Keys to Restoration–Repentance
Spiritual change implies a return to God. The term repent, signifies “to have another mind,” to change the opinion or purpose with regard to sin and set a right course. Religion has presented grief over sin rather than abandonment of sin as the primary idea of New Testament repentance. The change wrought by Biblical repentance is so deep and radical that is has an effect on the whole spiritual nature and involves the entire personality.
The story of the prodigal son is a classic example of the process of repentance and the restoration it brings. Instead of using his portion of the inheritance to prepare for his bride, the son went to a far distant country (as opposed to the closeness of a portion of his Fathers property) and wasted it. When hard times came – as they inevitably do – he was all alone.
Greek philosophy equated redemption with the concept of coming to senses – which is what he did – but Biblical repentance takes it further. It requires a response:
- Recognition of the condition or need
- Decision to make a change
- Action that “puts feet” to the decision
- Confession of the failure/sin and need for salvation/redemption/restoration
When he had done this, not only did he find the father waiting for him but he found forgiveness and complete restoration. It is a sloppy, false gospel that promises salvation and restoration without repentance and confession.