Finding Joy in Repentance

15 Mar

Could it be that the reason we find it so difficult to believe the beautiful gospel of God’s grace over our lives is because we, oftentimes, skip an essential first step – which is to repent and turn from our idols?

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

This issue has prompted me to go back to Tim Keller’s article on Gospel-centered Repentance titled, “All of Life is Repentance.”  Here’s an excerpt from that article in which he lays out the difference between “religious repentance” and Gospel repentance.

It is important to consider how the gospel affects and transforms the act of repentance.

In ‘religion’ the purpose of repentance is basically to keep God happy so he will continue to bless you and answer your prayers.  This means that ‘religious repentance’ is (1) selfish, (2) self-righteous, (3) and bitter all the way to the bottom.

But in the gospel the purpose of repentance is to repeatedly tap into the joy of our union with Christ in order to weaken our need to do anything contrary to God’s heart.

Here’s the link to the full article (pdf).  It’s only two pages, but absolutely packed with what we often need to be reminded of.

May we continually experience the beautiful gospel of God’s grace over our lives in and through repentance.


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