RP102 #5. HOW DO I REPENT OF SINS?

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Index
#3. THE FORGIVENESS OF ALL SINS IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY MANIFESTED 
 WHEN WE FIRST BELIEVE IN JESUS
#5. HOW DO I REPENT OF SINS?
Introduction 5
#5.1 Believe in Jesus Christ for Forgiveness
#5.2 Pray with Fasting and Supplications to God for Forgiveness
#5.3 Confess Our Sins to God for Forgiveness
#5.4 Be Sorry for Our Sins for Forgiveness
#5.5 Forsake Our Sins for Forgiveness
#5.6 Destroy All Association with Past Sinful Practices for Forgiveness
#5.7 Make Restitution Where Possible
#5.8 Be Transformed by the Renewing of Our Mind with the Word of God
#5.9 Do Good Works Fit for Repentance
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Introduction 5

We have already shown the need for repentance (See #3), and that it is a co-operative process between God and man (See #4), and now we are going to look at what we do to repent. Only by God's grace is repentance granted to us, because "the goodness of God leads you to repentance" (Romans 2:4), but when it is offered we must do our part: "God commands all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30). This bible study gives nine steps to repentance, and answers the question, "How do I repent of Sins?". It could have been ten, or twelve, or more by breaking it down into smaller elements, but the essence of what is needed is here. The first step is what should motivate you to repent, and steps two to seven are to do with removing sin, and the desire to sin, from our heart. This involves the crucifixion of "our old man" (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22), the death of our spiritual "self" (Galatians 2:20), and requires serious and deliberate intention on our behalf. It seem impossible that anyone will ever do this by accident. Steps eight and nine are to do with renewing our spirit and establishing it with the word of God. They will ensure the growth and the establishment of "the new man" (Ephesians 4:24), which is the spirit of Christ in us: "put on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:14), building us up in faith and love. If you are a Christian who has struggled with sin in your Christian walk, making the same mistakes over and over again, then this study on how to repent is of the utmost importance to you. A true repentance will break your spiritual chain and set you free. It will set in motion "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:4) which will set you free from the law of sin and death. The more you become like Jesus, the less sin will be a problem in your life. This process of repentance will take you through that transformation, but be warned, it is no quick fix. True repentance is a slow ongoing process, dealing with each sin in your life as God reveals them to you. Total and utter destruction of each sin is what is required.

#5.1 Believe in Jesus Christ For Forgiveness

ACTS 10:43
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him1 shall receive forgiveness of sins.

ACTS 13:38-39 (Paul)
38 Be it known to you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all who believe2 are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

ROMANS 3:21-22 (Paul)
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all those who believe: for there is no difference:

Note 1: These scriptures, along with others, are often used to substantiate the claim that all sins are automatically forgiven the moment that we become believers in Jesus Christ. As far as the manifestation of forgiveness in our hearts is concerned, this has already been shown to be totally false (See #3), so we need to examine exactly what these scriptures mean, and how they relate to other scriptures. The words translated whoever believes in him1 (Acts 10:43) (Gr. pas ton pisteuonta eij auton, Gtr. pas ton pisteuonta eis auton) literally mean "every one believing in him", or "every one who believes in him". That translated all who believe2 (Acts 13:39) (Gr. pas o pisteuwn, Gtr. pas ho pisteuōn) literally reads "every one believing", or "every one who believes". What does it mean then, "believing in him"? Jesus gave us some indication of what true believers in him would be like:

(Mark 9:23) "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
(Mark 16:17-18) "And these signs shall follow those who believe; in my name the shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
(John 14:12) "Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me shall also do the works that I do; and he will do greater works than these because I go to my Father."
(1 John 5:5) "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the son of God."

These scriptures are describing a believer with some maturity, particularly ones with real faith, but the words to describe them are similar to the other scriptures. The Greek words for "him who believes" (Mark 9:23) are tw pisteuonti, (Gtr. tō pisteuonti) which form a Substantive Participle in the dative case. It is equivalent to ton pisteuonta (Acts 10:43) in the accusative case, and o pisteuwn (Acts 13:39) in the nominative case, which are both substantive participles also. The words translated "who believe" (Mark 16:17) (Gr. o piseusaj) and "who believes" (John 14:12; 1 John 5:5) (Gr. o pisteuwn) are all substantive participles in the nominative case. The implication is that these words do not apply to everyone who calls themselves a Christian. The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:13-30), and Matthew 7:21-23 confirm that this is so. On the day of judgment Jesus will judge who is a true believer according to the words that he has spoken (John 12:48). True believing in Jesus is believing what he has said, being transformed to become like him, and is evidenced by the works that that produces.

