Lead me in your truth and teach me for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25 verse 5

Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose.

Psalm 25 verse 12

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Psalm 32 verse 8

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Psalm 51 verse 6

Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Psalm 86 verse 11

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law.

Psalm 94 verse 12

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good spirit lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143 verse 10

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace.            

Isaiah chapter 54 verse 13

Jesus said: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew chapter 11 verse 29

Jesus said: It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God". Therefore, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.

John chapter 6 verse 45

An online digest of the truth about God as we find it in the Bible

3. How to Repent

So, if Jesus has already done it all, is there anything that I need to do? Indeed there is. You need to repent. Jesus has made it possible for you to be accepted by God, but you must make yourself available to Him. You must come to Him on His terms, not your own or anyone else's. God presents us with a level playing field. No-one has any advantages, and no-one is in any way dis-advantaged. In the book of Job, one of the speakers, named Elihu, puts it this way:

"Suppose a man says to God, 'I am guilty but will offend no more. Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.' Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent?" Job 34:31-33a

As someone has said, the gateway into the Kingdom of God is very broad and very low. In other words, there's plenty of room for everyone, but only the humble will get in.

The essence of repentance, then, is recognising that your condition is desperate and that radical change is called for. You need to change the way you think about yourself, the way you think about God, and the way you think about other people. The centre of your universe needs to change, so that instead of it being you it becomes Jesus. A genuine repentance results in a Christ-centred life, where nothing is said or done without reference to Christ, to His word, to His will. If you remain self-centred and self-willed, you have not yet fully repented. You may well have repented of certain specific sins, such as gambling and getting drunk, but the tenor of your daily life is still focused upon your own needs and desires. Jesus is still not seated on the throne of your heart. You have still not entered into the Kingdom of God.

Practically, then, how do we go about repenting?

It's as easy as ABC ...

A. Admit that you are in sin. When the people came to John the Baptist they came confessing their sins. The apostle John reassures us that:

... if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

Note that it is not enough simply to admit to being a sinner; it is necesary to confess the sins and to be thorough and specific about it. Of course, it is impossible for an adult to confess every sin that they ever committed since childhood, for it would take another life-time to go through them all, even if one were able to remember them. The Holy Spirit will convict you of the sins that He wants you to be specific about. Don't be afraid of this process. It may take some time - days, or weeks, or even months. Your heavenly Father wants to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and to be successful in that He needs you to be brutally honest with Him and with yourself.

B. Believe that Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins and that God forgives you for every sin that you freely confess. You don't need to feel forgiven, you just have to take Him at His word and receive His forgiveness and cleansing. Always remember that with God, forgiven is forgotten. As far as He is concerned, it never happened; you have been cleansed from all unrighteousness. Don't rob yourself, and don't let the devil rob you, of your forgiveness. Feelings are fickle and very unreliable. Only believe, and leave the rest to God.

C. Change. John Wimber said, "Repentance means you don't get to do it again!" You may struggle with certain issues in your life, and it may take a few battles before you finally secure the victory, but don't give up. Keep fighting. You'll get victory in some areas of your life straight away; for others it'll be a long-term project. Whichever it is, never settle for anything less than the best. Don't ever believe the lie that you can't change. God wants you righteous and holy. If Almighty God is working for you, how can you fail? His grace is always available for everyone who wants to live for Him and walk in His ways. You're not on your own.

It is God who works in you, to will and to do according to His good pleasurePhilippians 2:13

Welcome to the Kingdom of God.

Go back to "2. What it Means to Repent?"