While scrolling through the internet, I recently stumbled across this little gem, as a response to an atheist who had said “Why should I repent for being human?(paraphrase)” The particular responder, a Roman Catholic whom I shall not name (I have not approached them on this yet) replied:
“Nah, that would be silly. Repentance in Christian thought can broadly be described as an attitude of self betterment. A striving to become more moral etc.”
Broadly is an understatement. Biblical repentance is described as a true sense of ones own guilt and sinfulness, a grasp of God’s mercy in Christ, and a detestation of one’s sin. (2 Cor. 7:10, Psalm 51:4,9, 11 Psalm 109:21-22, Psalm 119, 128, Job 42:5) As we can see this no mere “self betterment” (which biblically speaking is an oxymoron- Romans 7:18), but an act of spiritual turning. To abandon that which is evil and a true longing for things that are Holy. We also see that repentance is an act of God, and that man, in his fallen and spiritually dead nature, is incapable of repentance on his own. (John 6:44, Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25)
Does this mean that after repenting of sin, we will not sin again? Of course not! We still have a human nature, a sinful nature. However, when we sin, if we are truly reborn in Christ, the sin will grieve us, the Holy Spirit will convict us, and we will turn away from that sin, and again back to God.
I understand, unfortunately, that the internet is a hotbed of half truths and watered down theology, but when we see such things, we must call it out, we must do what we can to correct it, lest it draw people into a false conversion. To that end, let me point you to a new website that will be a good resource for those with questions. The Council of G+ has created a website for easy access to our videos and hangouts. Feel free to search our website, or ask questions, and we will be happy to help. God bless! http://spirited-tech.com/COG/
(Originally published at http://etchedinsteel.blogspot.com/2016/05/what-is-repentance.html?m=1 )