The First Book - Of True Repentence

What Is True Repentance?
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Jesus Christ suffered the penalty for your sins so you can be forgiven if you sincerely repent. As you repent and rely on His saving grace, you will be cleansed from sin. He declared:. Do not rationalize your sins or put off repentance. Repentance is a painful process, but it leads to forgiveness and lasting peace. Repentance includes the following elements:.

The power of sin is great. To become free from it, you must turn to your Heavenly Father and pray in faith. This is a lie. Your Father in Heaven is always ready to help you if you will come to Him with a repentant heart. He has the power to heal you and to help you triumph over sin. Remember that you can be forgiven only on His terms.

From the Life of Ezra Taft Benson

But as long as a man does NOT give up his sins, the dark score DOES stand against him in God's books; and no praying, reading, devoutness of any kind will wipe it out; and as long as he sins, he is still in his sins, and his sins will be his ruin. What are your fruits? Receiving Ability Through the Anointed. Learn to think like Him today, and you will sit on His throne with Him forever! He may find the road unpleasant, full of thorns, and briars, and pit-falls; for believe me, however broad the road is which leads to destruction, it is only the GATE of it which is easy and comfortable; it soon gets darker and rougher, that road of sin; and the further you walk along it, the uglier and more wretched a road it is: but all the misery which it gives to a man is only useless remorse, unless he fairly repents, and turns out of that road into the path which leads to life.

In order to be forgiven, you must first acknowledge within yourself that you have sinned. Godly sorrow does not come because of the natural consequences of sin or because of a fear of punishment; rather, it comes from the knowledge that you have displeased your Heavenly Father and your Savior. When you experience godly sorrow, you have a sincere desire for change and a willingness to submit to every requirement for forgiveness.

Essential to forgiveness is a willingness to disclose fully to your Heavenly Father all that you have done. Kneel before Him in humble prayer, acknowledging your sins. Confess your shame and guilt, and then plead for help. Serious transgressions, such as violations of the law of chastity, may jeopardize your membership in the Church. Therefore, you need to confess these sins to both the Lord and His representatives in the Church. This is done under the care of your bishop or branch president and possibly your stake or mission president, who serve as watchmen and judges in the Church. While only the Lord can forgive sins, these priesthood leaders play a critical role in the process of repentance.

They will keep your confession confidential and help you throughout the process of repentance. Be completely honest with them. If you partially confess, mentioning only lesser mistakes, you will not be able to resolve a more serious, undisclosed transgression. This thought would break his heart, even though sin should be attended with no danger to himself; and it does in fact grieve him, and melt down his soul into sincere sorrows, even when he has not one thought of his own danger.

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Nay, of so sincere a nature is evangelical repentance, that the penitent soul never melts so freely, nor bursts out into such a flood of sincere sorrows—as when it has reason to hope that a gracious God has freely forgiven it. Then it sees the base ingratitude and complicated vileness of sin —as committed against so gracious a God.

God's forgiving the penitent is a reason to him—why he should never forgive himself. If God had concealed the glory of his grace, and rendered himself less lovely—he would be less sensible of the evil of sinning against him, and less sorry for it. But oh! This thought cuts him to the heart! Hence the evidences of pardon and the hope of salvation do not put an end to true repentance—but, on the other hand, promote it!

This blessed hope, indeed, abates the terrors of a slave, and mixes many sweets in the bitter cup of repentance ; but it is so far from putting a stop to the flow of sincere, filial sorrows—that it opens new springs for them, and causes them to gush out in larger streams! How different is this from the general temper of the world! If they repent —it is while hell stands open before them, and the load of guilt oppresses them. But could they believe that God has forgiven their sins, and that they shall notwithstanding be saved, they would be very easy about it; nay, they would most gladly, from this very consideration, take encouragement to sin the more boldly!

This is more than the secret sentiment: it is the avowed profession of multitudes. Ask them how they can go on impenitent in sin, and be easy in such a course? Their answer is, "God is merciful; and they hope he will forgive and save them after all.

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Nothing but the lash can keep such sordid, slavish souls in subjection. Their hearts are dead to gratitude and every sincere passion. If God will have them to repent, he must give them no hope of pardon and happiness; for as this hope rises, their repentance ceases, and sin appears a harmless, inoffensive thing! But how different is this from the sincere temper of the true penitent!

It wounds him more to offend a sin- pardoning than a sin- punishing God! And never does his heart melt so kindly—as when under the warm beams of divine love! Never does he repent so heartily—as with a pardon in his hand, and with the prospect of heaven open before him! Do not think that this an excessive refinement of repentance, for common sense may tell you, that God will never accept of that repentance which has the punishment, and not the crime for its object; and this sincere temper is assigned to the true penitent in the sacred Scriptures.

