Day 18 meditation reveals that repentance is less an act that man does than it is a description of what God does.
Perhaps the most urgent message to the church today is the call of the Holy Spirit for repentance. The cry is,
If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves . . . and turn from their wicked ways . . . then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin (2 Chron. 7:14).
The message has resounded from many pulpits as the Spirit moved to proclaim the remedy for a struggling church. The message of repentance has reached the sensitive minds of most Christians throughout the Western world.
Repentance is unfortunately a message that is largely misunderstood by many in the ranks of Christianity. The misunderstanding occurs basically because of an inadequate view of the biblical principle of repentance. If the knowledge of repentance is faulty, then the act or process of repentance will also be inaccurate. Thus, true repentance rarely occurs and the church continues to struggle in its life and mission for Christ.
Day 18 meditation declares that repentance is always a work of grace.
One of the reasons repentance is misunderstood by so many is that repentance is perceived as an act that an individual does. It is actually a description of what God does as man experiences reconciliation. True repentance is always a work of grace. Again, repentance is less an act that one does to enable God to restore him. It is a description of the process that occurs when one is reconciled back to God.
To many, repentance erroneously means something they do in order to get God to forgive and restore them. They feel that if they confess their sins and turn away from them, God will, then, forgive and reconcile. The key principle behind repentance then would be the individual’s turning from sin. Those holding such a view would probably also state that the turning away from sin would merit God’s forgiveness. In the final analysis, the question must be raised, “Does man have the capability to turn from sin?”