REPENTANCE & FORGIVENESS
Repent...metanoeō...[met-an-o-eh'-o]...to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction)
Forgive...aphiēmi...[af-ee'-ay-mee]...to send forth, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.
Many have come to the altar and sought forgiveness. Many have been forgiven. However, many of those same individuals who asked and received forgiveness did not repent. How do I know? Their lifestyles did not change. Lifestyle is chained to our heart, mind, and attitude and so is repentance. Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...
There is repentance and forgiveness in Salvation. I changed my mind, heart, and attitude about my thoughts, actions, and words when I encountered Jesus. Then when I confessed with my mouth that "Jesus is Lord" and believed that God raised Him from the dead - I was forgiven (Romans 10:9). The whole package is commonly called getting "Saved".
This decision to activate this lifestyle allowed God to birth the new spiritual, mental, and physical creature I was meant to be in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17) "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you...that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19:21) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Continuing on in my life as a Christian, living in this imperfect body, mind, and world, I will stumble and rebel or make a mistake within my relationship with God. This does not call for me to seek Salvation once again. Making a mistake once I am a follower of Christ does not mean I have lost my Salvation. This does call for me to seek God's forgiveness of reverting back to my old ways AND then re-engage my repentance or thinking differently about my situation, confirming my stance on it with Scripture. And I have done so, a few times.
If there is something in your life you need forgiveness of, for, or from....then by all means seek God's gracious mercy and His loving kindness where you will find forgiveness, especially if you also forgive (Luke 6:37). However, don't neglect repentance after acquiring your forgiveness. Change your mind, heart, and attitude about what brought you to this point (turning 180 degrees) and you will be on your way to better understanding and better balance of Repentance & Forgiveness.
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