Is repentance necessary in the believer’s life? Yes, and we can see this critical truth in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You may say, “The word repentance isn’t in that verse.” But let’s take a closer look.
Remember, “to repent” simply means to change your mind. For unbelievers, this refers to saving faith—that is, the decision to place trust in Jesus. But for Christians, repentance involves a change of heart with regard to behavior or attitude. We must make an ongoing decision to lead an obedient, Christlike life.
In 1 John, this choice is represented by the word confess, which originally had the sense of “agree with.” In other words, if you confess your wrongdoing to God, you are coming into agreement with Him about that sin and, in turn, disagreeing with your previous view. Here, confession isn’t a matter of salvation; rather, it means allowing the Father to continually reform your mind, molding you more and more into the image of His Son.
God absolutely hates sin. So if you agree with Him about sin, then you are changing your mind about the disobedience in your life. Thoughts, attitudes, and actions that once seemed perfectly natural will no longer fit with who you are. As God continues to work in your life, your mind will gradually reject old thought patterns, and you’ll more closely represent His way of thinking.
Is there sin in your life that has become too uncomfortable to bear? Confess the matter to God, and allow Him to change your mind about it today.
Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 7-9