By Bishop Abu Hezekiah Mujahiddin

What repentance is

To get a proper picture it is important to understand that repentance always takes place in relation to someone – always in relation to God, and sometimes in relation to other people as well. Repentance is never a private affair. God created us to live in relationships – first with himself, and then with others. That is the reason why religions that do not have a personal God of grace with whom we may enjoy a loving relationship, and from whom it is possible to stray, have no proper place for repentance. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age thinking come into this category.

Essentially, repentance is simply that process by which a person who is away from God recognizes that situation and goes back to God. As C. S. Lewis explained, repentance is not something God demands of you before he will take you back, and which he could let you off if he chose; it is simply a description of what going back is like. It is basically a U-turn. Instead of going away from God, or ignoring him, you turn around, go to him and choose to give him his rightful place in your life. Repentance, therefore, has more to do with your will than it has to do with your feelings. You may feel deep sorrow about certain things that you regret, or you may not, but the real issue is whether or not you go back to where you belong. Of course, sorrow may assist that process. The Greek word translated “repent” in the New Testament has the basic meaning of “changing your mind”. However, in the Bible it goes further than just changing one’s thinking about something; it means changing one’s attitude towards that thing. To truly repent you must make two changes of attitude – towards both God’s truth and God himself. A change of attitude towards God’s truth “Repent your life depends on it” Repentance also involves not just a recognition that we have done wrong but a recognition that in a more fundamental sense we are wrong. And need to Repent.

“Jesus declared that the purpose of his coming and ministry was to call ‘siners to repentance’”

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