1. You have been baptized.
2. You have developed a common practice of spending time with God.
3. You have developed a common practice of reading the Bible.
Why is it so important to continuously repent?
Repentance Is critical to discipleship
As a disciple of Jesus we are his students. We are his followers. We have not always been his followers though.
We were once at odds with God. Our way of living and doing things wasn’t God’s way.
Because of our sin, we were once at enmity with God.
At some point we began the journey of discipleship. Like a beginner at anything, we didn’t know everything. In fact, we most likely knew little about that which we had set out to learn. In this case, as disciples of Jesus, we have set out to learn of Jesus.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;
Matthew 11:29 NRSV
Without question, the things we will learn of Jesus will require us to make change in our lives.
If repentance means to change – to stop doing one thing and start doing another, then as we are discipled by Jesus and the teachings of Jesus, we will need to repent.
Take the original disciples of Jesus for example. Peter is a great example. Peter often did things and said things that weren’t what Jesus intended for his disciples. In fact, at one-point Jesus called Peter, “Satan.” Jesus told Peter to get behind him for what he said and was thinking was not God’s will (Righteousness). Peter had to change his way of thinking and begin to realize no matter how much he personally wanted a different outcome, God’s will was something different. Peter essentially repented – change his way to God’s way.
As a disciple of Jesus, we are going to always find ourselves practicing repentance.
AN IMPORTANT FIRST LESSON
Learning this lesson early in discipleship is critical. It will set the stage for continued growth in discipleship. In fact, without it, one ceases to grow. For if we cease to change our life to fulfill the will of God (Righteousness), then we cease to become more like the one we follow.
Without developing the habit of repentance, it will be quite hard to adhere to the teachings of Jesus.
Perhaps that why Jesus said from the onset of his teachings that those who followed him are poor in spirit, gentle, hungry for righteousness, and have a pure heart with only God as their focus. Perhaps this is why he later taught that his followers would do whatever it took for the precious pearls and treasures of God’s kingdom.
Jesus knew for us to live righteous lives we were going to have to change.
The first sermon Jesus preached that was recorded in Matthew was this, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.”
For you to continue to grow in your discipleship you are going to have to continue to change. It is a simple matter of obedience as a disciple.