Note 2: The reason why we need to believe in Jesus to get our sins forgiven is because God has had to make a provision to pay for our past sins, and this he did by sending his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a sinless life on the earth:

(Hebrews 4:14-15) "Jesus the Son of God ... was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
(1 Peter 2:21-22) "Christ ... Who did no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth."
(1 John 3:5) "And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."

This being so, he did not have to pay the penalty for his own sin, which is death (Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23), but he was able to voluntarily lay down his own life (John 10:15; 10:18), and suffer and die for our sins:

(Isaiah 53:5-6) "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
(Romans 5:8) "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Galatians 1:4) "Who gave himself for our sins,"
(1 Peter 2:24) "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree,"

Therefore, without believing in Jesus there is no forgiveness.

#5.2 Pray with Fasting and Supplications to God for Forgiveness

1 KINGS 8:33-34
33 When your people Israel are smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against you, and shall turn again to you, and confess your name, and pray, and make supplication to you in this house:
34 Then you hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again into the land which you gave to their fathers.

1 KINGS 8:38-39 (Solomon)
38 Whatever prayer and supplication is made by a man, or by all your people Israel, who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:
39 Then you hear in heaven your dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart you know; (for you, even you only, know the hearts of all the children of men;)

2 CHRONICLES 7:14
14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

PSALMS 32:5-6 (David)
5 I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
6 For this shall every one who is godly pray to you in a time when you may be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come near to him.

DANIEL 9:20
20 And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

MATTHEW 6:12 (Jesus teaching the disciples to pray)
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

LUKE 11:4 (Jesus teaching the disciples to pray)
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

ACTS 8:22 (Peter to Simon the sorcerer)
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

Note: In every one of these scriptures it indicates that a person must pray for forgiveness with supplications, which means humble entreaties. Some people never get repentance because they do not ask for it, so if you have tried to do it and failed, try asking God's help. There are some good examples in scripture of people who were serious about repenting, and who did it with fasting and humility:

(Job 42:5-6) "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Therefore I hate myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
(Joel 2:12-13) "Therefore also now says the LORD, turn yourselves to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
And tear your heart and not your clothes, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and he repents of the evil."
(Jonah 3:5-8) "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: do not let them feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yes, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands."
(Luke 1:13) "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they would have a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes."
(Acts 9:9) "And he was three days without sight, and did not eat or drink."

This last scripture refers to Saul after he was converted by Jesus on the road to Damascus. Three days and three nights without food or water is a sincere seeking of God.  The Ninevites also repented without food and water (Jonah 3:7). When a person sees the seriousness of the judgment against them, then God is calling them to repentance.

#5.3 Confess our Sins to God for Forgiveness

LEVITICUS 16:21
21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.

NUMBERS 5:6-7 (God)
6 Speak to the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, and do a trespass against the LORD, and that person is guilty;
7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal of it, and add to it the fifth part of it, and give it to him against whom he has trespassed.

LEVITICUS 5:5
5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty of one of these things, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing:

LEVITICUS 26:40-42
40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary to me;
41 And that I also have walked contrary to them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept the punishment of their iniquity:
42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

PSALMS 32:5 (David)
5 I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

PSALMS 38:18 (David)
18 For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

PSALMS 51:2-3 (David)
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

PROVERBS 28:13 (Solomon)
13 He who covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.

DANIEL 9:20
20 And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

MATTHEW 3:5-6
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing1 their sins.

MARK 1:4-5
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 And there went out to him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing1 their sins.

ACTS 19:18
18 And many that believed came, and confessing1, and showing their deeds.

