The Importance of True Repentance

The Importance of True Repentance

One of the fundamental aspects of our faith is Repentance

Hebrews 6:1- Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of the Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward YAHWEH, 2 – of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 – And this we will do if YAHWEH permits.

Repentance is a foundational doctrine of our faith as this scripture declares, however I believe it is rarely understood fully. We are told in the book of Acts to:

Acts 2:38- Then Kepha said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahushua the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is the first step for an unbeliever to repent. But what is Repentance? What does it mean to repent? Let’s examine the scriptures. First of all, repentance must involve humility. Here is the example of Josiah:

2 Kings 22:16- Thus saith YAHWEH, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17 – Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other elohim, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. 18 – But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of YAHWEH, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith YAHWEH Elohim of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; 19 – Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before YAHWEH, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith YAHWEH. 20 – Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

In the example of Nineveh who repented at the teaching of Jonah, we see that Repentance is accompanied by a commitment to change, turning toward righteousness and away from unrighteousness:

Jonah 3:5- So the people of Nineveh believed Elohim, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 – For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 – And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 – But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto Elohim: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 – Who can tell if Elohim will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

How is it that Yahweh would repent? Please note the next verse:

Jonah 3:10- And Elohim saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and Elohim repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Yahweh saw their works! He saw their humility and commitment to turn away from evil. And so, repentance is actually a ‘work’. But did Yahweh repent also? Consider for a moment that Yahweh has a certain standard of righteousness. When man goes ‘against’ that standard of righteousness it is likened unto a man walking in the face of a mighty wind. But when one repents, he changed direction and goes with the wind that was at one time against him. In the case of Nineveh, Yahweh’s planned destruction changed because THEY changed, not Yahweh.

Yahweh does not change, His standard of righteousness, His law endures forever. Where we stand in relation to it will determine our fate.

More examples:

Luke 18:10- Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 – The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, Elohim, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 – I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 – And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, Elohim be merciful to me a sinner. 14 – I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

In our repentance, Yahweh requires humility and true sorrow for one’s sins.  But let it be clear that sorrow is not repentance.  Some would say they are sorry for their sins but it produces nothing. True repentance starts with sorrow and produces good works. Paul, when he wrote to the Corinthians in his first letter rejoiced to see their sorrow turn to true repentance. When he wrote them in his second letter, he noted:

2 Corinthians 7:8- For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it– for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while– 9 – I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to {the will of} Elohim, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 – For the sorrow that is according to Elohim produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 – For behold what earnestness this very thing, this sorrow according to Elohim, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

There are great promises given to those who repent from sin and unrighteousness and turn to Yahweh’s law for reproof and instruction in righteousness:

Isaiah 55:7- Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto YAHWEH, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our Elohim, for he will abundantly pardon.

Jeremiah 3:12- Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith YAHWEH; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith YAHWEH, and I will not keep anger for ever. Psalms 34:18 – YAHWEH is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 51:17 – The sacrifices of Elohim are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O Elohim, thou wilt not despise. Isaiah 66:1 – Thus saith YAHWEH, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? Isaiah 66:2 – For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith YAHWEH: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Joel 2:13 – And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto YAHWEH your Elohim: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Those that say that we are saved only by raw belief and not by faith accompanied by works of repentance, humility and commitment to change are making a serious mistake!! And it is false to teach that Paul never believed in a working faith:

Acts 26:19- Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 – But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to YAHWEH, and do works meet for repentance.

Works ‘meet’ for repentance meaning ‘works worthy or befitting of repentance’. While it is truth that we are saved by grace it is also truth that we are saved by grace because we have REPENTED. And we should continue to do works worthy of repentance. Now that we have established some meaning behind the word ‘repent’, the question should be asked “What exactly are we supposed to be repenting of?” ‘Our sins’ says the multitude.

Ezekiel 18:20- The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 – But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Repentance certainly involves turning from our sins.  But what is sin? What is righteousness? What do the scriptures say? The scriptures say that keeping the Torah/LAW is righteousness.

Deuteronomy 6:25- And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YAHWEH our Elohim, as he hath commanded us.

