Genuine Repentance and True Forgiveness
Updated: Jan 18
“… Peter went outside and wept bitterly” Matthew 26:75
Peter sinned greatly. He denied Jesus, His Lord and Master, “I do not know the man!” Peter lied, Peter denied his best friend, Peter committed a horrible sin! The Bible says that He also cursed and he swore. However, we see something beautiful taking place: Peter REALIZED the wrong he did as He remembered the word of God.
It is a problem when people do not realize when they have sinned. It is a problem when someone justify sin. It is a problem when someone protect their sins. It is a problem when people have a hard time saying, “I am sorry, please forgive me!” It is a problem when people have to preach hard to show you have sinned. Let us pause and first pray for those who have a hardened heart, who do not sense it when they have sinned.
All of us should feel uncomfortable when we commit sin and like Peter, we must quickly repent, genuinely asking for forgiveness from God and from those whom we have wronged.
- You admit the wrong you did on your own, you do not wait for people to come and convince you have sinned
- You ask forgiveness from those you wronged and you meticulously spell out what you did wrong
- When you ask for forgiveness, do not justify why you did the wrong but take full responsibility
- Ask forgiveness from God but also from the people you have wronged. There are those who avoid asking those you wronged to forgive you, that is not genuine repentance.
- Action will follow. After you repent genuinely, you have learned your lesson, you will not want to go again and repeat the same harm or the same sin.
- Like Peter, you will tear your heart, you will weep bitterly (inwardly or outwardly)
WHEN GOD SEES GENUINE REPENTANCE, FORGIVENESS IS AUTOMATIC
When God sees genuine repentance, forgiveness is automatic. From that moment on, God looks at you as though you never sinned. “…For You have hurled all my sins behind Your back.” Isaiah 38:17. God does not have to forgive where people have not genuinely repented. So when people have truly repented, God forgives and the relationship is restored as though nothing happened. If one were to bring up the past, the Lord looks at them like, “I do not recall that! I see my Holy Son in you not sin in you.” When you repent genuinely, God only see His Holy Son in you, not sins. We must make it therefore a genuine repentance.
As humans, we must learn to genuinely repent. We cannot just repent only to God but we must repent to those we have wronged. Often time however, there are those people who have a hard time coming to us and say, “I am sorry, please forgive me for doing this and that to you!” What keeps people from doing so is because they have the SPIRIT OF PRIDE. Pride does not like to bow down. Pride keeps people from humbling themselves and admitting their wrong. From this moment on, let us choose to be a people who are like Peter who was quick to repent. The moment he finished to deny the Lord, knowing the word of God helped Him to remember he had gone against the word. Peter overcame pride and repented and the Bible tells us that He went outside, right on the spot, he went outside and wept bitterly and he repented from his heart. So knowing the Word of God is of great importance.
I HAVE FORGIVEN BUT I CANNOT BE AROUND THEM!
Imagine if God was like this, ‘I have forgiven you but I will stay away for a while!”
This is another thing we do that is contrary to how God does things. Often time, we say, ‘oh, I need time; I have to think about this; I need to pray, I need to fast’. So in not executing the will of God at once, that is how the enemy comes in, and stand in between. He comes and he moves, and he speaks, and he works and he advances. “We must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work”. John 9:4. We must meet and solve the issues when possible face to face but often time, people prefer to stay away; so they do this, however that is not how heaven does it. When I encountered the Lord, I noticed that He wants things ironed out right away. Why would you go pray and fast while you know the will of the Father says ‘forgive one another’. You do not pray to see if you are going to do God’s will. You do not fast to see if you are going to church, to prayer etc… When it comes to God’s will, the Lord say, “You must do my will at once.” When it comes to doing the will of the Father, we must do it even without praying first. In waiting to see whether to do His will, we give a chance to the enemy to work. The Bible says, “do not give the devil a foothold”. Jesus did it right on the spot, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Peter did it right on the spot and He repented from the heart. Therefore it says in 1 Corinthians 15:4-5 “and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
Though Peter sinned and denied the Lord, He repented genuinely and right on the spot and the Lord’s forgiveness was automatic. Jesus did not hold grudges and so when He rose from the dead, Peter was among the first few people who encountered the Lord. Not only that, but before He ascended to heaven, Jesus entrusted to Him to “tend His sheep.”
WHEN YOU HAVE TRULY FORGIVEN, THE RELATIONSHIP WILL BE RESTORED TO WHERE IT WAS BEFORE THE INCIDENT
When people have truly repented to us, we must forgive them. I have made it a goal to forgive them even before they ask for forgiveness. When you have truly repented, you will know it is genuine repentance because as far as you are concerned, the relationship will be where it was before they wronged you. Such repentance and forgiveness is what God desires for each one of us to have. We must learn true repentance and true forgiveness and become the owners of such great virtues. We must have GENUINE LOVE WHICH KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONG. We must truly repent and forgive from the heart because if we do not, neither will our heavenly Father forgive us. A soul that cannot be forgiven by God is a soul that is in deep trouble (Matthew 18:21-35). Therefore, today, there are a many souls, servants of God, ministers of the Gospel, saints all over the world who are STUCK because through their unforgiveness, the Father has not forgiven them either. How far can you go without forgiving truly? What can you accomplish when the Father has not forgiven you [because first of all you must forgive others from the heart].
Beloved friend, we must approach the throne of God humbly and learn from Him. The Holy Spirit is eager to teach us true repentance and true forgiveness. When we surrender, He will help us to become like Jesus.
This article and many others can be found on our website or our newsletter archive.
On November 09, 2013, The Lord spoke to me in a face to face encounters and said, “Everything I have taught you and done in you and for you, go forth in my strength, teach others and help them to know and achieve them: My love, freedom and peace. Go forth in My strength, impart my fire and gifts, teach others to observe all that I have taught you.”