Repent is an old-fashioned word that is not generally used in our world today. This biblical term is packed with meaning, however. Repentance is essential in order for any human being to be right with God.
So when John the Baptist proclaimed the coming Messiah, his message was simple, “Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
When Jesus began preaching, scripture encapsulates His message in one phrase, “Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
To repent means “to turn around”, but even more than this…”to change one’s mind.”
Repentance is more than just doing the right thing…it’s being desperately convicted to change. The mind transformation precedes the action that follows – both are essential – WE CHANGE OUR ACTIONS FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS.
There three primary components to repentance:
- Conviction—where sin is admitted. We get to the place where we must change. We actually become more compelled to change than to stay the same.
- Contrition—where sin is abhorred. To the degree that you love God you will hate sin. These two dynamics are directly proportional.
- Conversion—where sin is abandoned. Isaiah 55:7 explains this quite well:
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the LORD,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
Repentance must become a lifestyle for even the Christ-follower. It is through ongoing conviction, contrition, and conversion that we experience the righteousness of Christ in us.