ADVERTISING
 
Friday, January 24   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Will Graham
 

How Can You Know If You Have Truly Repented?

Six characteristics of true repentance.

FRESH BREEZE AUTHOR Will Graham 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 10:00 h GMT+1

How can you know if you have truly repented?



Before answering this question it is important to point out that Scripture speaks of true repentance as a glorious gift of God. In our fallen natural condition, none of us has the power or the desire to repent.



Repentance, therefore, is God-given. Three New Testament texts that support this idea are Acts 5:31; 11:18; and 2 Timothy 2:25.



Although repentance is a divine gift, it is also a human action. Once God grants saving repentance, the soul of the convert distances himself (herself) from sin. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as a false repentance as can be witnessed in the examples of King Saul (1 Samuel 15:24-30) and Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:3-5).



A selfish sorrow based upon one’s bruised ego rather than the glory of God is not true evangelical repentance.



So what are the signs of biblical repentance? Let look at six characteristics.



Characteristic #1: Pain for sin



A truly repentant heart is sorrowful about his (her) sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). It is not so much a sorrow over the consequences of sin but over sin itself. A child of God hates sin with a holy hatred because it is an enemy of the heavenly Father.



When a regenerate soul falls into sin, much soul-turmoil ensues. There is a deep pain and sorrow over the sin committed.



Characteristic #2: Shame over sin



Not only is there a deep pain for sin but all converts feel great shame when they disobey the Lord (Ezra 9:6; Jeremiah 31:19). At times the shame may be so great that it leads to self-loathing as in the case of the prophet Job (Job 42:6).



Unbelievers, however, refuse to take sin seriously as they have no notion of staining God’s precious glory. Shame over sin is a true mark of a child of God.



Characteristic #3: Confession



Truly repentant folk are willing to own up and confess their faults without laying the blame at another’s feet. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the snake. Nowadays millions do exactly the same.



Even within the sphere of the church, I have heard people literally blaming the devil for their sin. “The devil deceived me!” they say or, “The devil made me do it!”



 



The truly penitent cease from blaming others for their sins.



God has given every Christian the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the precious gift of faith to overcome the works and wiles of Satan. Our weapons are more than sufficient to meet the advances of the enemy.



Rather than blaming Lucifer for our downfalls, we should confess that we are the ones to blame. We messed up. We sinned. We let the Lord down. The problem with always blaming the devil is that little by little our hearts grow hardened as we allow these petty excuses to justify our ungodliness.



As in Psalm 51:3-4, the Spirit-led children of God confess that it is they who sinned; no one else.



Characteristic #4: A Reformed Life



The fourth sign is reformed life. The repentant cease from sin because they detest sin. Scripture calls upon us to bring forth works of repentance (Isaiah 1:16). But the truly converted soul does something more than clean up his (her) life; he (she) also restores the damage done to others.



Look at the example of the tiny tax collector Zacchaeus. Once converted to the Lord he said, “I will give half of my goods to the poor and if I have deceived any man I will give him back four times more” (Luke 19:8).



Jesus replied saying, “Today salvation has come to this house; he is also a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9). His actions proved that his heart had been revolutionized from within.



Characteristic #5: A New Heart



But true repentance involves something more than a merely reformed life. It is more about the new heart given by the Lord. This is the key difference between the children of God and the children of the flesh.



God’s children weep over their secret sin whereas unbelievers only feel bad about their public sins which may ruin their esteemed reputation. The sheep of the Lord are just as concerned about their inner thoughts and attitudes as they are about their external conduct. True repentance is a heart-matter.



 



Repentance does not just deal with outer conduct, but inner attitudes and thoughts.



Characteristic #6: Gospel-focused



The sixth mark of evangelical repentance is that it is more motivated by the gracious love of God revealed in the Gospel of Christ than it is about impending condemnation. Children of God understand that it is the goodness of the Lord which leads them to repentance (Romans 2:4).



The hypocrite, however, is only fearful about the judgment that is to come and has no inkling regarding the beauty of God Almighty. The unconverted soul repents outwardly so as not to go to hell; but the born again believer repents because he (she) loves God with all of his (her) heart.



Conclusion



In the light of the six characteristics, we would do well to examine our hearts.



Do you feel pain for your sin?



Do you feel ashamed about it?



Do you confess what you have done the Lord?



Do you restore the damage you have done?



Do you truly wish for sin to be uprooted from your heart?



Do you keep a Gospel-focus in every moment?



If so, your repentance is a precious gift of God. If not, cry out to the Lord for salvation!


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - How Can You Know If You Have Truly Repented?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election

Many hope their effort will inspire a new generation of political representatives with a strong Christian faith. “God has a long-term plan”.

 
Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate? Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate?

“There is no biblical reason for the imposition of celibacy as the status of pastors or priests”, says Vatican expert and evangelical theologian Leonardo De Chirico.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
Families forced to leave homes in Chiapas Families forced to leave homes in Chiapas

Requests for government intervention were ignored, and nearby churches are providing the displaced believers with emergency supplies and lodging.

 
‘There’s a dragon in my nativity’ ‘There’s a dragon in my nativity’

“At this nativity, arose another player. The baby wrapped in swaddling cloths — He was a dragon slayer”. A Christmas story by Speak Life.

 
World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights

The World Evangelical Alliance's General Assembly 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, brought together 800 evangelicals from 92 countries to pray, worship and cast vision for the new decade of holistic discipleship.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.