In order to continue to have a covenant relationship with God through the Lord Our Savior Jesus Christ, one must repent daily of all sins known and unknown.
What is Repentance?
Repentance can be described as the activity of reviewing your sins and/or transgressions, then confessing them to God in the name of Jesus while feeling deep remorse for committing them, and in turn resolving completely give up those activities by changing your ways and behaviors. Yes! You MUST commit to giving up those sins and continue to avoid them at all costs!
Five Steps to Achieving a Repentant Lifestyle
Step 1 – Confess and admit your personal sin and do not be defensive
Read; 2nd Samuel 11:1-12:15 and Psalms 51:1-6)
First and foremost, you must fully recognize and confess your personal sin to God in the name of Jesus. In 2nd Samuel Chapter 11 David committed adultery by sleeping with Bathsheba who was the wife of Uriah, one of David’s lead warriors. He even impregnated her (2nd Samuel 11:1-5). He then tried to deceive Uriah by sending him home on two different occasions (he even got Uriah intoxicated the second time) to sleep with Bathsheba so that he could hide the fact the he (David) was in fact the father of Bathsheba’s unborn child (2nd Samuel 11: 6-13). None of these tactics worked so, David had Uriah murdered (2nd Samuel 11:14-17). After Uriah died, David married Bathsheba and she gave birth to David’s son. Here David committed adultery and murder and was viewed as evil in the eyes of the Lord (2nd Samuel 11:27). David was then rebuked by the Prophet Nathan and David admitted that he had sinned against the Lord (2nd Samuel 12:1-15).
In Psalms 51: 1-6, David fully acknowledged and confessed these transgressions and was remorseful for committing them. He did not excuse diminish or ignore them. He knew that he had committed sin of adultery and murder against Uriah and thus ultimately broke two of the ten commandments and sinned against God (Psalms 51:1-6). This further shows that the first step is owning up to and confessing your sins to God.
Step 2 – Beg God For His Mercy and Forgiveness in the Name of Jesus (Read; Psalms 51:7-12 and Hebrews 9:26)
Secondly, one should ask God for mercy in the name of Jesus. In Psalm 51, following David’s acknowledgement and confession of his sins, he begged God for mercy, forgiveness and purification through spiritual cleansing (washing away of sins). He also requested that God give him a clean heart, begged God not to take his Holy Spirit from him, and requested restoration of God’s salvation (Psalms 51: 7-12). These are all important because once you lose all these things, you are no longer in a covenant relationship with the Lord! Furthermore, as Christians we look to Jesus, who “has appeared and been publicly manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:26). The precious and miraculous blood of Jesus cleanses us of our sins making us “whiter than snow” (Psalms 51:7).
Step 3 – Feel Reassured by the Holy Spirit inside of you (Read Psalms 51:11)
In Psalm 51, David prays, “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalms 51:11). Here the fact that David is sad and remorseful over his sin shows that the Holy Spirit is already working within him. In effect, as a born-again Christian you should take comfort in knowing that the grief you experience when you repent proves that you have the Holy Spirit working within you, which causes you to hate what God hates. In addition, you can request for God to fill you up with His Holy Spirit so that you can completely repent of the sins that God denounces in the in the Bible.
Step 4 – Give God Thanks and Praise for His Forgiveness (Read; Psalms 51:13-15 and 2nd Samuel 12:13-15)
Always give God thanks and praise for His forgiveness. At the end of all this David promised that if he was forgiven, he would teach transgressors the ways of the Lord and they will be converted and returned to the Lord. He also explained that he would continuously sing of the Lord’s righteousness and praise the Lord (Psalms 51:13-15) (please note that David should have faced the death penalty for the sins that he committed but God forgave him [2nd Samuel 12:13-15]). The same applies to us. Once you repent avoid the idea wallowing in your sin and/or stepping back from serving others, because you think you are no longer worthy in the eyes of God. On the contrary, your testimony of forgiveness for your sins will aid you when witnessing to friends, family, and others about how loving and forgiving God can is.
Step 5 – Try your best to Avoid Committing The Same Sin(s) Again and Continue to Obey God (Read James 4:8, Romans 12:2, Luke 21:33, and Hebrews 4:12)
If you complete all the steps above but you are not sincere (meaning that you are planning to commit the same sin again) you have not really repented under the Grace of God and are double minded. As a matter of fact, according to James 4, “Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].” (James 4:8). This statement reveals that God does not approve of double mindedness. In contrast, God desires true and sincere repentance. Meaning that, you are truly convicted of the sin(s) you committed and are truly remorseful. One would prove this to God by completely turning away from that sin and allowing yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
In addition, you must continue to obey God and His Word. You can do this just by reading the Bible which outlines what God loves and hates. The Bible will never change (Luke 21:33) and as mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 4, “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).
In retrospect, take your time and think of all the major sins that you have committed. Then, repent of them to build a closer, covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ and Jesus Himself. This is an also an important step in helping to protect you from attacks of the enemy and God continuing to bless you in various ways (big and small). Furthermore, a daily repentance prayer that I like to use is:
Most merciful God, Heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done [list all the sins here], and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen! (Book of Common Prayer).
You can use this prayer every day or as often as you need to. Please feel free to let us know if you would like us to provide a deeper study on either YouTube or Periscope on this topic. God bless you all!