God has given us emotions and senses for good reasons. But those emotions are not your master — Jesus is your Master.
Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.
– Charles Spurgeon
Jesus is the only One Who gives relationship with the one true God. He came to us as God’s Word in the flesh. As you read God’s Word, there is something supernatural inside it. God wants to reveal deeper truths to you. Ask God to reveal to you deeper spiritual truths, so that you can have a greater realization of Who Jesus is.
Repentance… it is not something you can make or conjure up. It really isn’t just “feeling bad.” Judas felt really terrible about betraying Jesus. He went back to the priests and threw the money they paid him at their feet. They said it didn’t matter to them. No one condemned Judas but himself. He felt so bad about what he had done that he killed himself.
3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. 4 “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said.
“What’s that to us?” they said. “See to it yourself!”
5 So he threw the silver into the sanctuary and departed. Then he went and hanged himself. (Matthew 27)
Judas hated himself — he felt as bad as a person can for doing something they regret. But feeling bad is not repentance. Punishing yourself is actually self-righteousness, an attempt to atone for your own wrongdoing. But when you truly believe Jesus, you understand that HE paid that price for you.
In Acts 10, we have the account of God preparing Peter to meet Cornelius, who was a Roman soldier. At that time, Jews and Gentiles (non-Jewish people) did not associate with each other. God prepared Peter to visit Cornelius by showing him a vision to illustrate that God is not looking on the outside, but on the heart. It is not for us to call someone unworthy because of how we judge them from the outside.
Cornelius had gathered his family and friends to hear what Peter would say. They wanted more of God, and He answered their request. John the Baptist called people to repentance, to change their ways. But now, after the resurrection of Jesus, here is what Peter preaches to them:
“Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him. 36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all. 37 You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10)
All Peter did was teach them about Jesus. Their belief in Jesus — not anything they did themselves — brought about their repentance and forgiveness. And because of this:
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and declaring the greatness of God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.
Now, Acts 11: The Jewish believers heard what had happened and were upset that Peter had visited Gentiles. After Peter explains why, they became silent. And then:
…they glorified God, saying, “So God has granted repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles!”
In 2 Timothy 2:
24 The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.
We need to remember where repentance comes from — it comes from God, not from us. You cannot make someone or yourself repentant — only God can do this. He provided redemption in Jesus, who calls us to tell others about Him, just as Peter did, but He is the one who does the cleaning and the changing.