What is repentance - George Everard
Repentance lives as
long as faith - Charles Spurgeon
- A. W. Pink
What is Repentance?
George Everard, 1871, Welcome home! Plain teachings from
the story of the Prodigal
"I will set out and go back to my father and say to
him: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer
worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got
up and went to his father." Luke 15:18-20
Notice the spirit of deep self-abasement in the resolution which the
True repentance is intensely personal. The prodigal felt it was his
own sin. "I have sinned!" He can scarcely see any sin but his own. He sees
his own sin in the very worst colors. Study the fifty-first Psalm. See how
David again and again speaks. It is my transgression, my iniquity, my sin
ever before me.
True repentance beholds the wrong done to God by sin. The prodigal
felt that his sin was primarily against God. It was a breach of His holy
law. It was opposition to His holiness. It was sin against His goodness, and
against redeeming love. So David cries in his bitter sorrow, forgetting for
the moment the wrong he had done to Uriah — in the far greater wrong which
his sin had done to God: "Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this
evil in Your sight!"
True repentance makes no excuses. The prodigal seeks for no
palliation, no covering, no cloak. He says nothing of the circumstances
which led him to do evil, or of companions who had drawn him aside. He does
not attempt to shift the burden from his own shoulders to that of others. He
makes no self-justifying pleas — he has too much sorrow, too much true
brokenness of spirit, to desire or attempt it. One thing, and one thing
only, he sees — his own terrible fall, and his own exceeding guilt.
True repentance takes the very lowest place. Once to be a son was not
enough for him — but now he will be content even to be a slave or a hired
servant! He feels utterly unworthy. As Jacob felt: "I am not worthy of all
the mercies You have showed me." As the centurion felt when he sent to
Jesus: "I am not worthy that You should come under my roof." So did the
young prodigal esteem himself: "I am no longer worthy to be called your
Be sure that God delights in the humble and contrite soul.
Lift yourself up in pride and self-satisfaction — and God will assuredly
cast you down.
Cast yourself down in humble confession of your sin — and God will assuredly
lift you up.
"God resists the proud — but gives grace unto the humble."
But we see here the purpose of the heart accomplished. The young man not
only made the resolution, but he kept it, "So he got up and went to his
father." He turned his back forever on that far country and his old
companions — and turned his face homeward. Doubtless it was with many a
tear, with many a bitter feeling of regret for all that had passed — since
in so different a spirit he had trodden that path before. Yet onward he
trudges with weary heart and weary footstep, in the hope that a place may
still be found for him in his father's house.
Do you ask, What is repentance? I can scarcely better describe it than from
the path of this wanderer. It is turning the back . . .
on the ways of the world,
on the lusts of the flesh,
on the service of the devil.
And it is turning the face God-ward, Heaven-ward, confessing all that is
past, looking upward for grace to live holier, with one single desire — to
abide in the fear and love of God.
Repentance lives as
long as faith
you have the notion that repentance is a thing that happens
at the commencement of the spiritual life and has to be
gotten through as one undergoes a certain operation—and that
is an end of it. If so, you are greatly mistaken!
Repentance lives as long as faith.
Towards faith I might almost call it a Siamese twin. We
shall need to believe and to repent as long as we live!
Perhaps, also, you have the idea that repentance is a bitter
thing. It is sometimes bitter—“They shall be in bitterness
for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn,”
but that is not the kind of repentance that I am talking of,
now. Surely that bitterness is past, it was all over long
ago. But this is a sweet bitterness which attends
faith as long as we live—and becomes a source of tender joy!
- C. H. Spurgeon,
Repentance After Conversion, No. 2419
The Christian who has
stopped repenting has stopped growing.
- A. W. Pink