Blog: Max Dawson
September 17, 2015
A fellow preacher, Ken Weliever (AKA “The Preacherman”) posted a piece about repentance on his blog. He called it “Radical Repentance.” He said he got the idea from Bruce Reeves. I am adapting what Ken wrote for this morning’s message.
“Repent” literally means “to perceive afterwards.” It is a change of mind that results in a change of life. Repentance is fundamental in becoming a Christian. The Jews asked Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter’s first word was, “Repent” (Acts 2:37-38).
Repentance is necessary when a Christian sins. When Simon sinned with his mouth, Peter said, “Repent of your wickedness!” (Acts 8:22).
Repentance is more than just a casual comment, “If I have sinned…” It’s more than embarrassment, regret, or acknowledgement of wrong doing. It involves a radical change of mind. It is a change of heart, of will, and of purpose.
Real repentance, radical repentance involves these six stages.

(1) RECOGNITION. The prophet Jeremiah condemned the people of Israel who cried, “I am innocent….I have not sinned!” (Jeremiah 2:35) Yet they were guilty before God. Sin is an affront to the holiness of God. Sin is not a mere mistake. The Bible defines sin as a transgression of God’s law. Sin is called evil. It is wicked. It defiles the soul and leaves a man in darkness.

(2) REMORSE. The Bible says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). There is a huge difference in being sorry for our sins, and being sorry that we got caught! Remorse involves moral anguish, emotional pain, and the feeling of a great spiritual wound.

(3) RESOLVE. When the lost son in Jesus’ parable “came to himself” (Luke 15:17), he decided to make things right–to go home and confess his sin, and accept the consequences. Sometimes the consequences of sin are tough, but we must accept them and meet them with resolve.

(4) REFORMATION. The fruits of repentance are realized in a reformed life. God is looking for changed lives. He offers us a different life, a new life. God offers that, but action is required on our part. We need to make changes both inside and outside. John told men to “…bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8).

(5) RESTITUTION. There are times when repentance absolutely requires restitution. That means make amends; repair damages; restore what is right. This was the spirit of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who said, “If I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (Luke 19:8). You can never undo the past, but you should seek to make restitution if possible. Some sins absolutely require it.

(6) REJOICING. When we really repent, we should have joy. Real repentance results in restoration, renewal, and revival. Sins are remitted. Relationships are repaired. Spiritual regeneration is received. King David spoke of God restoring “the joy of salvation” (Psalm 51:12).


Repentance is required to receive God’s forgiveness.