Repentance, forgiveness, and consequences

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 some will disagree, and I will keep it to a few posts.

forgive sign @ Ross Griff |

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 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 in this scripture is 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 we get it, we see how wrong and hurtful our sin was, and we change our mind about the sin. In Matthew 3:8 John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Sadducees “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” – He expected their actions to reflect a changed heart.

Chew on that, more tomorrow…

Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © Ross Griff |

Shop AmazonShop to give links page
We are donation supported – thanks for your help!

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:


Assume Love

3 Mistakes Your Wife Makes (and Why) ◄ And what you can do to help her change.
The Tasks We Give Our Mates ◄ A rather convicting little post.

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

Do You Dream about Others? ◄ Is it wrong? Can you stop?
One More & I’ll Go Insane! ◄ J has heard enough about high-drive husbands .

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!

Marriage Life

Your Marriage Matters More ◄ Yeah, flirting feels good, but it’s not worth it!
Stronger ◄ Pain is no fun, but it brings growth.


“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

Stupendous Marriage Show 67: Happy Thanksgiving! ◄ Some great thoughts on affairs.

6 Comments on “Repentance, forgiveness, and consequences

  1. I would disagree with you slightly. I think forgiveness is giving up our right to hold it against the wrongdoer. It doesn’t depend on their repentance. Jesus died to pay for the forgiveness of the unsaved person, forgiveness has already been given. Repentance is necessary to receive the forgiveness.

    In interhuman relations; repentance is necessary before full reconciliation, but not before forgiveness. I can give up my right to be angry for what they did, but be forced to love them from a distance until they repent.

    • Father of 10 – I think I agree with you, but I’m not sure what words to use for some of what you have said. We seem to have a lot of meanings for “forgive” and much of it seems to go beyond what the Bible tells us. I think the concepts are right, but we need different vocabulary.

  2. we must admit and turn from our sins to receive forgiveness and eternal life.

    really? do you want to think about that statement?

    • Richard – How do you read Acts 3:19?

      “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out”

      How about 1 John 1:9

      “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      By turn from I do not mean become perfect, but if no change is seen in our lives over time, it is unlikely there has been any change in the heart.

  3. Forgiveness may remove punishment. In fact, that is part of the definition of forgiveness. When we forgive, we let go of the desire to exact punishment or revenge and we let go of anger. But forgiveness cannot remove consequences, because every act, good or bad, has natural consequences that simply happen as a result of that act. If I ruin dinner by accidentally dropping everything onto a dirty floor, my husband will immediately forgive me! But the consequences (lost food, need to clean up the mess) will still be real. In a relationship, forgiveness, in the form of letting go of anger, may be granted, but sometimes the consequence still may be that reconciliation is not possible.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: