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8.2. The Power of Repentance

"Of all acts of man repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none."- Thomas Carlyle

Repentance in worldly terms states “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin” according to the search on Google from the Oxford Dictionary. But it is more the defintion of Change “make (someone or something) different; alter or modify” according to the Bible

0. Review of Yesterdays study:

– Hans what can you remember of yesterdays study?

  • Francois that saying by John Owen was really convicting, either I kill sin or sin kills me.
  • If I do not treat sin seriously I will not grow in my relationship with God and in the end it might cause my demise on earth and in heaven, intense!
  • I should not treat sin lightly because it wars against my soul. 
  • To gouge out my right eye because it makes me sin is intense conviction.
  • Well self awareness is a big thing! It depends where you are in the stages thereof; unconscious incompetent, conscious incompetent, conscious competent and unconscious competent.
  • If you don’t know that you don’t know you are in a very scary position.
  • If I do not fear God, I flatter myself to not even detect or hate my sin. 
  • The problem is if I love my sin, God does not listen to my prayers. 

1. The Bible Scriptures:

– Let’s see what the Bible has to say about 

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.

2 Cor 7:8-12

– Paul describes here what happens when people take their sin seriously and have godly sorrow that leads to repentance.

"Of all acts of man repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none."

  • Worldy sorrow is when you feel sorry for yourself in committing the sin but that you will do it again.
  • Godly sorrow is when you understand you have hurt God and you repent and never do that sin again.
  • You actually have a change of heart.
  • Your life change to follow rather what God wants for you than what you want for yourself.
  • You stop killing yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • God blesses Godly sorrow.  
  • Well Francois I think before we get to repentance, there are self awareness steps that precedes them and in essence follow them.
  • I need to recognized where my strengths and weaknesses lies to be able to improve. 
  •  Just to clarify in literature there are four steps of awareness (conscious competence model) improvement which takes us from ignorance to mastery where we need to be curious about improvement:
    1. The Unconsious Incompetent (Blind Spot Phase – Blissfully Ignorant) You don’t know that you don’t know. You need feedback to move from this level to the next. Becoming aware is the start of this process to start improving. Expect that it will be a bumpy experience. 
    2. The Conscious Incompetent / Repentance Phase (Weakness phase, you lack a skill) This is where we know about the opportunity to improve. Where you realize where this skill is holding me back. It might cause you to give up. There is a high risk that you might not want to deal with things and go back being ignorant. You have to be resolved to stay positive. Practise is essential, you are going to make mistakes and you are not going to feel great. It is part of the learning experience. We need practise and determination to move from this level to the next. Be aware where you and people around you are in the process. 
    3. The Conscious Competent (Ability to impliment) You have acquired the skill and can demonstrate it regularly. You confidence has improved but you still need a lot of consentration, focus and you have to be intentional about that.  You might improve greatly, but there also might be setbacks. You cannot become complacent now, you have to continue practising. Be patient remember this might take months. It requires commitment and belief that you will get there in the end. 
    4. The Unconscious Competent (A learned strength) The application of this skill has become automatic. Now your improvement has become automatic and your confidence is soaring. Share this experience with your colleagues by being a mentor. Keep being open minded seeking feedback. 
Repentance Steps Definition Specific Sins
Earnestness (Sincerity)
Sincere (Saying what they genuinely feel or believe; not dishonest or hypocritical) and intense conviction (a formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence).
Fits of Rage / Anger. I really intend to change & overcome making no excuses. Awareness.
Eagerness to Clear Myself
Enthusiasm to do or to have something. Remove an obstruction or unwanted item or items.
I will tell my closest brother and my family my sin and decisions.
Indignation (at your sin)
Anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment.
I don't like myself when I lose control . I hate my anger. I can see the hurt in people because of my sin.
Alarm (Urgency)
Make (someone) feel frightened, disturbed or in danger.
I must stop now. I cannot let this get any further. I cannot go on like this.
Longing (Desire to be right with God)
Have a strong wish or desire.
James 1:25 - I want my relationship with God to be right not deceiving myself any more.
Concern (For those you have hurt)
It is a matter of interest or importance to me.
My anger scare my wife, my children and my friends.
Readiness to see justice done
Being fully prepared to be fair and reasonable.
I will give up whatever I need to in order to permanently change. I will humble myself and have reasonable expectations of other people.

– Retain this diagram and use it to help you make changes as you see other sins that need to be dealt with.

2. Close

– Hans it is amazing that God planned steps for us to repent.

 

  •  Francois it seems like it deals with different attitudes of our hearts just going deeper and deeper. 

–  Hans I will close us out in a prayer today.

  • Amen.
  • Good Morning Father.
  •  I know that you want what is best for me, but change always has the pain side effect which we try to avoid like the plague and that is many times why we do not change.
  • Father either I do not have to character to be the best for you or I lack perseverance and humility to make the change permanent. 
  • I know Lord if I stay ignorant it will affect me adversely and might cost me my salvation. 
  • Help me to have conviction and a passion that will lead me through these steps to better myself in my weaknesses. 
  • Amen.

3. Practicals

– So Hans how can I make sure we have Godly sorrow?

  •  Francois I really think it first starts with our mood, is it positive or negatively resistant.
  • Do I realize I am doing this for God, and not for people?
  • Do I have the attitude “be perfect therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect”? (Mat 5:48)
  • Ask your mentor how you are doing in this regard. Where are you at on certain character development issues?
  • What sins do I still struggle with that I haven’t overcome?
  • How is my mastery going in dealing with certain sin in my life? Where do I need to sharpen the saw?

4. References

Oxford Dictionary.

– From Ignorance to Mastery – How Adults Learn.

– Deep Convictions

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