The Messenger. 05.08.08
Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association
One of the foundational tenets of Christianity is repentance, which — simply stated — is a change of mind and a thorough turning from self to God. It begins with a realization (conviction) that wrong (sin) has been done and confession to God is necessary.
A change in behavior is evidence of genuine repentance.
The New Testament opens with John the Baptist proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus preached repentance, as did the apostles and early church fathers.
Baptism was a picture of what happened in repentance.
The call to repentance, which is required of all people, is a call to absolute surrender to the purposes of God and to live in such awareness. Serious consequences await those who fail to repent, while a sinner’s repentance causes rejoicing in heaven.
Repentance is one of the initial steps toward reconciliation with God by the unbeliever, but it is also required of Christians who have erred. Individuals, churches and nations are admonished to repent, turn from sin to God and follow God’s instructions.
Restitution must accompany repentance when one is seeking reconciliation with others. Returning what has wrongfully been taken or replacing what has been lost or damaged is a Biblical principle often overlooked or ignored.
The story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) clearly pictures this obligation.
Peace with God and with man can be had when we follow these commands. Repentance and restitution are indispensable when seeking a right relationship with God or with our fellowman.
Director of Senior Ministries
Union City First Church Of God