Christians, We Are Repenters

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RepentWhen I was living in Romania and learning the language, one of the first words I encountered was pocăit. Roughly translated, it means “repenter.” It was a derogatory label given to evangelical believers last century. There were cultural “Christians,” and then there were pocăiții - “repenters” who believed an ongoing life of repentance was essential to the Christian life.

As a Baptist, I was one of the repenters. What separated our church from cultural Christianity we came into contact with was our insistence on repentance in response to God’s unmerited favor. In light of God’s grace, we called people to repent of their sins, their self-justification, and devote themselves wholly to Christ.

Ten years later, the necessity of repentance has become a watershed issue in the fading days of Christendom in the West. Contrary to popular belief, the evangelical church is not dying. Declining, perhaps. But wherever grace-driven repentance is preached and an out-of-the-mainstream lifestyle expected, people are still coming to faith.

I pray that in the West, we will be like our Romanian brothers and sisters: dissatisfied with the idea of being Christian in name only, and passionate about living as “repenters” who have tasted the goodness and grace of God and can never be the same again.

Below are ten characteristics of repentance I hope we can all say with honesty.

~~~~~ Christians, We Are Repenters ~~~~~

We are repenters.

We repent of living for ourselves, and so we commit to trading our personal kingdom agendas for the kingdom agenda of Jesus Christ.

We are repenters.

We repent of making God out to be more like us, and so we ask God to change our hearts and make us more like Him.

We are repenters.

We repent of our silly attempts to justify ourselves before God and make ourselves pleasing to Him through our own efforts, and so we ask Him to save and sustain us in His unwavering grace and help us rest in Christ’s work on our behalf.

We are repenters.

We repent of our hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and so we ask God to deliver us from doublemindedness and help us seek His righteousness above all.

We are repenters.

We repent of valuing most what other people think, and so we ask God to help us value most what He thinks.

We are repenters.

We repent of withholding areas of our life from God’s command, and so we ask God to invade and overcome every part of us – our hopes, our desires, our dreams, our thoughts, our actions – and show us how to love Him and love others from a whole heart.

We are repenters.

We repent of seeking a life of ease and comfort, and so we ask God for the courage to pick up our crosses and follow Christ no matter the cost.

We are repenters.

We repent of all the good things we have failed to do, and so we ask God to open our eyes to the opportunities for us to shine His light in a dark world.

We are repenters.

We repent of serving ourselves and our own interests, and so we ask God to empower us to serve others in the name of His Son.

We are repenters.

We repent of taking pride in our own repentance, and so we ask God to remind us that salvation is all of grace and to humble us before the cross.

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