Posted by: Dan | March 8, 2005

Living Repentantly

In light of repeated sin our prayer should not be, “Father, forgive me.” After all, the full and final forgiveness of sins was accomplished once and for all on the cross.

Rather, our prayer should be, “Father, help me to live repentantly.” I think this gets closer to what repentance is about anyway. Repentance is not simply expressing remorse. Saying, “I'm sorry” does not equal repentance. Expressions of remorse must be accompanied by transformed living if they are to be considered genuine. And transformed living is only possible through the in-breaking of God's Spirit.

Therefore, the victorious life of the children of God is simultaneously a life that is lived repentantly. It is a common misconception to think that repentance is just the first step, something that we get out of the way at the beginning of our journey. We tend to think (erroneously) that the more we grow in Christ the less we will need repentance. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Movement toward Christ is always movement toward deeper expressions of repentance.

Note that, by saying this, I am not arguing that we define ourselves by our wrong-doing. We do not define ourselves as “sinners” but see ourselves the way that God sees us – as new creations, as beautiful and beloved. However, living as new creations means living repentantly.

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Responses

  1. Hey Buddy,

    Nice words I think this is something that I really needed to hear and understand better. I really like the idea of living repentently. I have always been quick to as for forgiveness and to say that I am sorry. I have also thought that this wasn’t enough, and I realize that I needed to stop the sin in my life. but to understand it in this context I think is really going to help, thanks Danny boy.
    Ty

  2. Ty!!!

    It’s so good to hear from you. I would rather have talked about this with you in person walking around the neighbourhood late at night, but, alas, we don’t get to do that anymore. I’m glad you resonated with this post, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about for awhile and when I started thinking about it this way I think it helped me a lot. The Christian life is found within the tension of living repentantly and understanding ourselves as new creations. To swing too far one way or the other can be disastrous.

    I’m glad you liked this. Much love. Much, much love.


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