It seems to me that the true depth of the meaning of the word repentance has been minimized, in a practical sense, by the words so often used loosely, such as "I apologize", "I'm sorry", etc.
When thinking about repentance, several verses come to mind. It is the action of repentance, coupled with faith, that brings salvation, according to Acts 20:21. It is pleasing to God when His blood bought children demonstrate life evidences of repentance, seen in Matthew 3:8. So, in examination of the rich meaning of the word 'repentance', the question arises as to how it's depth of meaning should impact our lives.
The word itself, comes from an old Greek word, addressing a change of mind to agree with God, and the subsequent life changes that result from that conviction and conversion. When any sinful violation of God's mind occurs in our thoughts, actions, or words, repentance is the vehicle for seeking forgiveness from God. In His faithfulness and justice, 1 John 1:9 assures us of His forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness when we truly confess our sins in repentance.
REPENTANCE involves immediately acknowledging God's Word in the matter, admitting wrong before Him, seeking forgiveness, then going forward in righteousness. Part of that change is making things right with men before the sun goes down, called RESTITUTION, Hebrews 12:14-15 give a clear understanding that we need to follow God's plan in peacemaking to prevent a root of bitterness springing up which will trouble us and defile others. When those two facets have been accomplished, RESTRUCTURE can and must take place, causing a full circle of repentance.
The order of those 3 is critical in priorities management, for we are to love God first, then our neighbor, according to Matthew 22:37-39. The aspect of restructure is our response of obedience to reflect the image of Christ-likeness in our life and testimony.
Repentance, Restitution, Restructure, in that order, will both please God and profit others.
May God give grace today to do so on a regular basis, for His glory.
(c) N.A.Collins 1992, 2015
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