Thursday, March 11, 2021

Differentiating Repentance from Regret and Remorse

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Hebrews 6:1 (KJV) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.

Ben was a school teacher known for his hostility towards students. He flogged them mercilessly for any and every mistake, so much that the students believed he found pleasure in seeing them cry. On one of such occasions, it was discovered that he had beaten the whole class for an offense they didn't commit and had wounded some severely in the process. Because of his frequent assault on students and the severe injury he had caused, he was handed over to the police and eventually lost his job. Because he lost his job and was disgraced, he wished he had not done what he did. When he saw the injury he had caused the students, he felt sorry for traumatizing them.

Ben wished he had not done what he did. That feeling of "what have I done to myself?“ is called regret; it is being sorry for the wrong done. Neither regret nor remorse equates to repentance. What then is repentance? It is being sorry for the wrong done against God and turning away from such. Repentance is necessary for seeking forgiveness. It is a prerequisite for God's forgiveness (see Acts 8:22, Acts 2:38, Luke 24:47, 1 John 1:9).

Ben was sorry for what he had done to himself (regret) and to his students (remorse) but not to God. Thus, he never repented and was therefore not forgiven by God; he probably did not know that doing evil or wrong to people is doing evil against God.

Many Christians are falling for the trick of Satan by spending so much time in regret and remorse for the sin committed instead of coming to God in repentance, thus, they are not forgiven.

Go into today knowing that regret and remorse without repentance will not produce forgiveness, but if anyone comes to God in true repentance, God is faithful and just to forgive.

Prayer: Repent of any known wrongdoing by confessing it to God and asking for His forgiveness.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

Bible In One Year: Genesis 16-19 (In Devotional Audio)
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