Christianity Explained, 4 - Repentance
Here is the fourth part of the Christianity Explained study in a question-verse-answer format as described in the introduction.
Someone asks the question, and someone then reads the bible verse, ideally aloud, to then discuss the answer between them - the written answer is only read afterwards to tie together.
Question - Who is a Sinner?
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" - Romans 3:23
We are unfortunately naturally sinners just by being human. It’s heredity right back from Adam and Eve first allowing sin to occur on earth, and therefore, although we may show signs of goodness, if we’re honest, we habitually sin and end up being selfish.
Question - What Do We Need to Hear and Believe?
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." - John 5:24
When we hear the good news that Christ has paid the price and punishment for all this sin, then we will start being drawn to believe His Word in faith and becoming a new Christian.
Question - When People Asked About Becoming a Christian, What Did Peter Say They Needed to Do?
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." - Acts 2:37-38
After Peter had preached a long talk to non-believers after the Holy Spirit was released on the Christians at Pentecost, they were convicted at heart and asked Peter what they needed to do next. He said the first thing was repentance; however, this can only come after the gospel has been first communicated, and God’s truth draws us back to Himself.
Only after you’ve then truly repented can you fully believe and receive Christ, but you must have first heard the Word in order first to respond.
So What is Repentance?
It’s more than just saying sorry and asking for forgiveness. It’s fully admitting who we are and turning away from that way of being. Wikipedia defines it as ‘the authority of reviewing one's actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by a commitment to change for the better.’
Question - What Does Sin Result in, and What Does Accepting Jesus Result in?
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:23
Our current sinful life is actually ‘dead’ in that it’s leading us to literal death and slowly decaying away. That’s what sin against God has done to us, whereas Adam and Eve were designed to live forever with God before they sinned literally.
So we have to repent in order to receive the promise of new everlasting life from Christ. We have to acknowledge what it is and admit defeat that we’ll never make the mark through our own merit, and therefore we turn to Christ and not only say sorry but let our old life and ways go. We are then ready to receive new righteousness from Christ, but first the old has to go (a commandment throughout the Bible).
Question - What Should Sorrow Lead To?
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." - 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
True repentance stems from a Godly sorrow after we hear the truth about our sinful situation and God’s love and purity. It began with being sorrowful and feeling sinful and our conscience being pricked but leads to full-on repentance and giving-up of our sinful ways.