Saying sorry is not enough! Understanding the power of and the need for repentance.
Understanding the words! Old Testament (Hebrew) – “to repent” = • to turn • to return • to turn back New Testament (Greek) – “metanoein” = to repent = to change one’s mind
This means…. Repentance is an inner decision of the mind and will to turn away from sin resulting in an outward change in our behaviour.
A Bible Example – Luke 15:17-20 • "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father…..
Firsts things first! • Recognising our sinful condition and our sinfulness and seeking to turn back to God’s ways is the first thing that God requires of us. • “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,” Hebrews 6:1
Remorse and repentance. • Remorse – feeling and saying sorry (maybe feeling sorry that you were caught out!) is only part of the process of true repentance. • “Afterwards, as you know, when he (Essau) wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” Hebrews 12:17 • We need to hate our sin with a passion!
Blind to ourselves • The Story of the Frog!
The road to true faith • "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" And so John came, baptising in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:3-4 • Repentance is the only way to true faith!
It all starts with God • Repentance starts with God. Man by himself cannot repent unless God opens his spiritual eyes to show him his true spiritual condition. • God has to move first (Turning the hearts of the Father to the children! – Malachi 4:6) • "No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44
A word of warning! • Empty religious activity and exercises cannot save us • “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:1-3
Psalm 51:1-2 • 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. • 神阿、求你按你的慈愛憐恤我、按你豐盛的慈悲塗抹我的過犯。 • 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. • 求你將我的罪孽洗除淨盡、並潔除我的罪。
Psalm 51:3-4 • 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. • 因為我知道我的過犯．我的罪常在我面前。 • 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. • 我向你犯罪、惟獨得罪了你、在你眼前行了這惡、以致你責備我的時候、顯為公義．判斷我的時候、顯為清正。
Psalm 51:5-6 • 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. • 我是在罪孽裡生的．在我母親懷胎的時候、就有了罪。 • 6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. • 你所喜愛的、是內裡誠實．你在我隱密處、必使我得智慧。
Psalm 51:7-8 • 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. • 求你用牛膝草潔淨我、我就乾淨．求你洗滌我、我就比雪更白。 • 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. • 求你使我得聽歡喜快樂的聲音、使你所壓傷的骨頭、可以踴躍。
Psalm 51:9-10 • 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. • 求你掩面不看我的罪、塗抹我一切的罪孽。 • 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. • 神阿、求你為我造清潔的心、使我裡面重新有正直的靈。
Psalm 51:11-12 • 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. • 不要丟棄我、使我離開你的面．不要從我收回你的聖靈。 • 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. • 求你使我仍得救恩之樂、賜我樂意的靈扶持我．
Psalm 51:13-14 • 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. • 我就把你的道指教有過犯的人．罪人必歸順你。 • 14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. • 神阿、你是拯救我的神．求你救我脫離流人血的罪．我的舌頭就高聲歌唱你的公義。
Psalm 51:15-16 • 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. • 主阿、求你使我嘴唇張開、我的口便傳揚讚美你的話。 • 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. • 你本不喜愛祭物．若喜愛、我就獻上．燔祭你也不喜悅。
Psalm 51:17-18 • 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. • 神所要的祭、就是憂傷的靈．神阿、憂傷痛悔的心、你必不輕看 • 18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. • 求你隨你的美意善待錫安、建造耶路撒冷的城牆。
Psalm 51:19 • 19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar. • 那時、你必喜愛公義的祭、和燔祭、並全牲的燔祭．那時、人必將公牛獻在你壇上。