In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 13, some people came to Jesuss and told him about Galileans whose blood Pilaate had mixed with their sacrifices. They were going to offer a sacrifice and they were slaughtered by the hands of evil men. Jesus reminds them that they were not worse sinners than any others. What happened to them was a result of evil that was done to them. Jesus let's them know that if they don't repent, they too will perish.
Then Jesus reminds them about a tower in Siloam that fell and killed eighteen people. A natural disaster that took thier lives too soon. They also were not more guilty than others. Jesus takes one more chance to remind them that unless they repent, they too will perish.
Then Jesus tells a story...
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’” -Luke 13:6-9
The owner is regarded as representing God the Father, who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and came seeking fruit. The parable reflects Jesus offering a chance for repentance and forgiveness of sin, showing his grace toward his believers.
We teach kids to say that they are sorry when they don't play nice. We apologize when we snap at others. When it comes to repentance of our sins before God, we may not be as quick to act.
True repentance comes when we desire to live lives worthy of the grace and mercy of our Savior. Our gratitude for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross must prompt us to repent of anything that is contrary to His holiness.
Here is what biblical repentance looks like.
REPENTANCE IS MORE THAN "SORRY."
Being sorry indicates a temporary clearing of the conscience. We can be "sorry" about a lot of things, but only godly sorrow leads to a change of heart. The outward signs of godly sorrow include a diligence to live differently, a holly fear of the Lord, and a desire for forgiveness.
REPENTANCE MOURNS OVER SIN AND SHAME
In our lives, when the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes, our hearts will be grieved over our sin. In our brokenness before God, we will be restored.
REPENTANCE IS FUELED BY GOD'S LOVING-KINDNESS
When repentance starts to feel like an obligation more than a freedom, we needd to remember the incredible goodness of our heavenly Father. Because of His patience with us, we are motivated to repent of anything that goes against His unmerited kindness towards uss.
REPENTANCE IS URGENT
Sometimes, it is easy to take the Lord's mercy for granted. We know that Jesus' work on the cross covered our sin, so we may be tempted to be complacent in repenetance. Let us be purposeful in acknowledging our sin with urgency and resolve. Confeess our sins, knowing he is faithful and just to forgive.
UNLESS YOU REPENT... YOU WILL PERISH