Repentance is not saying you're sorry for something you've done wrong. Anybody can confess. You can confess that you're doing wrong all day long but if you don't change, you have not really repented. If you say, “Oh, I'm sorry for something I've done”. But, that doesn't mean you have actually repented. You have just confessed you were in the wrong. Repentance means to turn and that's what I want to base this message on. I want to explain to you what it means to actually repent and what repentance will do for you. I want to explain what water baptism would do for you. There are a lot of people repented but to actually get the cleansing is the remission of sins.
In Matthew, 10:38, Jesus said, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me". 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. That's what we need to focus on today. When Jesus Christ came into this world, he came here for an express purpose. That purpose was to get people to take up the cross of self-denial. Matthew 10:38 is the first place that I know of that mentions the cross. Jesus must have known at this point in time how he was going to die because he mentioned the cross in the 38th verse. Jesus said, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me,”…what did he mean by that? (Jesus) I'm going to bear this cross for your sins…I'm going to shed my blood for you to have remission of sins…for you to have a cleansing…to be able to be clean, free, pure and to have salvation…to have salvation in your heart and in your life. He took that cross and bore it. He was beaten unrecognizable. This man Jesus Christ, he was beaten unrecognizable... by his stripes we are healed.
How and what are we healed from? We are healed from sin. We are healed from sickness. We are healed from anything that may have us in bondage. All of that came through Jesus Christ. There is no salvation and there is no deliverance in any other but in Jesus Christ. In Matthew again, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”. I want to go to 2nd Corinthians, 7th chapter.
What is a Bible Verse of Repentance? I want to show you what it means to have a godly sorrow. You can say you are sorry all day long and a lot of people have sorrow. They have the sorrow of the world but a godly sorrow brings repentance. It brings a change into your life. In 2nd Corinthians, 7: 8 “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:" So, you see he's showing there is a difference. There's a godly sorrow. When you truly have a godly sorrow in your heart and in your mind for the things that you've done wrong, it will cause you to turn. See, being sorry is not what meant that he was turned. He was sorry for what he did. He had the godly sorrow that caused him to turn.
How to Repent I hope you can see that repentance is not just saying I'm sorry for what I've done. Repentance is actually turning from that. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. If you have sorrow about you, if a sorrow is there because of the world in the way that they are then there's death to that but if you get a godly sorrow about you…there is life in that. There is something that comes from that. And, that comes through the blood of Jesus Christ.
How to Repent to God I want to go in a little bit more depth about this repentance. I want to go to the Book of Jonah. In Jonah 3:8-10, “But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Now the question I'll ask you is if the word repent was just about being sorry for a sin you have done then God would have been wrong at one time because God repented of the evil that he said he would do unto them. The evil that he was doing was not an evil of something that was wrong…it wasn't a sinful nature what God was doing but was a godly nature. He was going to destroy them for the sin that they were in. In Jonah 1:2 God said, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me". That city had wickedness. The way they were living and what it caused, they didn't even realize the shape they were in. They didn't know their right hand from their left. They didn't know righteous. They didn't know what they were doing. God sent Jonah there to preach to them.
How to Repent Your Sins When Jesus Christ came into this world, he came for an express purpose and that was to teach people to repent from their sins…to turn from what they were doing. If you are in sin turn away from that…don’t live the life that you are living. That is what the people in Nineveh were doing. They were living in sin. They were living in bondage. God wanted them to be delivered so he sent a man to tell them what they were doing wrong. That is the call that is on my life today. I want to tell people to turn from the nature (that Adam nature) that is in them. Don't live that way anymore. Turn away from that. The eighth verse again, “But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way,". That is repentance. That is turning from the things that you were doing before. That is letting God clean you up and making you a new person.
I remember some time back when 911 happened, and the destruction was on the land. Our country was in a place of turmoil. You could see as you were going down the road, doors of churches that were open just for people to come in. That's the kind of life that we need. With all the wickedness that's out there, we need to be turning from that. We need to be praying for each other. My heart is telling you to cry mightily unto God. Just come to God. Turn from your wicked way. Let God know that you want him in your life and that you do appreciate the blood of Jesus Christ. God will come, and he will help you.