Repentance and Learning to Hate Sin

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Satan, the enemy of God and all of God’s people, wants you to believe his lie: “Confessing your sin brings shame upon you and you must hide it at all costs.” We’re also reluctant to confess and to repent because we understand that sin is a reproach to us, since we bear the image of God. Yet, the only way to true repentance is confession. Confession is honesty before God and people. Confession of sin is the beginning of repentance, and the beginning of confession is learning to hate sin.

 

Repentance—a strong word. Even many Bible believing pastors hesitate to use the word, thinking it will come across as abrasive and will make people immediately uncomfortable. In a day where people are striving with all energy to gain wide acceptance by the public or avoid condemnation, the word and idea of repentance is far from people’s lips and minds. Recently, someone told me to stop talking about repentance. She told me the thought of repentance gives her spiritual post-traumatic stress disorder.

But repentance is essential to the Christian life. The gospel begins with a strong message of repentance: “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matt. 4:17).” That is why

Satan, the enemy of God and all of God’s people, wants you to believe his lie: “Confessing your sin brings shame upon you and you must hide it at all costs.” We’re also reluctant to confess and to repent because we understand that sin is a reproach to us, since we bear the image of God. Yet, the only way to true repentance is confession. Confession is honesty before God and people. Confession of sin is the beginning of repentance, and the beginning of confession is learning to hate sin.

Learn to Hate Sin

The post-Christian culture is laboring hard to rewrite word definitions but also biblical doctrine. That which God declares evil they say is good and that which God declares good they say is evil. Clearly, sin is alluring to fallen people, so alluring that they will prize it as good and reject that which is truly good.

There is no need to share why sin is so alluring. Thus, it is important to learn why sin is so evil and why we must hate it. You might think it is enough merely to repeat what Scripture declares regarding certain actions and thoughts as sinful. Yet, both the culture and large sections of the church echo Satan’s question to challenge God’s truths: “Did God really say?” The default approach is often: “What is wrong with my actions if it is done in love?“ Consequently, one who does not meditate upon God’s law and its reasons for identifying certain things as sin may come up with nothing to say to such common questions and go down the path of self-destruction, alienating themselves further from a holy God.

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