View Full Version : - Biblical Repentance – Part 1

Dec 21st 2010, 08:30 PM
:bible:Acts 26:20 … “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds”

2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”

Outline Study on Biblical Repentance

A. Introduction

B. What Is Repentance
C. Repentance of Sin
D. Why Is Repentance Important

(1) David’s Psalm of Repentance

E. Prophets, Apostles and Christ Preached Repentance

(1) John the Baptist preached Repentance
(2) The Apostle Paul preached Repentance
(3) The Apostle Peter preached Repentance
(4) Jesus Christ preached Repentance

F. Scriptures Passages that Teach Repentance
G. Examples of Repentance

(1) King Manasseh
(2) The Prodigal Son
(3) Nebuchadnezzar
(4) Philippian Jailer

H. Repentance is not mere Remorse for Wrong Actions
I. Repentance is not merely the same as Faith
J. Repentance Defined by Baptist of the Past
K. Closing Thoughts

L. Closing Questions

(1) Is the preaching of repentance important?
(2) Who is commanded to repent?
(3) What happens if you don’t repent?

M. Closing Illustration


Have you ever wondered why some “Christians” seem to live lives no different than the self-centered sin filled lives of others? Could it be that we’ve stopped preaching the word that the Apostle Paul was commissioned by Jesus to share with the world found in Acts 26:20, "… but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”

Of all the commands of the Bible, undoubtedly the hardest one is the command to repent! The word "repent" is not frequently used in common, every-day conversation, and thus has been relegated to "religious" settings. This is unfortunate, because many have no idea what the word means, and how much the word and concept of repentance are a part of the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the early Church and the entire Bible. The word “repent” occurs 46 times in 43 passages of Scripture in the King James Bible. The word “repented” occurs 32 times and the word “repentance” occurs 26 times. The matter of repentance is a very important subject to be considered, and I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject of repentance, or any subject for that matter, but I do think we need to make sure we are saying what the Bible is saying.

We are given a sense of the importance and urgency of this subject when we see that the first recorded words of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, consisted of a command to "Repent. . ." (Matthew 3:2). Likewise, the first public proclamation of our Lord Jesus Christ was "Repent. . ." (Matthew 4:17). Thus, the urgency of repentance is emphasized when we see that while the gospel consists of: (1) facts to be believed, (2) commands to be obeyed, (3) promises to be enjoyed, (4) however, repentance falls under the commands to be obeyed. Many books have been written on the subject and many have conflicting ideas of what the Bible says about repentance. One consistent theme of God’s messengers and ministers is the message of repentance, which is woven throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament alike.

There are a few things of vital importance in both beginning and maintaining a walk with God after accepting His Son, Jesus Christ as Savior, and repentance is one of them. You can neither be saved without it nor can you walk (and work) closely with God without it. It is an urgent enough concern in your relationship with Jesus, that both He and John the Baptist preached “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and in no uncertain terms to warn of the wrath that ultimately comes from a lack of repentance. May this study on “Biblical Repentance” challenge that area of your life that defines how close you are in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God?


The word repentance is the Greek word “metanoia, which is translated “repentance” in our English Bibles and means “to change one’s mind.” In the theological and ethical sense a fundamental and thorough change in the hearts of men from sin and toward God. Although faith alone is the condition for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; Acts 16:31), repentance is bound up with faith and inseparable from it, since without some measure of faith no one can truly repent, and repentance never attains to its deepest character till the sinner realizes through saving faith how great is the grace of God against whom he has sinned. On the other hand there can be so saving faith without true repentance. It is the determination of the will to turn one's heart from sin to God.

Repentance is sorrow for sin, a detestation of one's sins and a self abhorrence for being such a sinner. Repentance is the change of the inward springs of one's very being, it is a penitent attitude, a changed mind-set, an admission that God is holy and right while I am a lost sinner. Repentance is to start obeying God. Repentance requires action: it is sins acknowledged, despised, and abandoned. It is making restitution for wrongs. It is a change of heart that is demonstrated by a changed life. Repentance is to surrender to God; it is a commitment to live a new life. Repentance is a self declared sinner's cry to God for mercy. Repentance is also granted by God (Acts 11:18). When we repent this way God forgives us, and He will remember our sins no more. It is the attitude of the publican who, fearful of even looking toward heaven, smote his breast and cried, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:13).

