Steps to Salvation: Repentance

As we continue with the steps to salvation we will now speak about repentance.  A word that you've most likely heard before yet there is so much we can learn from this one word

I am sure you have leapt over your first & second steps to salvation and the second like a Ninja! However, This might be a hard pill to swallow, but it is still nonetheless true: we cannot arrive at the point of repentance unless we have already taken our first two steps.

And we cannot truly take the next step, which is baptism, unless we have first repented. So, as we can see, these steps to salvation are like an interlinked chain, each taking us even closer to the other.

You may be saying right here: " But Joan, this cannot be right because I know of people who got 'baptized' before following any of the above steps to salvation. Well, I am with you on that one as well. Because I know of individuals that was just following the crowd, or just did it because their loved one influenced them, but it was not from the heart. For those situations I boldly say, that that was not a baptism, it was just a 'bath'.

For those that really did it sincerely, there is no harm doing your first works over and washing again.

So, we must seriously consider the steps that we are making for each step is very important.

Repentance overview

When I first learned about this area of the steps to salvation, I honestly thought that it was only referring to 'asking God for forgiveness'. Boy I was I fooling myself! Repentance is much more than just whispering a prayer of forgiveness to God. Repentance is a Life Changing Word.  In other words, Repentance is not only a Talk but Walk!

Why would I say this? We'' see the answer through its definition:

The word repentance comes from the Greek word 'metanoia'. It means a change in one's way of life resulting from regret or sorrow and spiritual conversion / change.

Before I continue, what word does the word above sound similar to? Yep, you got it: Metamorphosis. And as we examine the definition of metamorphosis we will discover that the meaning is so close to that of repentance.

Metamorphosis means the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages.

Two things to keep in mind is:

  1. It is a process ( it does happen overnight )
  2. It happens in stages: as growth takes place, so does the transformation.

This is why I’ve continually emphasized that these steps to salvation are not just a onetime effort. They are not just a Talk but a continual Walk!  A continual walk of improvement and growth. Throughout our lives, as we go through the day, or face trials and temptations, we will find that we must constantly Believe, Confess and Repent unto God.

Every day, as we allow God free reign in our lives and our circumstances, he will continually reveal areas in our lives that need changes. It is our responsibility not only to ask for forgiveness but also to allow our transformation process from sinners to sanctified and holy vessels of righteousness, to begin and continue, through to the end.

Walking the steps to salvation: What repentance look like?

There are two main actions that true Repentance will evoke. They are:

  • Godly sorrow for our sins
  • Hating and forsaking sin, knowing that it is displeasing in God's sight

So then when we speak of repentance we speak of:

  1. turning or making a change
  2. changing of views, outlook, purpose;
  3. changing of heart, mind, and / or life
  4. a transformation

Wow! That right there is some good stuff!  As we can see, the definition of metanoia comes very close to the word metamorphosis. So this third area of these steps to salvation speaks of not just saying 'Lord I am sorry’. It actually means to make a complete turn around! A 360 degree change.

  • Our views on life will change
  • Our motives will change
  • Our desires will change
  • Our purpose will change
  • The way we think will change
  • The way we behave will change
  • Our conversations will change

In other words, You ....will Change.

Repentance represents a complete turnaround from what we used to do. We will no longer have a desire to do them anymore. We will be on the journey to becoming a 'New Man' in Christ. Do you understand the depth that lies in our repentance? God is not asking for us to only say that we are sorry, he wants us to change, to completely let go of those things that does not please him. And that's the power that lies in true repentance. Read this next scripture carefully. Let’s look at what Paul said

2 Corin 7: 9 -10 KJV "Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner.... For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of...."

Paul was not happy because we were sorrowful. What made him happy was that this sorrow moved us to make a 360 degree change. This right here is the definition of the word ‘godly sorrow’. At the moment that we heard the Word, God began the work behind the scenes.

He gave us something that caused us to reconsider our lifestyles. He unveiled our eyes and melted our hearts and began to whisper to our spirit man sweet words of love. Then we became sorrowful and we were moved with a massive desire to change our ways. God gave us that gift of Godly sorrow that draws us to the need for change to do what right before him.

Examining the transformation of repentance

It is so easy and even common for us to see the faults of another, and pretend that we have it all together but there is not one of us that have not sinned even if we live moral and upstanding lives and Proverbs 28:13 says ‘he that covereth his sins shall not prosper’.

Yet this very same scripture ends with a promise: It says ‘WHOSO’ which is the shorten form of the word ‘whosoever’. This means that the promise is not limited to a special race of people, it’s for any and everybody. Whether you are rich or poor, black or green. This promise is for All! It says

‘but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy’

Do you remember this scripture Proverbs 28: 13? We first spoke about it in our second lesson on how to receive salvation but we focused on confession then. In that lesson we mentioned that these steps to salvation are interlocked. If you look at Proverbs you will see it indicating that first confession then you'll see the word 'forsaking' - which you've now discovered, speaks to the salvation step of repentance. Both are necessary in order to receive mercy.

We must confess ... then take another step...repentance

Proverbs 28: 13 : He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

So then, the transformation begins when we not only confess, but when we forsake our sins. Forsake means the giving up of something we formerly held dear to us or leaving it altogether.  You here that! That right there is what true repentance means. God is saying through this scripture that we must not only confess but we must GIVE IT UP! Give it up all together. It is then, that we shall have mercy.

Have you ever watched a room that is lit by a light bulb recently? I did, and God showed me something marvelous. The further I got away from the light the darker it became, but closer and closer I got to this light the darkness flee away. What an awesome revelation! So the more we give up the things of our past and the more we draw closer and closer to Jesus (who is the light of the world) the more we will be transformed!

5 Surefire Signs of Repentance:

So how will we know when this third phase of these steps to salvation has occurred in our lives.  How will you know that you have truly repented?  The answer is not only in our heart but also in our lifestyle. We will begin to feel and see the changes.

When Repentance has taken place you will realize these Signs in you:

2 Corin 7:11 KJV

'For behold the selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourself, what indignation, yea what fear, yea what vehement desire, yea,  what zeal, yea, what revenge...'

One : Repentance makes us Careful

We are careful not to do as we did in the past. We are careful to consider our words and our steps. We are careful to consider the friends that we keep and the places that we go. So that we don't fall into the same temptations again.

Two: Repentance brings Vindication

We are eager to make up for time lost while we were in sin. We are eager to clear ourselves so that our lifestyle does not cause others to wonder whether Jesus has touched us. Vindication is a defense against criticism. So we are becoming blameless before God.

Three: Repentance brings Indignation

Big word! But is just means anger or annoyance at sin and the sins of our past. We will realize the things we once loved; we would now hate to be associated with them. If you once loved parties or 'clubbing', you will realize that you no longer have a desire to be close to that atmosphere.

Four : Repentance brings Fear or Reverence for God

We now respect God as our Father and that we are his children. So then we are careful not to disrespect him by our actions.

Five : Repentance brings Desire, Zeal and Revenge

We will have a strong desire to be pleasing to God and a strong yearning for the things of God and to be more like God. We will have a readiness to protect and defend the gospel and win others for Christ. To win our families neighbors for Christ. We will have such a strong zeal for others to experience the same overwhelming joy that has entered our lives.

It is important for all to experience this area of these steps to salvation because sin has touched the lives of every one of us. Repentance is an open opportunity given by God to every race, colour or creed. Money can neither buy nor replace it.

If you have been blessed by these steps to salvation so far, then click and share it with your friends and love ones and I 'll see you at the next lesson. God Bless You.