Fear of God Devotional: What is Biblical Repentance?

What is true, biblical repentance? Is the mere shedding of tears sufficient?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that we might think that a person is repentant if they appear sorry. But, there are other aspects to repentance that go beyond the mere shedding of tears. Repentance involves both the confession of sin and the forsaking of it as laid out in Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV): “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” 

Accordingly, it is not enough to just hear the confession, witness the tears, and thereby think that there is repentance. How can we determine whether the sin is forsaken? While there might not be a bright-line test to determine whether there is true repentance, we can ask whether there is victory, in time, over that sin or whether that individual continually returns to that same sin. We can also look to Scripture to see examples of true and false repentance.

Luke 18:13-14 (NKJV) – “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”