New Beginnings REPENTANCE Is The Key
Walk In Truth Ministries
Dr. James Sutton II
The key to all new beginnings as Christians as well as Jews is repentance. The Greek word for repentance is METANOIA. To change one’s mind and more the inner man; particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God, repent)
There’s a lot to be discovered in the word, “repent”. Usually we think of repentance as being godly sorrow, but it means a lot more. I know we use the term godly sorrow, but I think the best we can muster in our mind is to be sincerely sorry. As human beings we can be sincerely sorry and never entered into repentance as it relates to changing one’s mind and agreeing with God, in the direction of his will. We have often been sorry, better yet sincerely sorry for many different reasons and yet there was no movement in the change of direction of our minds or our hearts. Think about some of the times you have been sorry and yet your opinion and your deeds in that area did not change, let alone conform with God’s will. Before you were born again there was no avenue of repentance in regards to being in a right relationship with God. We have discussed the sovereignty of God in our rebirth, faith and now repentance. Repentance is also one of those gifts of grace and mercy that God gives to his children in order to set things straight. To fully experience reconciliation and right fellowship through the ability of starting over, we must change our mind, and move into new beginnings.
As we began to study the gift of repentance, there is a constant theme in the Bible that is noticeable. Repentance is always afforded to those who are held captive to their flesh, state of mind or actions contrary to the word of God. Simply put repentance is afforded to those who are still in their mess and have not achieved a change in mind for we call it the new beginning.
Let’s look at a few Scriptures in the Old Testament where the children of Israel were held captive by strange pagan nations, and yet God wanted them to repent even while they were held in oppression. (1 Kings 8:47-48)
If you notice, God wants them to turn their hearts and their minds back to God before God blesses them to be saved. They are in a hostile state because of their rebellion. The only way out is to first reestablish the right relationship to God by understanding you need to change direction. Pain is a wonderful tool used by God to alert us to do something new and change direction. Spiritual pain is normally equated to Saints of God feeling convicted by their actions which are contrary to God’s will. Instead of asking God to lift the pain which is just a symptom of sin, ask God to show you the sin and repent. If you have come to the conclusion that you are sinful God has allowed you to receive a great revelation. Repentance moves you from where you don’t want to be to a place where God has chosen for you. After repenting, we must walk in faith and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, walking as Jesus did in integrity. You cannot pull somebody out and take them to a place you have never been without opening the door with the key of repentance. The Israelites were always in a place where their rebellion put them outside of the will of God. God love them so much each and every time God warned them, but he also ratified their decision to rebel. After many years of crying and generations passing God said, just repent and I will deliver you. Your new geographical territories are in front of you begin to seek God in repentance and start the journey to your new land.(Deuteronomy 19:8-9)
God has a desire for you to stay on course and endure and finish the race. Our biggest problem is not the devil or his demons, but our own strong desires at any given time called lust. This word lust is interesting because we normally use it in describing a sexual emotion that is misplaced. Lust is simply a strong desire in any direction that overpowers and controls you, in spite of knowing better. In the Bible the word lust is always used to describe the human characteristic of its sinful mind, going against the precepts, word and the will of God. (James 1:13-15) If you get off course repentance is the RUTTER that will steer you back in the right direction.
Now let’s look at changing the heart before you can move physically to renew our minds into new beginnings. In regeneration we were saved from the penalty and the power of sin, but sin is forever present. Even though sin has no more power, (dominion) over us we still are subject to its effects. (Romans 6:14-15) If and when you are drawn away, fall off course and slip up you have an advocate with the father. Jesus sits at the right hand side of God as our advocate (attorney, intercessor) as spokesperson. He is there defending you against your accuser for your behalf and His glory.1 John 1:8-10, Romans 8:34,1 John 2:1-2)
Sometimes in life we do things where there are natural and spiritual consequences. Just because you repent does not mean that you necessarily will not feel the chastisement of God in the natural. Just like a good parent God want you to feel pain in areas of your life where he knows you’re not living according to his will. We all pray that the chastisement will be brief and not terminal. Sometimes the chastisement continues because we will not simply change our minds and surrender to God’s will. Therefore we must deal with the cards that we have dealt to ourselves and pray for mercy because grace has already been given through repentance. Let’s look at Psalm 51 in context to the story of David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. Let’s talk about even after David repented there was natural consequences to his actions. Sometimes we may avoid repenting believing that we have escaped the consequences and the pain. In Hebrews 12:1-3 we see the Holy Spirit telling us to let go of the sin and the weight that hinders our relationship with Christ. There is something to coming clean that is very uplifting even if you have to deal with the consequences. God does not want you to be scared of the consequences and use them as weights that hold you back from the new relationship and the possibilities and promises of your new beginnings.
Repentance also provides protection. The logical question would be, how does repentance provide protection spiritually and physically? Repentance is unseen and provides the cover to protect you from any harm it may bring to you spiritually. Once you repent your relationship is automatically restored. Under the restoration there are all the promises of God. In Ezra God pleaded with the Israelites to repent for protection from false prophets and those enemies who sought to kill them and destroy the nation Israel. (Ezra 14:6-9) Once you repent God is ready, able and capable to intervene and fight your battles through the power of the Holy Spirit. By repenting you build a hedge of protection around you and your family by accepting God’s will and commandment on any subject.
It should be no mystery by now that repenting will give access to the throne of grace and the kingdom of God. Those who become born again and believe their one-time repentance covers it all are sadly mistaken and they are missing out on a deeper more satisfying relationship with Christ. Someone asked me, “do I have to be specific in my repenting. Their reference to repenting is more so out of embarrassment of admitting that even though they are God’s children they still commit sin against him. Out of embarrassment they may simply decide that a general repentance will suffice. Let me pose this question, do you want God to deal with you generally in your request and your protection or specifically? Do you want an average blessing, partial deliverance or just a crack and you need a breakthrough? No, you want God to be as specific with you in all the blessings he has for you and your access point is through repentance. (Matthew 4:17,
In Mark 1:15 Jesus Christ preaches repent and receive in belief the good news of salvation. Without repentance the good news does not apply to you effectually. Repentance softens the heart, unclog the ears and opens the mind to God.
Every prophet, pastor-teacher, evangelists, apostle or any Christian who steps out to the field of the great commission has to start with the necessity to repent, born-again and baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38)
You are in a better relationship with God, use your keys of repentance and get closer to the kingdom and by default be closer to the true living God escalation
Homework: find five Scriptures on repentance in the Old Testament and five Scriptures on repentance in the New Testament. (You can only use one of the Scriptures in the lesson)