As I have studied repentance, forgiveness, and consequences, two things have become clear: 1) there are several camps on these issues in the church, 2) a halfway decent treatment of the subject would take several dozen posts. Therefore, this will be my thoughts, with the understanding that some will disagree, and I will keep it to a few posts.
In part, this is in response to a 350 post thread on the TMB message boards (login required). The thread was started to kick around my Oct 28th post I sinned, I expect you to pay for that. Some have suggested that forgiveness removes consequences, and there has been debate about what repentance means.
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” [Luke 17:3 ESV]
The first thing I see here is that repentance is to precede forgiveness. This fits with how God forgives us – we must admit and turn from our sins to receive forgiveness and eternal life. No repentance, no forgiveness. This means we need to understand repentance – what it is, and what it is not.
Repentance is not just being sorry we got caught, nor is it wanting to forget the whole thing. The Greek word is Metanoeo, and it means:
to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins
This is more than an “I’m sorry”! True repentance means that we get it, we see how wrong and hurtful our sin was, and we change our mind about that sin. In Matthew 3:8 John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Sadducees “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” – he expected to see action that clearly showed a heart change!
Chew on that, more tomorrow…
Image Credit: forgive sign @ Ross Griff | flickr.com
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Black and Married with Kids
How To Get Rid of the Honey-Do List and Keep It Gone ◄ A very channelling thought here.
Don’t Just Stay in Your Marriage, Stay in LOVE ◄ Amen to this!
Prostate Cancer Can Destroy Your Marriage ◄ Not something we like to think about, but important!
How My Wife Transformed Me ◄ Has your wife transformed you?
The Generous Wife
Start Early ◄ Ideas for doing the twelve days of Christmas.
For Love ◄ I did a good thing – but I was very close to not doing it. So glad I did.
Jumping on the “Blessed” Bandwagon ◄ Yeah, I rock. (She makes it easy!)
Walk the Walk ◄ Talk is nice, but cheap!
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Intimacy in Marriage
Does Your Husband Demand Certain Sex Acts? ◄ If you’re pushing for something, you should read this.
Joe Beam’s Blog
Husband Not Interested In Making Love ◄ A lot of good information in this post!
“What’s the big deal about Underwear?” (A post for the wives) ◄ I know you get this – but if you want a good way to help your wife get it, try this.
One Flesh Marriage
Broken Dreams ◄ Dreams and expectations can be powerful or painful.
Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet
Prophetic Eyes for Your Spouse ◄ “Have a vision for who you and your spouse are becoming.”
The Romantic Vineyard
Our 4th Blogiversary! ◄ Congrats to Debi and Tom – they consistently provide a good deal of great content!
Confessions of a Blessed Wife ◄ Read this carefully and see the heart of a loving husband behind the words. We could all learn a great deal from Tom!
Flirting With Your Spouse 101 ◄ Do you flirt with your bride?
Safe at home
Putting Protective Locks on Your Marriage ◄ Some important locks here.
Stupendous Marriage Show 67: Happy Thanksgiving! ◄ Some great thoughts on affairs.