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Fruit of repentance


Most people understand the term repentance to mean “turning from sin.” The Greek verb that is translated for “repentance” is metanoia, which literally means “change of mind.” This kind of repentance is not about regret or guilt or shame; it implies making a decision to turn around, to face a new direction. True repentance is a change of heart and mind that brings us closer to God. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and a sincere desire to obey His commandments.

The Bible tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions. It is impossible to truly and fully change your mind without that causing a change in action. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

The fruit of true repentance is an actual turning from sin. True repentance is a radical change of mind and heart that leads to a complete turnabout of our life.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:7 we read that the will of God for our lives is for us to be sanctified, to be set apart for God’s holy use, it says, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” So by God’s grace, we are to walk worthy of this calling unto holiness. By desiring righteousness, walking in true holiness, and being careful to maintain good works, we manifest the fruits of true repentance in our lives.

In Matthew 1:21 we read that Christ came to save His people from their sins. So the heart of the truly repentant cries out to God daily to be delivered from sin and self. Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” By God’s grace, through faith in Him, we can desire to be holy, delivered from our sin and self-will.

The question before us is this, have you and I, from our hearts, actually turned from sin to God? Have we changed our hearts and mind and radically altered our course?

Take to heart Isaiah 55:7, which reads, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord; and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” This is the change of course and change of mind which God requires. It will show itself in the repenting, believing sinner taking heed to the Word of God.

Let us look to Him in true repentance. It is the need of the hour.

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