After God has promised many blessings to the Jews, this is mentioned as the consequence, "Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Repentance part 1 — Repent of your sins?

So, after many promises of rich blessings, it is said, "Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices! You see this shame and confusion, this penitential remembrance and self-loathing, are the effects of God's being reconciled. When God is pacified, then they are ashamed, confounded, and loathe themselves! Friends, does your repentance stand this test? Examine and see; for if it does not, it is only a repentance to be repented of.

If sin, considered in itself, or sin, as done against God—is the object of true repentance, then it follows, that whatever is sin in itself, or against God, must be the object of it. Every sin, whether it consists in neglecting what is commanded, or doing what is forbidden: whether it is immediately against God, against our neighbor, or ourselves; whether it is fashionable, constitutional, pleasing, or painful; every sin, without exception, as far as it is known—is hated and lamented by the true penitent.

He should indeed regard them according to their different degrees of aggravation; but he should not except any of them, even the smallest.

Principles of True Repentance

They are all forbidden by the same divine authority; all contrary to the holy nature of God; all opposite to the obligations of duty and gratitude we are under to him; and, therefore, they must be all repented of. This was the character of David—that he "hated every false way! Now, does not this consideration prove some of you to be impenitent sinners? Do you not except some sins out of your repentance, and plead for an indulgence for them? If so, you may be sure that your hearts are not right with God.

There are many whose whole life seems to be one continued struggle between the strength of sin and conscience; and they run round in a circle of sinning and repenting; repenting and sinning—all their days.

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Sin is so strong that it will prevail, in spite of all the struggles of conscience; and conscience remains so vigorous, that it still continues to struggle, though without success. They commit sin—then are sorry for it; then commit it again.

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And in this vicissitude they spend their lives. Nay, the repentance of some is so far from reforming them from sin—that it rather encourages them to return to it; for now, they think, they have cleared off the old score , and they may venture upon a new one; until that also swells very high, and then they have another fit of repentance to clear off this new account.

What does that sorrow for sin avail—which leaves the heart as much in love with it as ever!

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The only reason why sorrow is a necessary ingredient in repentance is, because we will not, we cannot, forsake sin—until it is made bitter to us; and, therefore, when our sorrow has not this effect, it is altogether useless. Can that repentance save you, which is so far from being an ingredient of holiness, that it is a preparative to sin—a repentance that answers no other end but to make conscience easy after a debauch, and prepare it for another round of sin?

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True Repentance book. Published December 7th by GLH Publishing (first published December Be the first to ask a question about True Repentance. Published March 1st by Banner of Truth (first published ) .. the nature of true repentance, etc. the most helpful portion of the book though is the final.

Is this the nature of true repentance? It is the character of every true penitent, that sin has not an habitual dominion over him. Romans Remember that maxim of the wise man, "He who covers his sins shall not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes them, shall have mercy. Observe, not only confessing —but also forsaking them—is necessary to the obtaining of mercy. The same thing appears from the various expressions used in Scripture to describe repentance. To repent, in the language of the Bible, is to depart from our evil ways; to cease to do evil, and learn to do well; to cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts.

These expressions signify not only sorrow for sin—but especially reformation from it. In vain, therefore, do you pretend to repent—if you still go on in the sins you repent of! If you indulge yourselves in any one known sin, however small you may think it—then you are utter strangers to true repentance. I do not mean by this, that true penitents are perfectly free from sin in this life: alas! But I mean two things, which deserve your notice:.

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The one is, that every true penitent has a habitual dominion over sin: the principles of religion and virtue are prevailingly uppermost in his soul, and habitually regulate his behavior. As for gross, overt acts of sin—he is habitually free from them, and, indeed, generally this is no great difficulty. To him it is no such mighty exploit to abstain from drunkenness, swearing, injustice, or the like. And as to his daily infirmities, they are contrary to the habitual, prevailing bent of his soul, and are matter of his daily lamentation.

And this introduces the other remark I had in view, which is this: that the true penitent cannot be perfect in this life—is the daily grief and burden of his soul. Many hypocrites seem well pleased that this is an imperfect state, because they think it furnishes them with a plea or an excuse for their neglect of the service of God, and for their sinful indulgences. In short, sin is their delight, and, therefore, freedom from it would be a painful bereavement to them; and they are glad they are in such a state as will admit of their retaining it. Now such people, as I observed, do really esteem it a privilege to be imperfect, and they rejoice in it as their happiness, that they are able to continue sin.

But it is quite the reverse with the true penitent—perfection in holiness, and an entire freedom from sin—is the object of his eager desire and most vigorous pursuit; and he can never be easy until he is free from it.