Friday, August 7, 2015

The Power of Repentance

In this study we look at the difference between true repentance and false repentance.
The Power of Repentance:

Anecdotal story:
Child hitting repeatedly, then being told to say sorry
Children are genuine. Don’t teach a child to say sorry unless they really feel bad for what they have done.

When you think of the word repentance what comes to mind? (Discuss)

Definition of repentance:
The act of repenting, sincere regret or remorse. Contriteness. A change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse or account of sin

God calls us to repent:
Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

Wisdom’s rebuke -Proverbs 1 : 20-33
vs 28 “Then they shall call upon me, but I will not answer, they shall seek me early, but they will not find me.
vs 31“They shall eat the fruit of their of their own way”

*If we don’t truly repent we will live the consequences

What it’s not:
  • Saying sorry to God to get rid of the guilt
  • To abstain from sin out of fear or to avoid punishment
  • Conviction without action
  • Begging God to forgive us while continuing to love our sin
  • Repenting for the sake of not being found out or having our reputation tarnished

Authentic tears of true contrition for sin flow from loving holiness, not from fearing the consequences of not having it. ~John Piper

What it is:
  • Change of heart
  • Change of opinion regarding sin (If repentance is genuine there is in your mind a conscious change of view in regards to sin.) Job 42:6
  • Change of behavior (Sorrow must be so deep that it changes your behavior) *Godly sorrow produces a change in conduct

*Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

*True repentance involves the altering of both the inward emotions of the mind and heart and the outward actions of the body.

“You must know God and his holiness as your joy before their absence can be your sorrow. Joy in God is the ground of godly sorrow over sin. You must fall in love with God before estrangement from God truly hurts.”
~John Piper

If God is not the source of our joy we will not feel true sorrow for the sins we committed. If we are not in love with God, hurting him will not matter to us.

What it looks like:

What once looked as desirable now looks detestable because it offends God
It becomes hard to believe that we could have ever desired such a thing.

*If there is genuine repentance there must be a hate for the sin we committed.

There is no genuine repentance without a change in opinion. It is indispensable to true repentance and always follows genuine repentance.

There is change in behavior. Because I have come to hate my sin I do not have the predisposition to go back to it.

Until I truly hate my sin , I have not genuinely repented.

Repentance should not be mistaken by emotional guilt. There must be action to follow.

*Example of relationships.
Have you ever been in a relationship where the other person kept hurting you in the same way?

One person keeps hurting the other person and says sorry but continues with the same behavior. If the other person is healthy they will recognize that it is not true repentance and will recognize the death of that relationship.

There is freedom
Acts 3:19
“Times of refreshing” renew, make over, start without the burdens of what was weighing you down

*Jeremiah 15:19-21
Therefore this is what the Lord says:
If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy , not worthless words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.

Repentance admits that I have sinned.
Prodigal son story
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee” (Luke 15:18).
Those who fail usually blame people or circumstances for their misfortunes. True repentance involves understanding and admitting, “I have sinned.”
True repentance reveals itself by bearing good fruit

If we truly have turned from sin to God, our lives will show it. Our thinking, emotions, attitudes, and behavior will be different.

Acts 8 20-22
Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart

Luke 13:3-5
I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Matthew 4:17 “Repent for the kingdom of God has come near
*Discuss: Under what circumstances would it be hard to have genuine repentance?

-Anger, feeling that the other person gets what they deserve.
-When someone has let you down
-Disappointments in the church
-When you are not truly convinced that it is sin.

What is False repentance?
Excerpts  taken from “True and False Repentance” by Charles G. Finney

  • False repentance is just outward and oriented toward self, not toward God.
  • It is temporary and there is a constant relapse into the same sin.
  • Conviction without change in behavior
  • Repentance is not a mechanical duty, but rather a heartfelt response to the conviction of sin.

“Thus true repentance recognizes the sinfulness of my heart and realizes that I am powerless to correct the situation because of the weakness and corruption of my flesh. He imparts a new nature to me that loves righteousness and longs to obey Him. Just as a tree bears fruit according to its nature, so the truly repentant soul begins to bear fruit according to this new nature, fruit that pleases God and is observed by others.”

True repentance  involves not only sorrow over sin, but also a decision to change one’s ways.

“Discovery of evil sin, a mourning that we have committed it. A resolution to forsake it. Change of mind of  a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what he once hated and hate what he once loved.”
~Charles Spurgon

Presenter: Maria Dominguez

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