Notice it says “All these commandments” not just a part here or there.

Psalms 19:9- The fear of YAHWEH is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of YAHWEH are true and righteous altogether.

His word is His law…His word is righteous!!

Psalms 119:123- Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.

Psalms 119:172- My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

ALL His commandments…are righteousness.

Psalms 119:160- Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Every one?? forever? It was true even in Yahushua’s day The parents of John the Baptist…

Luke 1:5- There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 – And they were both righteous before YAHWEH, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of YAHWEH blameless.

Now it is certain that the scriptures teach that the opposite of righteousness is unrighteousness or sin.

Romans 6:15- What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under favor? By no means. 16 – Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Here we see that Sin and righteousness are opposites. Sin leads to death and obedience leads to righteousness. Here is another verse showing that sin is simply “unrighteousness.”

1 John 5:17- All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

This brings us to the question of what exactly is sin? Well, if obedience to the law is righteousness…transgression of the law is sin/unrighteousness.

1 John 3:4- Whoever commits sin trangresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 – And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 – Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 – Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of YAHWEH was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 – Whoever has been born of YAHWEH does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of YAHWEH. 10 – In this the children of YAHWEH and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of YAHWEH, nor is he who does not love his brother.

1 John 5:17- All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

So again, clearly transgression of the law is sin… obedience to His law is righteousness Let us look at verse 4 again:

1 John 3:4- Whoever commits sin trangresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.

According to Strong’s greek lexicon, the word that is translated “transgression of the law” here means…

Anomia, From 459; illegality, i.e. in violation of the law or (gen.) wickedness

There is a fascinating word study that can be done when we examine all the verses that this word is translated to.So now that we know what sin is, what about all those that seem to say His law need not be kept by His people?

Surely no, His law is what tells us what sin is!

So all the scriptures that we see that tell us to turn away from sin, to live righteously.. We should know that the very definition of living righteously is to live according to His law. But have we not failed? His law includes a provision for that also! It’s called MERCY. Yahweh is righteous, therefore He has to have mercy! Being merciful is a part of being righteous.. and mercy is a part of His law!

Matthew 23:23- Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

“The weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith” Not only is mercy a part of the law, but it is one of the ‘weightier matters of the law’! But did Yahushua condemn them in this verse for keeping the finer points? No, He said these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone! We also must practice mercy! But on some, (Yahweh knows them) mercy doesn’t work because they don’t care 🙁

Isaiah 26:10- Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of YAHWEH.

They will CONTINUE to transgress His law, despite the mercy shown. We see many examples of this today. We hear plenty of messages from the pulpits today telling us about His grace and mercy… And that’s great…but there are but very few messages on REPENTING and living righteously by living according to His commandments!

Some even go so far to say that His law is a burden and need not even be kept! This is sooo far from the truth! It is a great deception!

2 Thessalonians 2:7- For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Guess what word “iniquity” comes from in this verse? You guessed it, ANOMIA (violation/transgression of the law in 1john 3:4!)

2 Thessalonians 2:8- And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom Yahushua shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 – Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 – And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 – And for this cause YAHWEH shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 – That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

If they loved not the truth.. if instead they had pleasure in unrighteousness..If anyone does not love the truth but instead has pleasure in unrighteousness, they are NOT FULLY REPENTING and in great danger of falling into a strong delusion where they will believe lies instead.

Yet many say to me, oh look at all the wonderful miracles that are done! How can all these people be deceived, do not the miracles testify that they are walking in righteousness and are accepted by Yahweh? Some are… But let’s remember Yahushua’s words:

Matthew 7:21- Not every one that saith unto me, Rabbi, Rabbi, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 – Many will say to me in that day, Rabbi, Rabbi, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 – And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

There is that word again…anomia, but translated “iniquity.” The same word used in 1john 3:4…transgression of the law! Do not be deceived by the so called miracles. On judgment day, they mean NOTHING unless one is doing the will of our Father in heaven.

Revelations 14:12- Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of YAHWEH and the faith of Yahushua.

However… Let us remember that we have not been perfect. Yahushua was and is perfect, therefore since we have sinned by transgressing the law (Yes, we all have!!), it is thru Yahushua that we are made righteous!

