To repent of your sins means that you turn away from the sins your are doing and that you are very sorry that you have sinned against God. You tell God and confess to Him that you are sorry that you have sinned against Him. To repent means to confess your sins to God with a heart filled with sadness. You are sorry that you have sinned. When you repent of your sins you decide in your heart that you do not want to do those sins anymore. You ask God to forgive you of your sins and you ask God to help you to stay away from doing those sins again.

Turn away from you sins

To repent means to be sorry for the sins that you have committed and to turn away from them.

The Bible teaches us: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” (Acts 3:19).

The Bible also teaches us: “You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 34:27).

Acknowledge your sin before God

To repent means to acknowledge or to say to God that you have sinned. Basically it means to admit that you have sinned. Listen to what the prophet Jeremiah says:

“Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the LORD, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 3:13).

God is looking for us to humble ourselves before Him and to admit that we have sinned. To be humble means to admit that you do not know what to do, or to admit that you have done something wrong and to ask for forgiveness.

Be sad about the wrong things that you have done

The Bible teaches us: “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

To repent means to feel sorry. It means to cry. That means that if you are asking God to forgive you of your sins you will be crying. You will be sad. And in the case of repenting of your sins it means that you will be sorry for the sinful things that you have done.

Ask God to forgive you

To repent of your sins means to ask God to forgive you. There was a man who was so sorry for his sins that he could not even look up to heaven because he was so ashamed and sad for what he had done.

The Bible says about him: “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13).

This man asked God to forgive him. So if you want to become a Christian, or if you want God to forgive you of your sins, then you need to ask God. Talk to God. Pray and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and He will do it.

Ask God to help you not to do them again

Jesus forgave many people who sinned. We read about this in the Bible. Jesus would forgive people of their sins and say to them: “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).

Jesus forgives us of our sins but He also tells us to go and sin no more. Jesus tells us that we should not go back out there and do the same sins that He has just forgiven us for.

We have to mean it with our hearts

Some people just say the words “God forgive me”, or “I am a Christian”. They say it with their lips but they do not mean it with their hearts. God knows what we are thinking in our hearts. We cannot fool God or the reason why we are saying or doing something. God knows everything.

God wants our hearts. God says in His Word: “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules.” (Isaiah 29:13).

Jesus taught us by saying: “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.” (Matthew 15:8-9).

An atheist could stop doing something

Some people stop doing a sin without asking God for His help or His forgiveness. Many people, including atheists, stop doing some sins but do not ask God to help them. Maybe an atheist gets drunk all the time and then he stops. The atheist has stopped sinning but he has not asked God to forgive him of his sins. So the atheist has not repented in the eyes of God because the atheist has not asked God to forgive him. To be forgiven by God means you are sorry for what you have done and have asked God to forgive you.

It’s time to pray

Now you know what it means to repent. It means that you are sorry for your sins and you want to stop doing them. You confess and tell God that you have sinned and you are sorry for doing them. You also ask God to help you not do them again. You turn away from your sinful behaviour and you turn to God.

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© Somali Christian Ministries, 2014
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