JAMES 5:16
16 Confess1 your faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

1 JOHN 1:9
9 If we confess1 our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Note: The word translated confessing1 (Matthew 3:6, Mark 1:5, Acts 19:18), and confess1 (James 5:16, 1 John 1:9) in these scriptures are all forms of the same Greek verb omologew (Gtr. homologeō). This verb is made up from two words, omoj (Gtr. homos) which means "same", and legw (Gtr. legō), "I speak", and so means "to speak the same thing", or "to agree with". To confess our sins to God therefore means to agree that we have done them, and that they are sin. If you do this seriously explaining to God in some detail what you have done wrong, it will often cause the tears of Godly sorrow to flow (See #5.4 below) and so is very beneficial.

#5.4 Be Sorry for our Sins for Forgiveness

PSALMS 38:18 (David)
18 For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.

ECCLESIASTES 7:3 (Solomon)
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

2 CORINTHIANS 7:8-11 (Paul)
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not regret, though I did regret it: for I perceive that the same epistle has made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for you were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.
11 For behold the selfsame thing, that you sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it workrd in you, yes, what clearing of yourselves, yes, what indignation, yes, what fear, yes, what vehement desire, yes, what zeal, yes, what revenge! In all things you have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

JAMES 4:8-10
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Note: This weeping before God is an important part of repentance that many Christians ignore. Being sorry for what we have done, with tears, goes a long way to removing the sin and the desire to sin from our hearts. It makes the heart better (Ecclesiastes 7:3), and clears out (2 Corinthians 7:11) the cause of the trouble. There a a few examples of people who had sinned doing this in scripture. King David was determined to be sorry for his sin (Psalm 38:18), and expressed it like this:

(Psalm 51:1-3) "Have mercy on me O God, according to your loving kindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot our my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me."

David was forgiven, and was restored to right standing with God. Peter "wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:75; Luke 22:62) after denying Jesus three times. He was restored to favour and became the chief speaker on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40). Hezekiah was sentenced to death for something that he had done (Isaiah 38:1), but after a seemingly foolish boasting prayer, he turned his face to the wall and "wept sore" (Isaiah 38:3). God heard his supplication and added 15 years to his life (Isaiah 38:4-5). This being sorry for what we have sinned against God is not something to be ignored.

#5.5 Forsake our Sins for Forgiveness

2 CHRONICLES 7:14
14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

PROVERBS 28:13 (Solomon)
13 He who covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.

ISAIAH 1:16-18
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil.
17 Learn to do well; seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

ISAIAH 27:9
9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in pieces, the groves and images shall not stand up.

ISAIAH 55:7
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

ISAIAH 59:20
20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.

JEREMIAH 36:3
3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do to them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

EZEKIEL 33:14-16
14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again what he had stolen, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live and not die.
16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

EZEKIEL 18:21-22
21 If the wicked will turn from all his sins which he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and not die.
22 All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

Note 1: This requires that we forsake sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. The scriptures show that thoughts are sin:

(Proverbs 15:26) "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD:"
(Proverbs 24:9) "The thought of foolishness is sin:"
(Isaiah 59:7) "their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;"
(Acts 8:22) "pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you."

God has given instructions for sinful thoughts to be forsaken:

(Isaiah 55:7) "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
(Jeremiah 4:14) "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?"

Thoughts come from our spiritual heart (Mark 7:21 See Note 2), and that is what God judges:

(1 Samuel 16:7) "man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart."
(Proverbs 23:7) "For as he thinks in his heart (Lit. soul), so is he:"

Jesus said:

(Matthew 5:28) "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
And the apostle John wrote:
(1 John 3:15) "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

From these scriptures we can see that God will judge the spiritual heart of a person, so how do we overcome sinful thoughts?

   (1) Commit your ways to God:

(Proverbs 16:3) "Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established."

   (2) Have your mind transformed:

(Romans 12:2) "And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

   (3) Operate in Godly love (charity):

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5) "Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
Does not behave itself unseemly, does not seek her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;"

   (4) Cast down imaginations:

(2 Corinthians 10:5) "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

Note 2: Concerning the words that we speak, Jesus said:

(Matthew 12:36-37) "But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgement.
For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."

So where do our words came from? They come from the heart:

(Matthew 12:34) "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
(Matthew 15:18) "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man."

So when God judges us for our words, he is really judging our heart.
It is also written that God will judge us for our deeds:

(2 Corinthians 5:10) "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad."
(Revelation 20:11-13) "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

So where do our deeds come from? They also come from the heart:

(Matthew 15:19) "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
(Mark 7:21-23) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

So when God judges us for our deeds, he is again judging our spiritual heart.

