True Repentance

By repenting and turning to God, a new life begins. Repentance involves leaving behind the old, and beginning something new. A person who realizes that life without God is a mistake remembers the depressing burden and weight of sin of the past and is thankful that a change has now come. Repentance starts a new life with God. Peace displaces anxiety. Joy replaces sorrow. Salvation is granted to the lost. An unsaved person is without Christ in this world. A saved person is in Christ. Paul declares: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

A saved person will want to share his or her faith with others. Jesus said: “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Confessing one’s faith is not only to the glory of God, but it also strengthens one’s faith and helps one to grow in grace. It is a privilege to serve the Lord and not something to ever be ashamed of. 

What is even more important than sharing one’s faith verbally is to live righteously. Our actions speak louder than our words. Confessing to be a Christian is not good enough. We must not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Jesus Himself said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). 

Being alive in God means being dead to the world. This means being buried. Paul says: “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). 

God wants to lead His children into all truth, from glory to glory. After becoming children of God, Christians are encouraged to lay their all upon the altar (Romans 12:1-2) in order to be useful vessels for the cause of the Lord. Of the Gentiles who were converted, Peter says: “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:8-9). Every believer should strive to have this experience. How blessed is the walk of them who do not delay. 

As a Christian, I need to read the Bible, since it is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).  The Bible is the sword of the Spirit that we need to be victorious in our spiritual battles. Paul exhorts us: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:15). God speaks to us through His Word. 

Prayer is as important for the Christian as breathing is for every mortal being.  That is why Paul says: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That does not mean we never get up from our knees, but it does mean we can live in such a manner that proves “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). It is not the posture of our body but the attitude of our heart that counts. 

A born-again Christian will have a desire to meet and gather with other Christians in order to encourage, admonish, exhort, and build each other up. The testimonies of other Christians can help us to fight the good fight and be victorious in our spiritual battles. The prayers that we collectively bring to the throne of God for each other encourage and unify us. We can pray collectively and fervently for the weak, the sick, the lost, and bring God glory with praise and thanks. 

Sermons are given to teach, ground you in the biblical faith, and to strengthen your faith so you can give answers “to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). The bond we feel with God’s children will give us the desire to be present when the congregation meets. As we prepare for the worship service by personal prayer and Bible study, we can greatly contribute to its blessings. 

The Christian will realize that the Christian life is not always smooth sailing. As Christians, we should not be surprised when we encounter disappointments, opposition, and sorrow. Peter writes: “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind” (1 Peter 4:1). 

No one should base their faith merely on their own experience, knowledge, or faithfulness, but on the righteousness of Jesus Christ, out of which all Christian virtues grow. “As it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD’” (1 Corinthians 1:31). The righteousness of Christ alone is our security. Without Him, we can do nothing that is of eternal value. But through Christ, we can live a life pleasing to God. Paul exclaimed: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). 

As followers of Christ, we need to avoid  business deals, employment, or relationships that are questionable. It is those who play with fire that get burned. It is always good to ask oneself: “What would Jesus do?” 

A Christian must also keep his or her tongue under control. What we speak should be to the glory of God and helpful for others. 

Our thoughts and wishes are known by God. Let us keep that in mind and be careful. Let us not be quick to judge others. 

As those who are born again, we need to have a forgiving heart. We need to forgive those who ask for pardon, but we also need to forgive those who do not ask.  Jesus said: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). 

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). 

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