Real Repentance vs. Religious Repentance
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (NIV)
There is a big difference between life-filled spiritual realities and religious attempts at achieving something of godliness. Repentance is one of those things which, unfortunately, is used and distorted by religion to promote itself. The result is bondage and frustration. Real repentance though, biblical repentance, is a part of a healthy faith life; never let anyone tell you that it isn’t! However, we must understand what repentance truly is so that we can experience these times of refreshing spoken of in the above Scripture!
The previous verses in Acts speak of the apostles healing a man, enabling him to walk. Their response to this miraculous healing is: “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? …By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know has been made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given him this complete healing in your presence. And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But in this way God has fulfilled what He foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Christ would suffer” (Acts 3:12, 16-18, NIV).
Repentance therefore is recognising that the revelation of Jesus’ suffering means that we never have to suffer again, because we are included ‘in Christ’. It is recognising that we are immersed in glorious blessing, by virtue of our eternal union with Jesus, and free from every bit of the curse. Repentance is recognising the endless possibilities of heaven on earth through being co-united to Jesus Christ. – As we recognise who Jesus is (‘it is Jesus’ name…’), and who we have become in him (‘…and the faith that comes through Him’), we can access the refreshing, revitalising power of heaven. It is that simple! Repentance is turning from ignorance to imaginative, creative understanding of the glory realm that resides within us! Indeed, we have become the glory land of heaven! We are so flooded with glory that an understanding of this cannot help but saturate the world around us, too!