We also need to repent of our sins. This is an important step. But true repentance can only come from the indwelling Spirit of Christ. So turn to Jesus on bended knee, and ask Him to take control of you, change you and give you a true repentant heart. Do not look to others and compare your life and character with others, as this will stop you submitting fully to the ways of Jesus. Look to the Son of God and compare your life and character with that of Christ’s. This way, you will see your need of Jesus.
Psalms 139:23-24 …’Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
Matthew 4:17 …’From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Luke 13:3 …’I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’
Acts 3:19 …’Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.’
Acts 17:30 …’And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.’
The prodigal son represents a change that needs to happen in us all … “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father … “But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him … this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15)
The father represents God, and the son represents us ‘lost’ sinners. Those of us who show true repentance and turn back to our Father like the prodigal son, will see Him with arms wide open ready to accept us! What love!
True repentance isn’t just saying a quick prayer asking God for forgiveness and then continuing to sin. True repentance is being very sorry for your sins, knowing the love that the Father and His Son has showed toward us, and asking God for forgiveness and actively turning away from sin … 1 John 1:9 …’If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us FROM ALL unrighteousness.’
Acts 26:20 …’that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.’
Why do we need to repent and turn away from our sins? … Galatians 5:19-21 …’Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ … Because no sin can enter into Heaven. No one who continues to live in wilful sin can enter into God’s holy, heavenly kingdom.
So what does true faith in Jesus produce? True faith in Jesus is an obedient faith.
James 2:17-18 …’Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.’ … You see, if you truly want to follow Jesus and give your heart to Him, then your faith, by the indwelling of Christ’s Spirit, will PRODUCE a change in you. You will want to obey God and keep His Commandments and do good works.
John 15:4-5 …’Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’
Romans 8:1 …’There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’
Galatians 5:16 …’This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.’
To whom is there now no condemnation? To those who “believe” in Jesus but continue living a worldly, sinful life? No! Only to those who DO NOT walk after the flesh, but walk in the Spirit of Christ and abide IN Christ. Can we just “believe” without really changing our old ways and still be saved?
James 2:19 …’Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’ … You see, we can’t just simply believe in Jesus without wanting to change our ways and walk away from our sins and still expect to be saved. The devils believe, but are they saved? No. So we need to WANT to change and need to WANT Jesus in us, making us whole again.
Now the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in our hearts. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace and will certainly have something to tell others … Romans 10:9-10 …’That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’
So, if we believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and ask Him into our lives, and we truly repent of our sins, then He will come and dwell in us and change us … 2 Corinthians 5:17 …’Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ … We do not have the power to change ourselves and turn from sin ourselves, no, we need the power of Christ Jesus dwelling in us. With the sanctifying help of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, our old sinful ways can be cast off, and we will walk in newness of life in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:20 … I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’
John 14:23 …’Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’
When we truly repent of our sinful ways, just like the prodigal son and desire to live for God and the Lord Jesus, then they will make their abode in us through their Holy Spirit, and it is through God and Jesus living IN us that causes and helps us to change from our sinful ways.
But how do I start? Where do I begin?
Begin by falling on your knees and pouring your heart out to your Heavenly Father. Confess your sins, and be honest with God, as He knows everything anyway. Ask for Jesus to make His abode in you and change you. And study God’s Word in the Bible. Seek the truth and find out how Jesus lived. Learn from the character of Jesus in the Bible and follow Him.
Mark 14:38 …’Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’