Weekly Bible Study #23
This week I want to talk to you a bit about repentance. Today we will be traveling through both the old and new testament to get a better understanding of what repentance is and why it is important. Lets start off with a verse from Acts.
19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
There is a mass misconception out there today that to “repent” means to simply ask forgiveness for your sins. Obviously forgiveness is important but we need to know what It truly means to repent. Lets turn to our old friend the dictionary for this one.
The word repent means to “change one’s mind” or to “ turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life”. Another definition that I like says that to repent means to turn around and proceed in the opposite direction. So do a complete 180 degree turn and go the other way.
Its hard for some people to believe that it can be as simple as doing a U-turn in your life and heading towards Jesus. Likewise I’m sure this was hard to believe for the Israelites
8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Putting yourself back in that time, if you had been bitten by a venomous snake and were told that all you had to do to be healed was look at a bronze snake on top of a stick you probably would be inclined not to believe it. After getting bit by a snake the last thing you probably want to do is look at another snake. Sometimes we have to humble ourselves and simply do as the Lord asks us.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
As we see here repenting and turning to Jesus is similar to the situation with Moses. Just as the Israelites had to look upon the serpent to be healed of their snake-bites, we all have a venom coursing through our veins called sin, and the only way to be cured is to turn to Jesus.
31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?