How to Repent as a Christian

How to Repent as a Christian

In a previous post, Tim Chester asserts that we can only change through ongoing daily faith and daily repentance. In other words, repentance is not exclusively for the non-Christian. Rather, together with ongoing faith, repentance should be normative for the Christian.

But this call to daily repentance is not a burden for God’s children! Rather, it is good news. It’s just not easy.

Jack Miller:

Be encouraged then, fellow believer. In calling you to daily repentance, the Lord Jesus is not simply giving you good advice. He is saying, ‘If you are a child of mine, you must continue to repent.’ He does not say to reform your human nature inherited from Adam. Instead, He says to ‘put to death your members which are on the earth’ (Colossians 3:5). And dying is not easy. Nor…does it all happen at one’s conversion.
Now there is grand encouragement here. The putting to death of the flesh—ongoing repentance—is not something reserved for the select few. For repentance, in the larger use of the New Testament word, incudes trust in Christ which unities the believer to the Lord in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 2:9-12, 3:1-4).
So to be in Christ is to be in possession of the power to put to death the lusts of the flesh (Colossians 3:5), to put off vicious habits like uncontrolled anger, slander and lying (Colossians 3:8-9), and to put on the qualities of love, kindness, meekness and patience which identify a person as one of the elect of God (Colossians 3:12-17).

The upshot?

Pursue ongoing repentance as a child of the King, not as an orphan.

 

C. John Miller, Repentance: A Daring Call to Real Surrender (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 2009. Formerly published under the title Repentance and the 21st Century Man), 37.

Michael Johnson is a Resource Consultant at Desiring God.