Why repent if I will just sin again? (Podcast)

man standing near altar praying

by Nate King

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Hello, my name is Nate I’m a youth pastor from the Detroit area and you’re listening to the Merge Point podcast. 

 If you are listening you’ve somehow found our app or podcast and we are glad you’re here.  What is this?  Well now and then we will take a question submitted and voted on by those using the Merge Point app and answer it in a “micro podcast” format.  

The way we will answer these questions is in an inductive manner meaning we are not going to insert ourselves into the Bible but rather try and draw out the meaning of a bible passage to better understand how we are to answer life’s questions.  

Be listening to the terms Observe, Interpret, Apply, and Integrate.  We pray that this is helpful to you as a believer and an encouragement in your walk with God.  

If you haven’t trusted Christ as your savior we are thankful you are listening and we pray that God would use this to draw you to himself.

Today’s Question

Why repent if I will just sin again?

The Short Answer

And the short answer is that from our side of things, continual repentance brings us back to a right relationship with God.

The Long Answer

Let’s dive into the Word and investigate the importance of continual repentance.  Today we are going to look at Psalm 51 to gain a better understanding of what repentance does for us.

Here’s some quick background info on this Psalm.  

King David wrote this Psalm shortly after it was revealed to him that he had been caught in grave sin.  David had chosen to neglect his duties as king in going to war and instead stayed home.  

During the day he went out to look over the city and noticed a woman, Bathsheeba, bathing on her roof.  In lust, he desired to have her and had his men bring her to him.  He raped her, and she became pregnant. 

In order to cover up the pregnancy, he brought her husband home.  However, when he came home he refused to be with her because he felt it would be neglecting his duty as a soldier.  

So instead, David sent him into battle and arranged for him to be killed on the battlefield.  In just a few verses David is guilty of lust, rape, deception, and murder. 

 If your Bible has cross-references you should be able to find that 2 Samuel 12 is the cross-reference for this passage.  

In this passage the prophet, Nathan, shares with David that God knows his sin and that he is guilty.  David rightly responds by repenting to God in part by writing Psalm 51.

Let’s read Psalm 51 to start gaining an understanding of what’s going on.

READ PSALM 51

Observation

Here are some observations I’ve made when first looking at this passage:

  • David’s tone is immediately contrite and heavy.  It is easy to sense that he knows he has gravely sinned against God and others.
  • In verse 2 among others, we see that he desires to be cleaned of this sin that is in his life.  He repeats this desire throughout the passage.  There are at least 10 references to being cleansed or clean.
  • In verse 5 David acknowledges that sin is a part of his life.
  • David also asks God to create a change in him to create a new heart and attitude.

Interpretation 

So what does all this mean? It does not seem like David’s attitude is only one of a child who’s been caught and is upset because of that.  But rather that he understands the gravity of his choices and desires a right relationship with his Heavenly Father

  • This passage is helpful in understanding that sin creates a void in our relationship with God.  Not one that God has placed but one that is a natural consequence of our sinful choices.
  • A repentant sinner is one who acknowledges their wrongdoing, knows their position in regard to God, and changes their mind.  Notice in verse 18-19 that David states his intent to worship the Lord and bring the nation alongside in that endeavor.  

A repentant person changes their mind and thus leads to a change in action.

Application

So how does this apply to us?  We are not the nation of Israel.  I am not an actual King. 

  • First, because I have been saved by Christ, I know that my future is secure.  But that also means I have a purpose.  My purpose is to Glorify God and enjoy him forever.  So anything that goes against that is what I refer to as sin.  
  • When I sin I am turning my back on the path and purpose God has laid out for me.  So the opposite of that would be repentance.  Repentance is when I see my sin, I know the gravity of it, and I change my mind and return on a right path towards God.  
  • When I am walking in sinful choices I am not thinking about God.  When I repent I change that thinking.  I walk in the glory of what God has done for me and change my actions and mindset.
  • So as I stated at the beginning continual repentance brings us back to a right relationship with God 

There is an old children’s hymn that Charles Spurgeon references which says:

“Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve,
By doing so no more.”

Integration

How do I share how to integrate this into my day to day living than to give an example of my own life?

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with my wife which ended in me getting heated.  I’m not a huge yeller, in fact when I truly get angry I get quiet and scary according to my students.  

But in this instance, I raised my voice and did not love my wife like Christ loves the church.  My wife of course reacted in a gracious and kind manner.  At that moment I was not honoring God in the way I spoke to my wife.  I was walking a path of sinfulness. 

God often uses time as a means to convict me of sin.  So as the day went on I felt the guilt of my reaction to my wife.  Later, after the kids were in bed I understood that I needed to repent to the Lord and to my wife. 

 My relationship with my wife was not as it should be and it was my fault.  So I changed my mind, not necessarily about the issue at hand, but about who my wife was and my responsibility towards her. 

 I confessed and asked for forgiveness.  In that moment of humility, embarrassment, and awkwardness my wife forgave me and we moved on.  

Our relationship was restored, because I changed my mind and heart and because my wife was willing to be forgiving.

So, repentance is important because it brings us back to Christ, back to our original forgiveness, back to the joy of walking with a righteous God who wants what’s best for us and has a plan for our life.  

Repentance is not walking in perpetual shame, but rather is stepping back towards the hope we have in Christ.

There are a few songs that remind me of this.  One that comes to mind is “You Brought Me Back to Life” by Citizens & Saints.  You can check them out on YouTube.  I think it’d be encouraging for you.

Wrap Up

I pray that this is an encouragement to you.  That you wouldn’t view repentance as a burden but rather as a continual reminder of the freedom you have in Christ. 

All of us at The Pulse would like to thank you for listening to this podcast. 

If you have questions please submit them and be sure to vote on next week’s question.  Thanks for listening!  Be well.