By way of illustration in a lot of organizations, change is like putting lipstick on a bulldog. There’s a tremendous amount of effort involved, and most times all you get is some cosmetics, and an angry bulldog.” So writes Dave Murphy of the San Francisco Chronicle. Real change, whether in a business, church, family, or in ourselves, can be difficult and elusive. While we long for a deep and lasting transformation, we often get only a temporary cover-up that solves nothing and satisfies no one. The word repent is used in the bible to describe the beginning of genuine spiritual change.

Language scholar W. E. Vine says that to repent means “to change one’s mind or purpose.” In the New Testament it always involves a change for the better as a person turns away from sin while turning toward God. Jesus began His public ministry with the call, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When we feel sorry for doing wrong or for getting caught, it may be nothing more than a spiritual cosmetic. But true repentance occurs deep in our hearts and results in a visible difference in our actions. Thus, when we turn to Jesus Christ and yield ourselves to Him, He produces real change, not just a cover up. In a nut shell “Repentance is not just words but actions.”


The idea of repentance is an easy concept to grasp once the correct context has been established. To put it bluntly, repentance is the act of turning away from sin and back to obedience to God. However, for this to make any kind of sense, we need to have a most clear understanding of what sin really is. Since God is who He is, He is the only One who decides what is right and wrong. One basic thing the Bible teaches quite clearly and often (which goes contrary to popular opinion) is that God really leaves no gray area about right and wrong. God does not allow for what is termed situational ethics, the idea that something may be wrong most of the time but may be right if the circumstances appear to warrant the action. This idea generally comes from an incomplete or incorrect understanding of how God looks at things. The Bible also illustrates in many places how often God’s right and wrong may not seem correct in human terms. This does not, however, alter God’s sovereignty in the matter. Basically, sin is defined as disobeying God, and He summed up all that is right for us to do in two simple commandments:

(1) Love Him ahead of anything or anyone else in life, and
(2) Love others the way you love and take care of yourself.

Jesus Himself declared these two commandments as foundational to every other biblical truth in Matthew 22:37-40. Thus, when we tell God that He is right in saying we did something wrong by His judgment, that is called confession. When we take action, using the strength that God makes available to us, to fulfill one of God’s commandments in opposition to the sin, then that is turning from the sin and that is repentance. From what I have described, you can see, there is far more to repentance than just saying you are sorry about what you did. Real repentance is a trigger for actions to counter the sin. When you really repent of lustful thoughts toward someone (for example), you go out of your way to think about God’s Word against adultery or how you can help someone less fortunate than you. Is this an easy thing to do? By no means, but that is why Jesus offers His strength to help you.

Sin thrives on self-deception and doesn’t look ahead to the end result. The sin back at the dawn of creation recorded in the book of Genesis, in essence, is the same as it is today … defiance against God. The Bible isn't a written record of perfect people (except Jesus Christ) … thus, from the beginning that is recorded in Genesis to the end recorded in Revelation, God's Word points out in painful detail the mistakes made by its characters. Adam and Eve failed to obey God's specific restrictions (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7). Abram lied about his relationship to Sarah (Genesis 12:10-20). Moses grew angry and struck the rock in disobedience to God (Numbers 20:7-12). David committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12). Solomon started out well but turned from God for a time (1 Kings 3:5-9; 11:1-43. Peter denied knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). These are just a few examples … so brethren, it is for our instruction that the Bible records the sinful actions of many of its key figures, but more importantly the Scriptures also provides a means by which we can truly have repentance from these actions.


There are several reasons why repentance is important. However, the most fundamental one is that it fulfills the first commandment, to love God before all else. To fail to repent is to call God a liar about what He says is wrong. You cannot show love to God if you consider Him a liar and He cannot be anything but silent when you believe this of Him. A lack of repentance guarantees a broken relationship between you and God, and true repentance on our part will establish and/or restore that personal relationship once again.

“Oops I sinned, so I need to ask for forgiveness.” Is this the way it works for you? It’s really not what the Bible teaches. David’s Psalm of Repentance reveals his thoughts and emotions about seeking to repent of his sin, which were actually capital crimes involving lying, adultery, murder, and enlisting the aid of others in the execution of the same. It’s very easy to rush through this Psalm and over-focus on some of the most quoted Scripture in the Bible, but don’t. As we examine each of David’s thoughts and actions, ask yourself, “Is this how I go about it?” You may find the answer to why some issues keep recurring in your life in spite of having brought them to the Lord many times before. You may simply be “venting” instead of “repenting”.

