God’s Hope for Your Heart from Mark 1

REPENTANCE COMES FROM HOPE

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Good News.” (Mark 1:15)

When you think of repentance, do you normally think of its standard English meaning, “to feel or express sincere regret or remorse?”  This is right and good, and we see plenty of examples in Scripture of the importance of feeling sorry for our sins.

But that’s only half of the picture.

In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the word translated “repent” is the Greek word metanoeo, which means, “To change one’s life, based on complete change of attitude and thought.”  You see, Scripture’s idea of repentance isn’t just about feeling sorry, it’s about having your life changed as a result.  It’s about “turning around.”

Here’s the thing, though.  There’s no use turning from sin if you don’t have something good to turn towards in its place.

That’s why Jesus leads His call to repentance with the Good News of God and the nearness of the Kingdom.  The people to whom He was speaking were already aware of their sins; that’s why they had all been going to John the Baptist (Mark 1:4-5).  What they needed now wasn’t someone to remind them how bad they were, but someone to tell them how good God is.

That’s the beauty of the Gospel.  The true “Good News” of Jesus always addresses our sin, but never leaves us in it.  It always shows us our need for a Savior, but quickly moves the focus off of us and on to Him.

The message of the Kingdom isn’t, “Keep feeling bad about how bad you are,” but rather, “Rejoice at how good God is!”

If you’ve been beating yourself up over something, or trying to change because of guilt or fear, stop it!  God calls you to repentance not because He’s mad at you, but because He wants to give you a totally changed life that looks like Jesus.  So, may you be encouraged and empowered to change as you embrace this truth: repentance comes from hope.

-Pastor Phillip


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