#5.6 Destroy all Association with Past Sinful Practices for Forgiveness

DEUTERONOMY 9:16, 21 (Moses)
16 And I looked, and, behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God, and you had made a molten calf: you had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.
21 And I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mount.

JOSHUA 7:11-12 (God)
11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, unless you destroy the accursed thing from among you.

2 CHRONICLES 34:3-5 (About Josiah)
3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and scattered it upon the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
5 And he burned the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

ISAIAH 27:9
9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all his fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in pieces, the groves and the images shall not stand up.

ACTS 19:18-19
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Note: When the children of Israel sinned against God by making a golden calf to be their God, this is what Moses said he did with it; "I took your sin, the calf which you had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mount." (Deuteronomy 9:21). Although they had contributed the gold to make the calf, none of them were allowed to take any of it back. When Achan sinned by taking some of the spoil from Jericho, that too was burned and destroyed (Joshua 7:24-26). When Josiah removed idolatry from Judah, he destroyed the altars and images to dust, and dispersed them on the graves of the idolaters (2 Chronicles 34:4). Was all this a waste? No, the price had to be paid to remove the sin (Isaiah 27:9), and it had to be done. Well, a man might say, "All this is Old Testament, what about forgiveness in the New Testament?" The answer is still the same (Acts 19:18-19), sin has to be destroyed. Look at the price of the books that were burned, fifty thousand pieces of silver. Why didn’t they sell them and give the money to the poor? because you cannot obtain forgiveness by selling your sin and corrupting someone else; it has to be destroyed for true repentance. Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler, "go sell what you have, and give to the poor" (Matthew 19:21)? because covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5), and his possessions had to be dispersed before he could live by faith. Jesus told his apostles to teach others, "to observe all things whatever I have commanded you;" (Matthew 28:20), and this was the result in the early church:

(Acts 2:44-45) "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(Acts 4:32-37) "And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Neither was there any among them who lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles feet: and distribution was made to every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, {which is being interpreted, The son of consolation,} a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet."

Consistently, throughout the Old Testament, through the teaching of Jesus, and of the apostles in the early church, we can see this principle of destroying all association with past sinful practices was strictly adhered to, and those who tried to avoid it, such as Ananias and his wife Saphira, died (Acts 5:1-11).

#5.7 Make Restitution where Possible

EXODUS 22:1-7
1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
2 If a thief is found breaking up, and is smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.
3 If the sun is risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; and if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the theft is certainly found in his hand alive, whether it is ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
6 If a fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 If a man shall deliver to his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief is found, let him pay double.

NUMBERS 5:5-7
5 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
6 Speak to the children of Israel, When a man or a woman commit any sin that men commit, and do a trespass against the LORD, and that person is guilty;
7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done; and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal of it, and add to it the fifth part of it, and give it to him against whom he has trespassed.

PROVERBS 6:30-31 (Solomon)
30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry.
31 But if he is found, he shall repay sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

EZEKIEL 33:14-16
14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn away from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again what he had stolen, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

LUKE 19:8
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Note: Zacchaeus is an excellent example of a man who had had his heart changed by God. Nobody accused him of defrauding anybody, and nobody told him to give anything back, but his willingness to restore and put right any of his past misdeeds shows that God had done a mighty work in his heart. This is how we all should be when we see the error of our ways. It does not matter how long ago the sin was committed, the deed should still be put right. A man might argue, "I stole it 20 years ago", but stealing something does not make it yours by right. What you stole was never yours in God's sight, it still belongs to the person who you stole it from. A man who had stolen from his workplace about 15 years before sent five times the value of the thing stolen to the company. A man who was convicted of defrauding the post office, because he used stamps twice which had no postmark, sent money to the Post master General to cover his error. A man who had copied computer programs illegally was convicted to send twice the amount the program cost to the company who sold it. A man who had refused to pay a printer for some work he did, which was thought to be below standard, was convicted to send the full amount with extra to cover for the man's inconvenience. A man who had owed a small amount of money to someone, who had left UK and emigrated to Australia about 16 years before, spent some time trying to trace the person to make things right, before he finally gave up. There are times when no restitution can be made, but an attempt should be made where possible.