(1) David’s Psalm of Repentance

An example of true repentance is found the Psalm 51:1-12. My brethren, this Psalm talks about the whole of sin, about the root of sin, about the fruit of sin and about the devastating effect of sin. However, it also speaks clearly of the forgiveness of sin and the joy and peace received. It leads the listener to recognition of sin, the wrath of God and the mercy of God. At the beginning of this psalm we see a sinner (David) troubled by the knowledge of his sin and the burden of his conscience. David, one of God’s greatest servants walked on the roof of his home in the late afternoon of a beautiful Middle Eastern day. As he looked from the roof of his home, his eyes came to rest upon a woman who was bathing, perhaps in a courtyard or on a roof nearby. The woman was beautiful, and thus began the story of David’s great sin with Bathsheba; the murder of her husband, Uriah; and the death of an illegitimate child. David’s sin led him into darkness, misery, despair, disgrace, and defeat. David didn’t resolve to straighten out his life or do better before he confessed his sin and experienced cleansing from his sin. Only after God had forgiven him and had renewed his life did David resolve to serve the Lord anew, once again.

As was his custom, David wrote those words in the form of a song, Psalm 51. The first eleven verses contain prayers; a prayer of repentance in verses 1-9 and a prayer of renewal in verses 10 and 11. Psalm 51:1-9, (1) Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (2) Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (6) Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. (7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (8 ) Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (9) Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

(a) David’s plea or cry for MERCY and for clearing the RECORD

Psalm 51:1, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions

When the prophet Nathan confronted David and condemned him as the stealer of a woman and the murderer of an innocent man (2 Samuel 12:1-9), David’s spirit was crushed within him. Guilt piled upon guilt in his broken heart. David’s approach to God began with a plea for mercy. In the hours that followed, David humbly comes before God with a confession of his complete unworthiness and with a cry of faith looking solely to God as his only hope. Here we see a true and repentant heart which finds no hope or comfort in itself but sees only sin and misery and comes before the eternal God for help. The only plea of a repentant sinner is in the mercy of God. The person who finds any comfort or help in himself cannot sincerely speak these words.

The only anchor to which the sinner clings is the unfailing love of God. “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.” Mercy may be defined as God’s withholding from us what we justly deserve (Lamentations 3:22, 23, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”). Often when we sin, we feel as though we cannot lift our eyes toward God. We need to understand, however, that God sees us in Christ. In Christ, we enjoy a perfect standing with God. Even when we sin, God relates to us as a loving Father. Our sin does not negate the promises God made to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father does not cast us out of His family. Although He despises our sin, He loves us. When we confess our sin, He restores us to fellowship with Him, and He cleanses us as stated in 1 John 1:9.

Psalm 103:11 says, “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him”. Here is that great mercy of God as expressed by His Son who remains as stated in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.” This God of salvation forgives sins not by the merit of the individual but by the merit of the Son of God who wiped out the sins of mankind who removed them “as far as the east is from the west.” David’s sin and our sin, is great, but God’s grace in Christ is greater. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20. David knew that he had broken his relationship with God because of his sin. In tears he pleaded, that God would blot out his transgressions. The term “blot” means, “to wipe off, remove, erase, or get rid of.” David requested that God would clear the record based on His tender mercies.

Tender mercy is like a compassion a parent has for a child. When a child does something wrong, the parent has the option either to forgive and forget or to discipline the child. Many times when the child recognizes his or her sin and repents, parental tenderness carefully erases the child’s transgression. From beginning to end this is the repentant sinner’s comfort and assurance that God’s mercy has blotted out the handwriting of sin, in this case adultery, murder, and a year of hard-hearted refusal to acknowledge the transgression committed. David pleaded for that kind of tenderness.

