citing a parable unknown to the king that he was being referred to. The parable aroused the kings anger who pronounced death upon whoever have committed such crime then the man of God told David that he was the offender and that God has pronounced punishment of death upon him too.
David immediately fell on his kneels and asked God for mercy as recorded in Psalms 51. He also informed Nathan that he has sinned against God and him being the mouthpiece of God absolves him of his sin but told him that the product of that sinful act (the child) shall surely die and so it was.
It is reported that when we sin against God we give occasion to God’s enemies to blaspheme Him hence the punishment of sin but the same God is faithful, gracious and mighty in all His works and ways upon the life of his son David; the heir to the throne of David, appointed first by God and loved to the extent of naming him came from Him. That child born to David came from this same woman. (See My write-up on King Solomon and Adonijah here.)
David receive an heir loved by God to His throne which God personally established for him and told him no matter his errors or his offsprings wrongdoings, the kingdom established will never be taken away from for him trusting and believing in God. If not for God’s promises upon David’s life, his children starting from Solomon who followed after the devices of his own heart by marrying so many wives who turned his heart away from God- God could have forsaken David but thanks to Him for His promises are ever sure- Jesus is an offspring from that lineage that stamps David’s throne forever according to the words of the Lord.
In another dimension, trying to bring this scenario to our world, If Uriah could have gone to meet his wife no one could have known that he was not the father of that child but the King. And this is so rampant in our societies. If parents are to live in distrust and suspicion of their partners and carry out DNA’s of their offspring, we will find out that most marriages or children will not know their fathers. In Bathsheba’s case she may not have a say to reject the King since he was regarded as the lord to all but in our present society these activities could be frowned at and decisive actions taken if one does not consent to such abuse.
No thanks to women of all kinds. None is exempted except you know who you are in your relationship to your partner. Let’s make this world a better place by being contented with what God bestows on us so that His goodness will continue to flow in our lives by preventing untold woes to our families most especially our children.
As we read and assimilate this work; may we re-examine ourselves and check if there’s any evil residing in us and let us confess them individually and repent from them and return to our God as to live our God purposed life in this world. May we not continue to give occasion to the devil to use us as to mock or blaspheme God. Just as Job and Jesus overcame his devices and endure to the end, may we stand strong and sure in Him to be triumphant in all our ways too so that we will not miss the crown.
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