What does it mean to “Repent?”
The word “Repent” is seldom uses these days in contexts outside of Christian evangelism. Consequently folk may come to think of it as a religious word only… something mystical perhaps… outside of everyday human intercourse in this world. But the term is nothing of that sort at all.
Let us remember, God created mankind in His own image. (See Gen. 1:27). In other words, God used Himself as a sort of template in making us — mind you, at a much smaller scale indeed!
As He is creative so we are creative. As He is eternal Spirit so we are eternal souls. As He has emotion so we have emotion. As He may be offended by us so we may experience offense from one another. Let’s follow along that last likeness a bit further…
I recently watched a recorded live video of a coutroom sentencing of a man convicted of homicide. The murdered boy’s father was present, a man of uncommon grace and forgiveness as we were about to see.
Near the end of the proceedings the convicted man was allowed to speak. He turned directly to the boy’s father and through tearful sputters acknowledged his horrendous crime, his enormous guilt, and the complete justice of the life sentence he was about to deservedly serve. Since his crime he had been haunted daily by what he had done and prayed incessantly for his victim’s grieving family.
He was a broken human being, deeply aware of his sin and his inability to undo the heinous deed he had done.
The father, meanwhile, had been reaching forward toward this man. He had lost his son by this man’s hand but recognized that this man too had grieving parents, they too in a way had lost their son.
Astonishingly the slain boy’s father reached across the physical and emotional divide and embraced the genuinely penitent convict. “I forgive you,” he said.
Well, the entire courtroom was in tears… judge, attorneys, bailiffs and officers of the court. The honesty and pain of this moment had been so clearly authentic to all that none of them had desired to intervene.
Friends, this is repentance. God has made us like Himself and despite our guilt He seeks to restore fellowship with us. We have offended Him in like manner. Ultimately each one of us has murdered His Son, Jesus Christ. Yet the Father holds out His arms to us.
“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).
Now you stand before the mike; it is your time to speak, and the Father looks down upon you… Turn toward Him… What do you wish to say?
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.