“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

3.2 Repent of Your Sins

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” –  Matthew 4:17

Repent of your sins. Repentance means to genuinely and sincerely turn away from your sins – to stop doing deliberate willful and continuing sinful behavior. The heart of repentant sinner also feels guilt and remorse for the sins having already been committed – by having a contrite heart. This implies that you now recognize that you are a sinner.

You have already read extensively in this book how we are all sinners. Sins come in many kinds, from the most obvious ones such as murder, theft, lying and so-forth, but also in less obvious forms such as gossiping, slander, idol worship, coveting, cheating in business dealings, etc… So, be honest with yourself, have you ever done any of those? Even one time? In your entire life? I think any honest person will admit that they have.

Also recognize that even the smallest sin is great in the sight of a holy and just God. God’s holiness is not something to be trifled with, it is His character. We tend (as humans) to horribly underestimate the holiness of God and rationalize that our sins must not be “that bad” and therefore not worthy of death and judgment. However, the Bible is clear that all sin leads to death and judgment.

If you are turning to Christ, you must also turn away from sin; it is impossible to do both. This is the step being performed here – initial repentance with the recognition that you are a sinner, as you become born-again.

At this point also, do not fret worry or wonder how you will ever possibly be able to beat an addiction that you are trapped in, or worry that your sins are too great to be forgiven. For Jesus is The Great Physician and Healer. I know this also from personal experience; I lived the addiction life. When I finally really turned my life over to Christ, things changed.

And friend, don’t worry, He already knows everything; nothing is hidden and secret from God.

Know that all things are possible with God. Or in other words, nothing is impossible with God. For He is not a small God, He is a big God, Creator of Heaven and Earth! And friend, He knows what you’ve done and what you may be facing, and He wants you to come to Him right now, just as you are!

You will be amazed at what He can do in your life if you place your faith and trust in Him. The Bible is full of examples of men who were once murderers, who then gave their lives over to God and to Christ: people such as Moses, and King David, and the great apostle Paul. Scripture is full of amazing things that these people then did.

In this chapter, we are talking about an initial repentance that you do as part of being born-again. But additionally, once born-again, a Christian continues in (ongoing daily) repentance over their lifetime with the avoidance of deliberate and continued sinful behavior and actions. None of us will be perfect and never commit sin, that is not what repentance is indicating. It’s indicating a sincere desire and deliberate willed choice to not participate in sinful actions and behavior.

We will still slip and fall sometimes; that is normal. Just get back up, dust yourself of, confess and repent of the recent sin, and continue walking towards Christ Jesus every single day! If you confess your sins, the Bible says that “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you fall down, get right back up, repent and then continue on, pressing even harder into Jesus! That is how you overcome all obstacles as a Christian.

Remember, you are not going to be doing this by your own “will-power” after you accept Christ; you are doing it through His divine strength and might – you will be able to do this now by the power of Jesus, who lives in you. No matter what you have done, or struggle with at this very moment, the power of Christ will enable you to overcome it.

As your walk as a Christian deepens and matures, you will find that your old sinful actions and behaviors lessen over time, as you become more “sanctified” (conformed to the image of Christ). You no longer want to do those sins. Additionally, as you become a mature Christian, your awareness of sin becomes more heightened, and you start to realize how holy God really is. You also start to see how the sinful flesh of your body and old nature clash with the new spirit that is in you. That is normal and to be expected. The Apostle Paul even wrote about his own battles with this ware between his old and new natures.

The path forward is not always easy; and sometimes victories are one after hard fought battles, but it is possible to overcome any sin (or addiction) through the power of Christ who will now live in you. And that’s just how this works. Trust Jesus!

You will also learn in subsequent chapters how to develop healthy God fearing Christian habits and behaviors and learn how to fight off attacks of the enemy, who will try to turn you back into sin. The forces of evil are very real, are led by Satan, and they are of a spiritual nature; do not underestimate your enemy! He will try everything possible, and even things you are not consciously aware of right now, to turn you back away from Christ, and from eternal life.

False Teaching(s) You Will Encounter:

  • Universalism (i.e. any name, or any religion, even one you make up can save you to eternal life)
  • Man can earn salvation through works (or even buy it with money, i.e. the deceptions of Popery)
  • Saying the “sinner’s prayer” “saves” you forever to eternal life, no matter how you live your life thereafter (i.e. even if you don’t repent and lead a changed life, nor are obedient to Christ, nor prove your faith through works, nor persevere in faith unto death)

Related Scripture:

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” –  Matthew 4:17

And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. – Acts 3:19

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. – Luke 13:3

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. – Proverbs 3:7

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God
, You will not despise. – Psalm 51:10-17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment. –  2 Peter 2:9

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. –  Psalm 103:12

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. –  Hebrews 10:26-27

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“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:32

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