Title: FRUITS OF REPENTANCE
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:Matthew 3:8
Someone once asked, What is the difference between repentance and remorse? How does a person say they’ve repented and still find themselves doing the same thing all over again? How do you identify the change I claim I’ve experienced? How do I know I’ve truly changed for the good?
First, let me say that positively change in people is something that only happens as a result of God’s work and man’s will coming together in agreement. Change in a life is a product of a God effect and a man’s decision.
Repentance, on its part, is an absolute turn around from a way, system, style, activity formally engaged in upon a convicting realization and abhorrence of that way. It means a forsaking of wrong and a complete turnaround towards that with is right. This is different from remorse. Remorse is a bitter feeling over something wrong you did. This reaction is a response to that pricking or probing by an active conscience. But tears for wrong done isn’t the same as a decision to not do so again. Many people cry over something and still return to it tomorrow.
Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. He came to open the eyes of people the see the price He paid and the cost of sin and then to allow that influence a decision to forsake that way. That’s what He came to do.
And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.Luke 5:31-32
And so, to truly repent means that there’s been a sudden realization and a sincere hatred for this way of life. In the place of repentance, it is likened to a blind eye being open (Isa. 42:7) and a coming to one’s self (Luke 15:17) that will cause a rising up, a turning around and a return to the right path.
Repentance is something that will be seen. It shows. If it doesn’t show through changes, it isn’t repentance. Repentance isn’t a declaration, it is a fruit. It doesn’t end with what you say, it is shown with what you do thereafter. It’s not just enough to seek mercy and forgiveness. God wants a heart who will not only realize wrong but also forsake it. Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
I beseech us today to look upon Jesus our Lord, upon His love and sacrifice, upon His compassion and allow the weight of realization, the power of His Cross to pierce through your heart. The wages of sin is still death, it hasn’t changed. (Rom. 6:23). We can’t continue walking old paths while naming new ways. We can’t continue walk in the old while claiming to know the be partakers of the new. We have to change. We have to really turn. (2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”)
We talked about being sincere with the Lord in the previous study, now is a moment to declare your struggle with the Master of your soul. Open your heart to Him who is able to keep you. By your sincere faith declaration of His Mercy and your receiving of His new life with a sincere decision to not go back, you will find grace to stay in the light. The just shall live by faith. The addicted can overcome their addiction by faith in the liberty of Jesus Christ. The dying in sin can call upon the Lord and still obtain mercy. Jesus has saved, is saving and will still save men as long as the earth remains.
Receive the new garment that accompanies our confession and fashion your life like the people who put on that garment. Forsake the old system, it is destructive. It is destructive.Father, in the name of Jesus, I realize and declare that sin and its way is destructive. Forgive me for continually walking its path. I make up my mind today to make that turn. Stir up in me, by the Holy Ghost and revelation, the destructive effect it has on my life. Stir up in me a righteous hatred to depart from every appearance of evil and to stay in the light forever, in Jesus name, amen.
I’m righteous. I’m loved. Once I was dead, now I can see. I produce fruits of life now and not death any more. I’m saved and free. I walk in that freedom from now and always. Hallelujah!