What is the difference between asking for forgiveness and repentance? Find out in this Ministry Minute video from Terri Copeland Pearsons.
For many people—even Christians—forgiveness and repentance appear to be the same. They are, in fact, different. Asking for forgiveness requires a person to recognize a mistake or wrong choice. The offender asks the person they’ve wronged to let go of the offense and not count it against them. Repentance, however, means not only accepting responsibility for doing wrong, but turning away from the wrong behavior. If someone repents for lying, for example, they not only accept responsibility for lying, including asking for forgiveness, but they turn away from lying and refuse to do it anymore.
Such a step requires faith. Just look at these scriptures about repentance:
- “From then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’” –Matthew 4:17
- “Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” –Acts 2:38
- “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14
As you meditate on these repentance scriptures, take time to reflect on God’s grace and goodness. By faith, you are able to turn from wrongdoing and turn to the Lord. What an amazing gift that is! You have the ability, by faith, to live differently, to live better, to live victoriously, to live free! If there is an area of your life in which you need to repent, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right scripture—perhaps even one of the above repentance scriptures—to stand on. Then, trust that He will help you and lead you as you commit to life differently for Him!
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