#5.8 Be Transformed by the Renewing of our Mind with the Word of God

ROMANS 12:1-2 (Paul)
1 I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed1 by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 (Paul)
3 Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:18 (Paul)
18 But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:16 (Paul)
16 For which cause we do not faint; for though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

EPHESIANS 4:23-24 (Paul)
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

COLOSSIANS 3:9-10 (Paul)
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.

1 PETER 2:2
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.

Note: From the day that we first believe, our Christian life ought to be one of continual transformation, from "the old man", which is our sinful self, into "the new man", which is Jesus Christ. This process sees Christ growing in us from "a babe" (1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Peter 2:2), until we become like Jesus. The fact that this is God’s will for each of us is revealed through several scriptures:

(Matthew 10:25) "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his Lord."
(Romans 8:29) "For whom he did foreknow, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,"
(1 Corinthians 15:48) "as is the heavenly, such are those also who are heavenly."
(1 Peter 2:21) "For even for this you were called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:"
(1 John 2:6) "He who says he abides in him aught himself also to walk, even as he walked."
(1 John 4:17) "as he is, so are we in this world."

It is no quick transformation, but is a process that takes place over a long period of time. The word translated be transformed1 (Gr. metamorfousqe, Gtr. metamorphousthe) is the second person plural, present imperative passive, of the verb "metamorphoō", I transform. We have a similar word in English, "metamorphosis", which physically would mean "a change of shape", but spiritually "a change of character". A physical example of a metamorphosis would be a caterpillar when it is transformed into a butterfly, while a spiritual example would be a sinner, with the character of the Devil, when he is transformed into a saint with the character of Jesus. This would see us transformed from a life according to the flesh (Romans 8:1; 8:5; 8:8; 8:13), to a spiritual life of total faith. The present imperative indicates a command to continue to do something (DFH p92; JWW p74; WP p51), while the passive voice indicates that something is being done to us, rather than us doing something ourselves (DFH p69; JWW p69). So this word "metamorphousthe" would be more accurately translated "keep on being transformed", confirming that the transformation is a long process, rather than an instantaneous one. So as we study and read the word of God, "we all with open face beholding ... the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18). We grow from "faith to faith:" (Romans 1:17), as the word of God is "written ... with the spirit of the living God; ... in the fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3).

#5.9 Do Good Works fit for Repentance

PSALMS 34:14 (David)
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

PSALMS 37:27 (David)
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

ISAIAH 1:16-18
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

EZEKIEL 18:21-22
21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and not die.
22 All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

EZEKIEL 33:14-16
14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn away from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

EPHESIANS 4:28 (Paul)
28 Let him who stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands, the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him who needs.

Note: Is it enough for a man to stop doing what he knows to be wrong, without doing what is right, to have his sins forgiven during this life? Such a man would do nothing, and the scripture declares, "to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17). So the answer is no, and the above scriptures confirm it. We may have the forgiveness of sins by faith, because it is a promise, but as faith is "the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1), we still need to see the manifestation of it brought to pass. It is true that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), but reading a little further, it is also true that we are "created in Christ Jesus for good works, that God has before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10). There are many scriptures that show that good works are a natural product of genuine saving faith:

(Matthew 5:16) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,"
(2 Corinthians 9:8) "that you, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"
(1 Timothy 5:10) "Well reported of for good works,"
(1 Timothy 6:17) "Command those who are rich in this world ... that they are rich in good works,"
(2 Timothy 2:21) "he shall be ... prepared for every good work."
(2 Timothy 3:17) "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished for all good works."
(Titus 2:7) "In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works:"
(Titus 2:14) "a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
(Titus 3:8) "be careful to maintain good works."
(James 2:17) "faith, if it has not works is dead, being alone."

Jesus also gave command for us to do his works:

(Matthew 10:8) "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons:"
(John 14:12) "He who believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also;"
(Revelation 2:26) "he who overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations;"

The conclusion is this: if a man has a genuine saving faith in Jesus Christ, his faith will produce good works in him, and it is useless boasting that he is justified by faith if he cannot show those good works, because "faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). A genuine repentance will produce a living faith, which can itself be recognised by the good works which it produces.

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