Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Nature of True Repentance

Acts 3:19 (ESV) "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out."

The Puritan Thomas Watson publish The Doctrine of Repentance in 1668. It is needed more now than ever. What a treasure it is! And what a clarion call it sounds! I commend this little book to you for your careful reading and meditation.

What is repentance? "Repentance is a grace of God's Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed." (p. 18)

Watson lists six ingredients that formulate genuine repentance.
  1. Sight of sin (seeing and perceiving sin for what it is)
  2. Sorrow for sin (for the sin itself, and not just the consequences of sin)
  3. Confession of sin (agreeing with God about the sinfulness of sin and not making excuses for sin)
  4. Shame for sin
  5. Hatred for sin
  6. Turning from sin
"If any one is left out it loses its virtue."

Pick up this little book. Read it slowly and repetitively. Learn how, by God's grace, to repent.

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