in terms of spiritual rebirth, repentance means to stop directing the steps of your own path, and yield to the Lord's leading. indeed, the reason we call Him Lord is because we recognize that His wisdom is infinitely superior to ours, and we recognize His ultimate authority and unlimited power; but the reason we seek Him is because He is SOOO good to us - it is the goodness of God that brings repentance; said another way, it is the goodness of God that brings us to seek His leading in all things, because He always leads us to intersect with blessing He's already placed in our path through this life. the Christian life is not a changed life where God picks us up, dusts us off, points us in the right direction and says 'see if you can get it right this time' - the christian life is an exchanged life, where we realize that we aren't smart enough to avoid destruction in this life, and look confidently to Him for leading - and we know that He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant! to the extent that you are led by God, you will not sin - effortlessly; because He will never lead you to sin.
if you strive to 'stop all that sinning' instead of striving to 'hear' His leading and desiring to follow it, then your focus will be on sin and not on God.
so when i tell someone how to be reborn in Christ, i stress that they must realize that they aren't able to find happiness and peace on their own, and that they must believe that God loves them so much that He sent His Son to take away their fear of judgment and punishment for their wrong thoughts and actions; past present and future - and the instant they believe that God is THAT good, they become a new creature, a child of Almighty God, a reborn believer. once reborn, they receive salvation from destruction <in this life> by setting their heart to hear Him and follow His direction, and not giving up when the devil sends people (usually unwittingly) yielded to him to distract them.
Stop focusing on sin because doing so will make you a servant to the law.
Understand that the power of righteous living is in your born again spirit. If you will walk according to the inclinations of your born again spirit you will always walk in love, in faith, and in righteousness.
This is unknowable to the unregenerate. They struggle from day to day against the power of sin which lives within them. It is like a thorn bush trying not to put forth thorns, wishing it could produce an apple or a grape.
This is what repentance is. Repentance is when a thorn bush attempts to grow grapes, and comes to the knowledge that it will never do so. It is coming to the hopelessness and lostness that moves you to finally cry out to God.
I have a login name over at the other site "JIMOH".
Jesus Is My Only Hope.
After 43 years following Him... that has never been truer.
He is my only hope.
more good words Brother! and the only way to stop focusing on sin is to focus on something else - the righteousness and blessing we have from God as free gifts. faith is a two step process; casting down the wrong thoughts and bringing every thought into the obedience of what we have through Jesus. in the bible, hope means confident expectation - God is my only confident expectation of good :)
Repentance is a gift from God.
Amen! having His leading available at all times is an AWESOME gift!
2 Tim 2:25
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:23-26 CEV
(23) Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble,
(24) and God's servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient.
(25) Be humble when you correct people who oppose you. Maybe God will lead them to turn to him and learn the truth.
(26) They have been trapped by the devil, and he makes them obey him, but God may help them escape.
Jer 10:23 KJV
(23) O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Psa 37:23-24 KJV
(23) The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
(24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
I have a dear friend who has been a Christian for many years but she is always labouring on impossible to answer questions, her favourite being "How fair is it that a man spends all his life being a good man, giving to charity and such, but not accepting of Christ so will go to hell when he dies, yet a man who has been an evil and violent murderer all his life, makes a death bed confession and goes to heaven?" There was a time I would attempt to debate this with her but now refuse to because she appears to be intransigent in her perception of it.
I am going to print off a few of these posts and give them to her! Excellent stuff! Thank you.