How to Grow in Your Faith: Repent

Today’s Spiritual Growth Principle: Repent.

One major thing that prevents spiritual growth is sin that we don’t deal with. Wayne Grudem defines repentance as “A heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” Are you harboring some kind of sin in your life? Is there an area of disobedience that you are unwilling to deal with? David describes the life-sapping nature of holding onto sin:

Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknow¬ledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:2-5)

How have you seen repentance be a catalyst to spiritual growth?


  1. #1 by Brian Frahm on February 19, 2010 - 8:57 am

    My sin hinders my relationship, my closeness to God — similar to how Adam and Eve reacted after their original sin in the garden. Repentance has restored that relationship, acknowledging and turning from my sin has brought me back into true fellowship with God, which has opened my heart and mind to spiritual truth.

  2. #2 by Tabatha on February 26, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    I have a question, we were talking about repentance in our community group this week and some of us were trying to explain how to tell if it is worldly repentance or godly repentance. I know in my life when I have struggled with habitual sin it seemed like after trying and trying and asking and asking for help God did something and the repentance was almost like a gift from Him. Is there any scripture reference to repentance being like a gift from God? It seems like it has to be supernatural because our nature would never choose to repent but somehow God gives us that desire. Just wondering if this is a biblical way to think about repentance.

  3. #3 by lukesimmons on February 28, 2010 - 5:14 am

    Tabatha, I think you’re right on. Repentance is absolutely a gift. Consider a few verses:

    Ro 2:4 — Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

    2 Ti 2:24–25 — And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth

    Ac 11:18 — When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

    Like with faith, we are commanded to do something that only God can give us. We are held accountable if we don’t, but we need his grace to provide what we need. That’s why none of us can boast.

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