STEPS TOWARDS THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION: REPENTANCE by Bishop Dr. J. Akin Atere

STUDY 3

TOPIC: THE TRANSFORMED LIFE

TEXT: ROMANS 12:2

SUB-TEXT: ACTS 2:37-39

STEPS TOWARDS THE JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION

 

REPENTANCE:

In the audience in Acts 2:7-11 were visitors from nations all around the Mediterranean world. To this diverse people Peter declared in 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. We were by nature deserved the wrath of God Eph. 2:3. One of the principal reasons for Jesus Christ coming, is to call the world to repentance Luke 5:31-32; 13:3,5.

Types of repentance required Acts 2:36-38; Not just feeling guilty like Felix in Acts 24:25 (felt guilty but did not repent). Not out of fear of penalty but godly sorrow 2Cor. 7:10. Not because of religion like Pharisees who were extremely religious in behaviour and practices yet never repented Matt. 3:7-10; 5:20.

Examples of sincere repentance could be found in King David (his affairs with Bathsheba) 2Sam. 12:13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die”. It was for this purpose he composed Psalm 51.

The case of prodigal son in Luke 15:18,21. The tax collector and the publican in Luke 18:13. Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10. The thief on the cross who received salvation at the 11th hour Luke 23:39-43. Repentance start from a broken heart Psalm 34:18, Psalm 51:17.

When we repent, we stop sinning deliberately and knowingly. When God calls, He removes our spiritual blindness John 6:65,see 13:11. He enables us to see how contrary our ways are to His. Repentance is therefore a gift from God Acts 11:18. Repentance involves a recognition that our hearts and mind have been corrupted Eph. 2:2.

Repentance is seeing the need for a new heart and a different way of thinking Isa. 55:7 a right attitude and spirit. Replacing the mind Phil 2:5. Like David, we cry out to God as in Psalm 51:10. (Our heart is the main source of our problem with sin) Mark 7:20-21, 23. It is a set pattern in Jesus preaching to regularly call His hearers to repent and believe Mark 1:15.

Same with Apostle Paul who calls for repentance toward God and faith towards Jesus Acts 20:21. Repentance is a decision based not on emotion only though, the event in Acts 2:37 showed heartfelt emotion which form part of the judgment.

It is a commitment to sincerely obey God through faith in Jesus Christ, because His righteousness becomes ours through faith Phil. 3:8-4; Rom. 8:1-4.

While repentance involves sorrow over past sins, it involves joy over God’s forgiveness and blessings of future promises Mk. 1:15. Through the help of Jesus Christ, he increasingly walk by faith in obedience to God’s law in love Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:13. Paul explained in Eph. 4:24-25 when a former liar consistently begins telling the truth, his old ways of dishonesty begins to shrivel up and die (verse 8)

Repentance has occurred when our nature has changed with the use of our tongue in positive way Eph. 4:29. When we follow Prov. 10:11,20. When we begin to speak with grace Col. 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one”.

True repentance therefore is

  • Being truthful about your sin – Ps. 32:5; 1John 1:9
  • Being sorry to God in sincere heart for sin – Ps. 51:1-4; 38:8
  • Turning away from your sin – Prov. 28:13; Zech. 1:4; Gal. 5:19-21
  • Hating sin – Heb. 1:9; Ezek. 20:43-44
  • Paying back to others what you owe them – Lk. 19:8; Lev. 6:1-7
  • Turning from the world – 1John 2:15; Jam. 4:4
  • Turning from yourself – 2Cor. 5:15; Luke 14:26
  • Turning from the devil – Acts 26:18; Col. 13:13
  • Turning to right living – Rom. 6:13
  • Turning to God – Zech. 1:3

HOLY SPIRIT IN THE TRANSFORMED LIFE – ACTS 2:38b

“…And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. A gift John 7:37-39. The Holy Spirit keep the transformed life in contact with God’s mind because, spirit works with our mind. John describes how to abide in the spirit – 1John 3:24. Spirit inspires a deeper understanding of God’s word, purpose and will 1Cor. 2:9-11. Nothing will be difficult any longer with the power working in our lives Rom. 8:26. Paul said concerning himself in Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

The Spirit convict the world of sin John 16:8

It produces godly fruits in us, just as an apple tree produces apple, the list of apple is in Gal. 5:22-23.

It comforts, encourages and help us as Jesus promised – John 14:16. Before Jesus left, He gave the believers very special and wonderful promises John 14:16-18; 16:5-7.

The Spirit of God gives us assurance that whatever happens will be for our good – Rom. 8:28. When we start walking in the spirit we will no longer fulfill the lust of the flesh – Gal. 5:16.

We are helped to overcome our human nature by God filling our minds with His Spirit. 2Pet. 1:5-8. The Spirit is meant to give us power and boldness (2Tim. 1:6-7). From our theme, Paul appealed to the Romans not to conform to the world but to be transformed by renewing of their mind through the power of God’s Spirit. Rom. 12:1-2. Holy Spirit is an agent of renewal of our faith. Verses 14 says “as many as are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Compare Phil. 2:5.

The Spirit of God is the hope of glory – Col. 1:27. Paul described his new outlook after transformation in Gal. 2:20; 1Cor. 11:1. We should have the same mind through the Holy Spirit – Phil 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”.

When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, only then can we be called God’s children (Rom. 8:14-17). John describes it in 1 John 3:24. Jesus promised the Spirit will guide into all truth John 16:13. The Spirit renew us every day and empowered our new transformed life to fight against sin 2Cor. 4:16-18. With the help of the Spirit, we can further put to death the deed of the body- Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16.

The simple way to remove the air from the cup is by filling it with water, likewise, God can overcome our human nature by filling it with His nature (His Spirit) 2Pet. 1:5-8.

The Holy Spirit

  • Testifies the new relationship of transformed life with God – Rom. 8:16; 1John 3:24
  • He teaches – John 14:26, He leads – Rom. 8:14
  • He helps to live a life pleasing to God – Gal. 5:16, 17-25
  • He helps in prayer – Rom. 8:26;
  • He gives life to our bodies – Rom. 8:11
  • He gives power and boldness to witness – Acts 1:8; 2:14ff
  • He equips with different gift gifts to function – 1Cor. 12:4; 8-10
  • He testifies that Jesus is alive forever – Acts 5:30-32; 4:31-33
  • He provides fresh understanding of the word of God – 1Cor. 2:9-10; John 16:13.
  • He fills our spirit with true worship – Eph. 5:18-19; John 4:24.
  • He glorifies Jesus – John 16:13-15; 15:26

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

  1. Why is repentance a must for a transformed life – Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Eph. 2:2, Acts 2:38; Luke 5:31-32; 13:3,5
  2. Explain what repentance is not – Acts 24:25; Matt. 3:7-10; 5:20
  3. What is repentance – Ps. 32:5; Ps. 51:1-4; Gal. 5:19-21; Ezek. 20:43-44; Luke 19:8; James 4:4; 2Cor. 5:15; Col. 1:13; Rom. 6:13.
  4. What are the roles of the Holy Spirit in transformation or a transformed life? 1John 3:24; 1Cor. 2:9-11; Phil. 4:13; Gal. 5:22-23; John 14:16-18; Rom. 8:28; Phil. 2:5; Gal. 2:20; 2Tim. 1:6-7; Rom. 12:1-2
  5. How will you describe a Christian without Holy Spirit? (ref. from the bible).