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Clarity and a clean slate

by | Nov 29, 2023 | Genuine Hope | 0 comments

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’

Luke 15:7-8

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is the one above as the prodigal son came to his senses and recognized his sin against both the God of heaven and his father.

Each of us has to reach that place in our own lives. Rosaria Butterfield writes, “Sin spins a web of confusion. Repentance breaks those webs and replaces sin with clarity… Repentance gives us a clean slate, a deep fear of God, and the wisdom to go forward.

What is true repentance? Butterfield includes this list from the Puritan Thomas Watson –

  • Recognition of Sin (Acts 26:18)
  • Sorrow for Sin (Psalm 38:18, 51:7)
  • Confession of Sin (Nehemiah 9:2, 1 Corinthians 11:31)
  • Shame for Sin (Ezekiel 43:10, Luke 15:21)
  • Hatred of Sin (Psalm 119:104, Romans 7:15, 23)
  • Turning from Sin (Isaiah 55:7, Ephesians 5:8)

As I read through the list above, I am reminded of a passage frequently when I think about my own need for repentance –

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139:23-24


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