“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”. Acts 3:19 ESV
Forgiveness and repentance go hand in hand. There’s no use asking forgiveness for something I’m already plotting to do again. I will not become free of it. Repentance is the turning away from sin, committing to live a different way, walk a different road. Sometimes this even means we step away from certain people that lead us down paths where we know we’ll fall. Every new believer has these decisions to make. Some have lived lives that have ravaged them and a new social circle is needed if they are to be successful in their faith. Later on when they have grown stronger in their faith is the time for them to reach out to their previous friends to tell their story and extend an invitation to repent and be forgiven.
I’ve learned that those who come from a background of extreme sin flourish in a very structured almost fundamentalist environment. As they learn to walk with God in their newfound faith they are able in time to examine the reasons behind certain principles and revise as they go along according to new understanding and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
There are no words to describe what it’s like to be forgiven by God. It’s a feeling of freedom, love and belonging. This verse is a promise. Repent and you will be forgiven. Your sins will be blotted out, erased and will cease to exist. They will no longer be held against you.
I do not believe one can repent without the help of God. So I’d say step one is confession of sins to God. Step two is asking to be forgiven. Step three is asking for the strength to repent and for the wisdom on how to commit to repentance.
All who do this need support from other believers to study God’s word and meet together regularly for encouragement. We are not meant to live our lives of faith alone. God will provide what’s needed. We only need to cling to God as we go along.
Dare to approach the Throne of Grace that’s been waiting on you to receive forgiveness, freedom and purpose. Dive right in. Do not delay one moment more. You are loved.