Repentance can be mistaken for sorrow or penance but that's not what it is. Repentance is not sorrow. Will sorrow lead you to repent? Sure it does. Yet it is a separate process.
Repenting is commonly understood, as to turn away from sin. When we dig a little deeper we find that repentance is specifically to change your mind.
It's that easy. When we fall into sin our Father tells us to change our mind about the sin we commited. Sin produces death and due to our new nature, we have a way to recover from it. We have the superpower to change our mind about following our old nature and set our thought process to think like the new person we are. We choose to think like Jesus thinks.
Our thinking process is where God is directly working in us.
Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:2 NLT
As a Christian repentance is the tool that helps us out of sin. The next step is to turn to God and have faith in Him and His ways.
Defining RepentanceRepent: Strong's G3340 - metanoeō
To think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction):—repent.
Outline of Biblical Usage
I. to change one's mind, i.e. to repent
II. to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins
The One-Two PunchTake a look and see that repentance is step "1a" and having faith toward God is "1b." This is the one-two punch for righteousness.
... the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. - Hebrews 6:1 NLT
"The time promised by God has come at last!" he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!" - Mark 1:15 NLT
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. - Acts 3:19 NLT
What action do I take if I have sinned?
When you find yourself in sin keep it simple. Change your mind. Remember who you are in Christ. Turn to your Father and confess your sin. Remember that you are a new creation with a new purpose. I like to remind myself that, that is not the person I want to be. I want to be like Jesus.
When you repent you are instantly right with the Lord. Turn to the Lord and then move on. I say again, MOVE ON! There is no value in dwelling, guilt or regret.
I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race... - Philippians 3:13-14 NLT
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