It is thought by many that in order for one’s sins to be forgiven by God one must be led a specific prayer known as the Prayer of Repentance. They say Unless you followed that prayer, your sins may never be forgiven.And that has made many people even non-Christians to claim they are saved simply because they followed such kind of simple prayer. But is that all? .What does the Bible teach us about genuine repentance leading to forgiveness of sins?
Let’s explore together this experience of our Lord Jesus and His response to that situation, bacause there is something I want you to see probably you never knew it before, though we read it everyday from scriptures.
Let us read:
37“ And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?”
You may also find in many places where the Lord Jesus utters this word, “Your sins are forgiven.” People are offended by him as a blasphemer, for judging people as if he were God,
you will also read that (Mark 2: 1-12) when he saw a paralyzed man and told him your sins were forgiven. people were very angry and said he is blasphemying.
But they did not see what Christ was seeing, they thought he was just deciding to say the words to everyone he sees around, even if he has no plan with God.
They didn’t know it…but Christ was looking deep into the inner chambers of the hearts of the people, He was seeing the genuine hearts of repentance,
hearts that repent of their sins..Hearts which say if God would hear me only this time and forgive all of my sins, I would serve him forever.Hearts which regrets for their past-doings, and are willing to start afresh with God.
That’s what the Lord Jesus saw in the woman and in that paralyzed man
though outwardly, they did not talk to Jesus,but inside their hearts were crying to the Lord
That is when Jesus declared publicly to that woman “Your sins are forgiven “,
Now those people who were around know nothing, while they saw that woman spoke nothing, they say to Jesus…You are blasphemying.
Take note! the Lord didn’t say “I forgive you sin” no! But he said “you are forgiven”
meaning that he was as if he were reporting something that had already taken place in heaven
it’s okay for someone to tell you “you’re forgiven interest”
that does not necessarily mean that he was the one who forgave you, but he stands as a representative of order that has passed elsewhere.
And that is what Jesus did, he did nothing except what he sees his father’s doing..
John 5:19 (KJV)
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
But if the Lord saw the woman come with ointment and weep at her feet, and began to wipe his feet with her tears while inside she has no heart of repentance, it is obvious that Lord would not have told her those words, he would probably have told her other words to build her up but not “your sins are forgiven”
God is not pleased with 100 prayers of repentance that you are led daily, or how many times you open your mouth to confess you sins before him and how many times he cries for forgiveness.
If there is no sincere heart in you to turn from sin to Christ, your repentance is invalid.
One person may be a murderer, a gangster and a terrorist but one day he regrets his crimes and says from today on, my God I turn to you and these things I do not want them anymore!..Lord may accept him,
, but you who go daily to the throne of God and cry aloud and tell God to forgive you,
You are being led daily to the Prayer of Repentance but still behind you secretly commit adultery, you watch secretly pornography, you secretly drink alcohol, You call yourself a long-time church member I want to tell you the truth that God “CANNOT FORGET YOUR SIN”
The Lord forgives repentant hearts, not lips of repentance.So we must not deceive ourselves in any way. True repentance is not only from the lips but from the heart,
Whether it is for prayer or not for prayer , what matters is a sincere turn in the heart, and to regret by saying, I will no longer do it.
Is it you turned? if at this point in time, you will make a wise decision to change your life, and follow him, he will surely accept you.
God bless you.