The Four Marks of True Repentance

Mt. 4:17 The first words Jesus preached in His public Ministry

17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Lk. 24:46-47 The last words Jesus preached prior to His ascending to the Father.

46He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

How do I know if I have truly repented?

1.      Repentance brings as a revelation of mans hopeless, lost, and hell deserving condition before his eyes.

Before a man repents he thinks he is alright. He will go to church with his bible under his arm. He becomes an usher and his better still. He passes out the elements of communion he thinks of himself a little better.

                When repentance works in a man’s heart he gets a revelation of his wickedness, of his sinfulness and that he is filthy and vile and is fit only for hell.

When you meet a man who thinks that he is a wonderful person or that he isn’t that bad you have met a man that has never repented. But, when God shows you to yourself you are not looking at anybody else. You’re not looking Mr. So and so saying that he is a lot worse than you. You’re saying “oh God I am a downright sinner fit only for the darkness of the lost eternally. From the crown of our heads to the souls of our feet there is no soundness in us.

2.      Repentance is a resignation. The repentant man resigns from all the efforts that he makes to save himself.

Some people think that they will be able to save themselves.

 So they read a little bit of the Bible and they will say a prayer and they will go to church and they will attend the prayer meeting and they will take communion and they will teach a Sunday school class they’ll sing in the choir and they’ll become ushers in the service of the church.

The man that repents resigns from every act of self righteousness. He does not trust in his baptism, he does not truth in his communion, he does not trust in the church, he does not trust in his prayers, he does not trust in his righteousness or in his honesty or in his morality nor in his decency in his totality he resigns the lot and says that my hope is based on nothing less than Jesus blood and His righteousness. The repentant man does not say that salvation is all doing but he says that salvation is all done Because, Jesus paid it all.

3.      Repudiation. The man who repents says no forever to the old life. The man that truly repents says no forever to the old sins. The man that truly repents says good-by forever to the old companions. The world is not dead to the unrepentant man the unrepentant man has no cross to carry.

4.      Regeneration. The repentant man is made a new creature. For the repentant man the dark shadow over his life has been removed, the bitterness has been drained from the soul. He has been changed, transformed, redeemed and saved.

a.       When a man repents he believes on Christ.

Some might wonder what comes first, whether it is faith or repentance. Which comes first, the beating of the heart or the circulation of the blood? They both come together. When a man repents, praise God he believes. To believe on Jesus is to receive Jesus.

b.      When a man repents he confesses Christ. Once a man comes to Christ in repentance he will not be able to contain his love for the savior.

c.       Holiness. If a man is truly saved he hates sin and he loves the Lord. He hates the devil and he loves Jesus. He hates the things that scar and mar and maim and loves those things that elevate. What so ever things are pure what so ever things are lovely what so ever things are of good report think on these things. This is what holiness is.

d.      Peace. The greatest blessing that we can have is God’s peace. In Christ there is a peace that passes all understanding. The unrepentant man is unable to comprehend this peace that the repentant man possesses. Also the repentant man is unable to understand the peace of Christ that he receives.

God commandeth all men everywhere to repent!

Have those to whom you have witnessed to; have they repented? Have they turned to Christ from their idols? Are they in Christ today? Are you sure of their salvation? Are they saved by the blood of Jesus? Christ commanded that we are to repent and believe. Men are saved when they hear the whole gospel and not half of the gospel. When we preach anything other than repent and believe we purposefully corrupt the Savior’s message.

Without Genuine Repentance There Is No Genuine Salvation.

“There must be a true and actual abandonment of sin and a turning unto righteousness in real act and deed in every day life. Repentance, to be sure, must be entire. How many will say, Sir, I will renounce this sin and the other…but there are certain darling lusts which I must keep and hold? Oh, sirs, in God’s name let me tell you, it is not the giving up of one sin, nor 50 sins which is true repentance. It is the solemn renunciation of every sin. If thou dost harbor one of those accursed vipers in thy heart and dost give up every other, that one lust like one leak in a ship will sink thy soul. Think it not sufficient to give up thy outward vices, fancy it not enough to cut off the more corrupt sins of thy life, it is all or none which God demands. Repent, says He, and when He bids you repent, He means repent of all thy sins otherwise He can never accept thy repentance as real and genuine. All sin must be given up or else you will never have Christ. All transgression must be renounced or else the gates of heaven must be barred against you. Let us remember then that for repentance to be sincere, it must be entire repentance. True repentance is a turning of the heart as well as of the life. It is the giving up of the whole soul to God to be His forever and ever. It is the renunciation of the sins of the heart as well as the crimes of the life,” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Strong enough? What Spurgeon is saying is and what he’s reflecting is the teaching of the church through all its centuries that the sinner beats on his breast and says, “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” and is compelled to seek deliverance from all his sin, though it’s not necessary that he recite every single sin. There’s a desire in his heart to be freed from all of it. And Spurgeon is saying if you come to Christ and say I want You to be my Savior and I want You to give me forgiveness and I want You to promise me heaven, but there’s some sins I want to keep holding onto, that’s not sincere repentance.
– John MacArthur