(c) David’s request for CLEANSING

Psalm 51:2, Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Sin pollutes the heart, the conscience, and the entire life of a person. That which removes this pollution or in this case cleanses the heart, conscience, and life is the grace of God. “Washed completely” is the cleansing by which God declares the sinner justified by the Gospel of Christ and His redemption. Before God the sinner stands cleansed by the blood of Christ, the sin that was as scarlet became as white as snow. David wanted God to cleanse him vigorously so he would be completely clean. He didn’t want to retain any part of his sin or to become involved in it again. Those who engage in lies, deception, fornication, adultery, cheating, stealing, and murder to reach their own self-centered goals are living in iniquity, as this word defines it. They too need a vigorous cleansing from their warped, sinful way of life. The Hebrew terms used for sin underscore what a wretched thing it is. As “transgressions” it is nothing less than rebellion against God, as “iniquity” it points out the perversion and twisting of moral standards as “sin” it implies that the divinely appointed goal that has been set for man has been completely missed by man. David prayed that God would wash him from his iniquity and cleanse him from sin. David had a strong sense of his own polluted condition and asked God to remove his uncleanness. His repentance was genuine

(d) David’s recognition of SIN

Psalm 51:3-4, For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Psalm 51 verse 3 begins with a full acknowledgment of David’s transgressions and further demonstrates his genuinely repentant attitude. David didn’t blame anyone but himself. When Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately responded by passing on the blame: Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. Neither one was repentant. The human part of restitution to God after sin is summed up in the first words of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins ….” True confession is not a lifeless acknowledgment of committed sin. It is a vivid consciousness of our sinfulness; it is often accompanied by restlessness, anguish, and a burden of wrong that causes us to cry out to God.

David acknowledged his transgressions in the light of their awful significance. So intense was David’s guilt that he could never forget his sin. Regardless of the beauty of the evening or the peacefulness of the hillside, his transgressions loomed before him. He could not escape their haunting presence in his life. God had used the searing words of Nathan the prophet like a branding iron to impress upon David’s mind the reality that he, like any of his humblest subjects, was a sinner. Sins against God’s people are called sins against God Numbers 12; 1 Samuel 8:7-8; Matthew 25:37-45; Acts 5:4, speaks about Ananias and Sapphira lying to God concerning keeping back part of the price of the land which was sold. Furthermore, all sin indicates a denial of God’s right to rule our lives.

In verse 4, David concluded that he had sin against God. Certainly in David’s case the sins of adultery and murder were directed against man also. Uriah was dead, and Bathsheba was pregnant; nevertheless, David’s major concern lay with God. He realized that he had to deal eternally with Him. A man may sin against several different people, yet every one of his sins goes against God. We must realize that envy, lust, backbiting, and failures such as neglecting to pray and withholding good deeds 1 Samuel 12:23; Proverbs 3:27 are indeed sins against both God and man. In all aspects of life, man is responsible first to God as Joseph also stated when tempted to commit adultery Genesis 39:9.


(1) Do you see sin as something that actually offends God and God alone?
(2) Do you see it as a personal break in your relationship with God?
(3) How do you attempt to repair the breach?

Jul 29th 2011, 11:02 AM
Hi , Greeting you in the name of Jesus i would like to say that you are doing great job God will give you reward for this .... GOD BLESS YOU

Aug 3rd 2011, 05:36 PM
Do you believe that the children of the devil can repent?Do you mean: Can a Satanist repent and be saved when they turn to God :hmm:

Sep 30th 2011, 05:56 AM
(1) Do you see sin as something that actually offends God and God alone?
Well a sin means you broke God's law/commands so yes. God promises us the wages of sin is death.

(2) Do you see it as a personal break in your relationship with God?
Definately. The Holy Spirit indwells us and we hurt ourselves when we sin. We hurt the Holy Spirit.
Thank God we have Jesus to intercede for us or who know what would happen.
Jesus told us his brothers and sisters are those that keep his commands.

Jesus' words “If you love me keep my commandments” and “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do as I say?”

If you want true joy you will only get it when you keep Jesus' commandments and have the Holy Spirit fill your soul and give you heavenly joy.

(3) How do you attempt to repair the breach?
When you sin? You can do what David did and fall on your face and cry out for God's mercy.
You can't go back in time. if you have someone you can trust 100% you are blessed and can talk to them.
You can talk to your pastor. You should be reading the bible and get verses that help you fight your problem.
You can go to this forum and ask for prayers. The only way to breach the sin is to shove it onto Jesus.
Then let Jesus pay for the sin.

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Only through Jesus cant he breach be repaired as you call it.
Do not try to give money to the church and think this will save you, God can not be mocked.