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Repent and Commit

  • Return to God in deep repentance of and brokenness over sin, denying self, and coming to God with complete humility.
  • Commit to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of your life, understanding that Christ’s lordship is inseparable from all aspects of the believer’s life.

We implement our worldview for Great Commission living by repenting of sins and by committing to the total and absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life. In the following posts, I will look at specific sins of which we can repent (by God’s grace) and also at specific areas of our lives in which we can commit to Christ’s Lordship. In this post, though, I will lay out the Scriptural truths of repentance and Christian commitment.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” Repentance “leads to salvation without regret.” Paul’s word for repentance is the Greek metanoia, which means literally “a change of mind” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). The Greek word for repentance is derived from the Greek word for repent. To repent “is to undergo a moral reorientation of the soul in which one acknowledges the error of his ways and turns to ward the divinely prescribed way of truth and righteousness” (ibid). So repentance “to salvation” involves both turning away from sin and turning to God. Repentance is not only detestation of sin, but it is also a desire for God.

John writes of what repentance—for the Christian who has already by God’s grace savingly repented and believed—looks like. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” To repent as Christians is, in part, to confess our sins to God.

More than that, for us as Christians to repent of sins is to "cling to God’s “precious and very great promises” of which Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:3-7.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

In his sermon on 2 Peter 1:1-4, John Piper—praise be to God—had these insights about this text: We must fight desire with desire—substitute the desire for sin with a desire for godliness. Sin promises happiness and fails, but God’s promises are so much better! Notice 2 Peter 1:4, “that through [the precious and very great promises] you may become partakers of divine nature.” When in repentance we flee sin and cling to the “precious and very great promises” that enable us to “become partakers of the divine nature.” Cling then, to the promises of Christ … commit to His lordship.

At conversion, the true convert does not only believe in Christ’s Saviorhood, but he also commits to Christ as his Lord. In our new Spirit-given life we turn from the idol of Self and turn to the One True Savior and God, Jesus Christ. In turning to Christ, we commit to his complete Lordship. But sin does not die in us instantly. We have been saved from the penalty of sin, but on this earth we are still be saved from the power of sin. Paul writes in Galatians 5:16-17 that we are to “walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for the two are opposed to each other.”

We as Christians are not perfect—look against at 1 John 1:8 above—and so repentance and commitment to Christ must be continual aspects of our ongoing progressive sanctification. As we live our lives, we should always be repenting of known sins (and praying that God would show them to us fist!) and by perpetually committing in thought, in word, and in action to Christ’s Lordship over every aspect of our lives.

As we seek to live Great Commission lives, let us perpetually repent and commit.

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