The Discipline of Ongoing Repentance

The Discipline of Ongoing Repentance

In regards to Romans 8:13, John Owen said the following: “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

Romans 8:12-14 “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

A few chapters later, Paul wrote “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom. 13:14). We can only mortify the flesh by perpetually magnifying Christ in our hearts. As we walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5), we will experience the repentance that leads to live—and such repentance is an ongoing work of the Spirit within us as we behold and become like Jesus Christ, our Savior.

John Stott writes:

“The first great secret of holiness lies in the degree and the decisiveness of our repentance. If besetting sins persistently plague us, it is either because we have never truly repented, or because, having repented, we have not maintained our repentance. It is as if, having nailed our old nature to the cross, we keep wistfully returning to the scene of its execution. We begin to fondle it, to caress it, to long for its release, even to try to take it down again from the cross. We need to learn to leave it there. When some jealous, or proud, or malicious, or impure though invades our mind we must kick it out at once. It is fatal to begin to examine it and consider whether we are going to give in to it or not. We have declared war on it; we are not going to resume negotiations. We have settled the issue for good; we are not going to re-open it. We have crucified the flesh; we war never going to draw the nails.”[1]

Let us therefore, embrace a lifestyle of repentance from our sin and faith in the risen Christ.


[1] Brian Hedges, Christ Formed in You (Shepherd Press, 2010), 138.  See also A Lifestyle of Repentance.


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Filed under Repentance, Sanctification, Tribbett

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