Romans 5:18- Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 – For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Isn’t this awesome!?!! HalleluYah! Yahweh not only gives us righteous commandments that teach us how to love one another and to love Him but He also has given us His SON who has redeemed us, sanctified us and washed away our sins so that we are pure and blameless in His sight!

Not only that, He gave us His Son to be our example of HOW to keep His commandments! What a blessing, HalleluYah!! Now we don’t need to walk around in gloom for our past failures to live according to His law but now we are free…free…FREE…TO…. Transgress His law again????

That is what is taught by many and it is total falsehood :(( Is that not insulting the spirit of grace?

Romans 6:15- What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under favor? By no means. 16 – Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Let us show our thanksgiving and love for Him by truly repenting and hungering and thirsting for righteousness by Keeping His commandments as He has said! Let’s bear fruits worthy of repentance. When we see something in His law that we need to be doing, we need to get on our knees and repent right then and there! David did not delay when he was shown his sin. We should not either. Yahweh has promised to lead us in that path of righteousness when we seek:

Matthew 6:33- But seek ye first the kingdom of YAHWEH, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Let us live according to the Spirit, Yahushua’s words are Spirit!

John 6:63- It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Yahushua is the word and anyone who say that ANY part of His word doesn’t matter today might as well be saying that Yahushua doesn’t matter. The law IS spiritual!

Romans 7:14- For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

His word is Spirit, let us not fail to live according to the Spirit but let us die to the flesh

Romans 8:5- For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 – For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 – Because the carnal mind is enmity against YAHWEH: for it is not subject to the law of YAHWEH, neither indeed can be.

But satan has deceived the whole world into thinking that it is only the New Testament that defines what is right and what is wrong. A major problem with that is the New Testament was never even written when Kepha/Peter, Phillip, Paul, Barnabas, John, James and all the other men of Yahweh were telling people to repent! People in those days couldn’t just turn to the New Testament to understand what sin was so what did they have to look at? Paul said it well:

2 Timothy 3:15- And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Yahushua ha Mashiach. 16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of YAHWEH, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 – That the man of YAHWEH may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

How abundantly clear! The only scripture they had in those days were the Law and the Prophets (and possibly the words of Yahushua)! In this passage, the Holy Scriptures carried 7 characteristics:

  1. They made one wise unto salvation
  2. They were given by inspiration of Yahweh
  3. All scripture is profitable for doctrine
  4. All scripture is profitable for reproof
  5. All scripture is profitable for correction
  6. All scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness
  7. Knowledge of scripture causes one to be perfected and equipped/furnished for applying good works

So again, the law and the prophets teaches us how to have works worthy of repentance. What did Yahushua say about the law and the prophets?

Matthew 5:17- Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 – For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 – Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, let us seek diligently the commandments of Yahweh and walk according to the light He has given us. Don’t let those who break even the least of the commandments and teaches men so deceive us into following their example. The Ultimate Example given for us is Yahushua, and He didn’t fail to do even one jot or tittle of Yahweh’s law! And when we do fail, do not forget the One who knows what we are going through!

Hebrews 4:15- For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Praise Yahweh! Like David, I have found this to be true of Yahweh our Elohim:

Psalms 23:3- He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Truly, He has done this. For His name’s sake. He doesn’t want people who are seeking Him and are called by His name to be lead into unrighteousness,

He loves His name. HalleluYah because I do too! We must not be afraid of those who call you a legalist and condemn you for trying to walk as Yahushua walked, if it is out of love for HIM, their condemnation is not from Yahweh. Where do we ever see Yahweh condemning someone for TRULY repenting and walking in righteousness by doing as He commanded? Where does it ever say, “Depart from me, you who keep my commandments?”

What Commandments? Well, Yahushua is the example, if He kept the Sabbath and you do not, REPENT and KEEP IT.
If He kept the feast days and you do not, REPENT and KEEP THEM.
If He kept ANY of the commandments that you do not, by all means REPENT and DO THEM….surely Yahweh will be with you!

John 8:29- And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

May we always do those things that please Him. And may Yahweh bless you, granting you peace and truth!