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The Bible speaks of repentance from dead works.  Hebrews 9:14  

Righteousness or "dead works"? Which is it? "He who does righteousness is righteous." 1 John 3:7 However, we can try to self-generate good works. Galatians 2:21 Righteousness is by grace, which, in turn, is through faith, and the faith doesn't come from yourself lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8 Faith [supernatural belief and trust] comes from hearing with your spiritual ears, and this kind of hearing comes by the utterance of God. Romans 10:17 So you have the faith of God, not your own faith in God. Mark 11:22 God speaks a vision of hope to an expectant heart that is willing to listen and obey. God shows, as if in a mirror, you who you really are destined to become, what that means for this moment, what is and what is not the Body of Christ (Christ the Body), and how you fit into Christ the Body. James 1:25 Faith gives access into God's grace. Romans 5:2 Grace does the living work of righteousness through us. Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 15:10 This is the free gift of righteousness. Romans 5:17, Romans 10:3 This kind of living Righteousness, of having God work His works through us as we submit to Him, leads to holiness from glory to glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 In this way, we are incrementally set free from sin and the sinful nature. Romans 8:2, Romans 6:18
He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21

(some caveats about hearing God's Voice)

Before getting to repentance, we need to lay some groundwork. Every Christian must fight this war. The war is for the mind. The enemy now holds a lot of ground. We need to take that ground and hold that ground. There will be no time that does not require repentance until we all enter into the fullness of the stature of Christ, that is, the manifestation of the sons of God spoken of the Romans.

 Righteousness is the first step. Righteousness is in the moment with God doing the work and us submitting to Him. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. You must resist in Christ. Every time you resist, it follows the same process that usually takes a split second and is often partly outside our conscious attention. First, God speaks; He leads. This can be a feeling, an impulse, a leaning, a word, a memory of a Scripture, a memory of something your parents or the elders in your church told you, or something else. Make no mistake. God leads and you sort of sense that He is leading.

 It is God, for instance, Who keeps you from cursing out loud when the eggs all break. It is the flesh that makes you want to curse. You have a will. Who will you follow, God or your own flesh (which is really controlled by Satan). In any moment, there may be several fleeting thoughts and emotions. You may yield to the Holy Spirit in part but be drawn away by your fleshly desires in another part. In each part, you either follow God or your flesh. If you follow God, a supernatural trust comes (faith), and faith is the door to grace. By faith we have entrance into this grace wherein we stand. It is by grace through faith, and this faith is not of yourself. Faith is the gift of God lest any man should boast. When we have access to grace through faith, grace does the work in us. Paul says that it was not him who did the work but grace that was in him. We have no capacity for the works of God. That's because they are the works of God, not of us. God must do the works. He gives us the free gift of righteousness. Suppose that instead of cursing out loud, you curse inwardly and immediately ask God for forgiveness. Your restraint and then your contrite prayer is by the Holy Spirit praying through you. It is by grace. This is the fulfillment of the Sabbath day. You have ceased from your own dead works and God has ceased from His independent sovereign work--now every work is a partnership where God works and you submit to His marvelous working in and through you.

 Some people read the Bible and never listen to what God is saying to them through the Bible. In fact, some try to figure out the Bible. Some people can be so close to God and never listen to His voice, so they must depend on a rationalized faith, which is worthless. Fortunately, among all their rationalizations, there is a little faith that is generated when they do hear God's voice. Other people hear God's voice and faith gives them access to God's grace and God's grace would willingly do God's work through them, but they fail to appropriate God's grace. They try to do the work themselves in their own strength and thus frustrate the grace of God. God wants us to hear His voice and submit to His grace and yield the members of our bodies as instruments of His righteousness. This is righteousness and all righteousness that is real righteousness is by grace and that grace is through faith. Every righteousness from receiving forgiveness to healing the sick and raising the dead is done in this way.

 There is more to this, since a man or woman alone could never fulfill the manifestation of the Sons of God. God always give a vision of hope in this process. You realize a bit more what the Body of Christ (Christ the body) is and who you are in the Body. If you read in Ephesians 4, you will see that we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the sons of God, as a perfect (totally complete) man (not perfect men and women) to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. if you look at 1 Corinthians 12 you see that as the human body is one and has many members, so also is Christ. Christ is a Head in heaven working through a body on earth. The fullness of that is the Body with every member in perfect unity and perfect submission to the Head and the Body built according to the pattern of Scripture. No more one-man ministries. No more watering down the gospel to get more members and more money. No more locally abiding salaried pastors. No more boards and democratic process. No more forms and rituals. The interesting thing is the this order of Scripture for Christ the Body is not only the fulfillment, but it is also absolutely necessary for the Body to come into fullness. It is the mechanism by which every member grows from glory to glory.

 Now is the first that we can really discuss repentance. To repent is to have a new mind. The English word means to turn around and go in the opposite direction. Real repentance refers to a permanent change. This change is incremental. It goes from faith to faith, from glory to glory and from light to light. The light that almost blinds us today will seem like darkness tomorrow. The battle is for the mind. We are three--part beings as the Bible says, spirit, mind/soul/heart, and body. When we are born again, our spirits are largely changed, but there is only a slight change in our minds. Our bodies, with all their impulses, habits, and emotions, are still largely under the control of Satan. Evil spirits mostly attack us through our bodies, trying to pull triggers and touch the lies that are already planted in our minds. Remember that it is the truth that sets us free and Jesus is the truth. Here is how that works: you reap what you sow. If you sow to the flesh, guess what? If you sow to the Spirit, guess what? Let's go back to that righteousness that is by grace through faith. This righteousness sows seeds in your heart. Another way to think about it is that you die a bit to yourself and live a bit to Christ. You have made a change that has become a part of you. The change is in your mind, not your body. This change is known as holiness or sanctification. The experience in incremental from glory to glory. It is line upon line and precept upon precept. Some lie is broken and some truth is planted. Some weed is overpowered by a good plant, the planting of the Lord through His righteousness. This is a change of the mind--repentance. With repentance come freedom from bondage to habits, anger, lusts, desire to fit in with the worldly, and the suggestions of demons. This freedom from evil is redemption. To be redeemed is to be set free from slavery. Since Holiness is progressive, redemption is also progressive. Read 1 Corinthians 1:30 to see the relationship between wisdom, Christ, righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

 So, never give up. When Satan tells you that you are not going to make it, listen to what God says. God says you are going to make it. This listening will result in that supernatural trust and belief (faith) that allows grace (the love of God) to flow though you and do God's work. When God does righteousness through you, you reap what you so and your mind is changed (repentance). Your mind is changed to holiness/sanctification and you are set free.

Last updated: Nov, 2012
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