Berlin Immanuel Church studied the on the topic of repentance in a Christian life last Sunday. Apostle Paul, writing to the believers in Rome who have been justified through faith (Rom 5:1), warns against a wrong attitude to sin after salvation. The grace of God in which we stand through faith in Christ Jesus doesn’t mean that God looks at our sin and says it’s okay, I love you, don’t worry about your sin. But Christians often have such attitude to grace. Paul emphasizes that this is by no means what grace is and what grace does in our life. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God, who is their Abba, Father, he taught them to pray for forgiveness.
Seeking God’s grace is an essential part of faith and repentance is what brings us under this grace. And the fruit of grace is righteousness (Rom 5:17), they always come together. Grace is not a passive thing, but if we truly receive God’s grace we will be changed, we will be transformed and receive Christ’s righteousness. If we truly are under God’s grace, we will count ourselves dead to sin and walk with God in the newness of life, leaving the old behind and submitting every part of our lives to Christ (Rom 6:13). God’s grace is active, transforming and if I have it, I will never stay the same because the Spirit of Christ is at work in me producing His righteousness. Repentance is necessary because it acknowledges that I have no righteousness of my own, but I receive God’s righteousness as a free gift of God’s grace through faith. A self-righteous man doesn’t seek God’s grace, because he thinks he is a good person already. But if we don’t repent, we are saying that we don’t need the cross of Jesus anymore, and we are not under God’s grace, stuck in our sins with a false idea that everything is fine.
We need to realize that our sin is not an obstacle in God’s heart, that when we pray for forgiveness, it is not his heart towards us that needs to change. Sin is obstacle in our hearts, our heart must change so that we can stand in God’s grace and be transformed. God’s grace for us is both necessary and completely sufficient for every sin. We must always remember that where God’s grace is, there is also his righteousness, and what brings us under this grace is faith which is humble and thankful.