Repenting in sack-cloth and ashes

DRM and ESICC Birmingham 2

Romans 2:4

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

If as a believer you continue to believe that your obedience is crucial to gaining God’s favor, you will live in constant fear and uncertainty about God’s opinion of you. You will be scared of Him, because you have failed to appreciate that when Jesus went to the cross, it changed God’s disposition towards us.

God’s holiness and His requirement for perfection was satisfied.

Jesus took care of all of that. Now we are the beneficiaries of His kindness, His goodness and His lavish love without a single interruption when we place our faith in Him.

This gives us a whole new understanding of what it means to repent.

Many people try to repent according to the Old Covenant, with dramatic theatricals, sack cloth and ashes and confessions of sinful acts.

But the word repent is from a Greek word that means “to change one’s mind”. True repentance leads to a change in behavior, but it is not purely about behaving differently.

In fact, what most people think of as repentance, is often nothing more than a person becoming more clever about hiding wrong actions, since they have learnt that their peers will condemn them if they see.

Repentance is not an external thing. It takes place in the privacy of a person’s mind. It is bigger than a behavior and you don’t need to confess to repent.

People say to me, ” If you spend so much time reading the Bible, it will do something to your mind.”

That is exactly the aim of the exercise: to lose my mind and gain the mind of Christ. To become “brain-washed” by the water of the Word.

Every time I see something new in the Word, I repent. I change my mind about the way I see things.

I change my mind about fear, depression and keeping a record of wrongs. I change my mind about children, money, the way families work, relationships between a man and a woman, and about people who aren’t saved. I used to condemn them, but I don’t any more. I have repented.

All this can take place because we know that whether we change our mind about these things or not, God won’t stop loving us. However, because He loves us so much, how can we resist being drawn to become like Him?

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1 Comment on Repenting in sack-cloth and ashes

  1. Amen! thank God who knows our inner thoughts and sees the condition of our hearts, halleluya!

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