Steps of Repentance in the Bible

What is the definition of Repentance?

The Hebrew word for repent/repentance is T’shuva and it literally means to “turn around.” As Hebraic language expert, Brad Scott, states in his post Repentance Introduction, “The foundation of repentance is the return to where you came from. Adam came from the dust, and that is where he will teshuvah, or return to. The root of repentance is to go back to something. It is what we are to go back to, that is critical. Ponder this for awhile. Is not this repentance the constant cry of YHVH to His people always? When you read of all the terrible judgment poured out in the last days, is this because the nations did not acknowledge that Yeshua‘ was Master, or is it because they turned (shoov) from His ways”? (wildbranchministries.org) Or both?

steps of repentance in the bible how to get there and what to do when you arrive

Why Repent? Messiah already Paid the Price

Indeed, Messiah paid for our sins. That debt is paid when you embrace Him as your Saviour and abide in Him. However, now that He bought us, we are no longer our own, but His. We must present ourselves to His service. It is our responsibility. We are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Biblical forgiveness is ours for the asking.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

2 Corintians 7:10

Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Matthew 3:6

Chastening or Discipline of the Lord

Apparently, chastening or discipline of the Lord is out of style. Or, at least the acknowledgment of it. Sadly, this Biblical concept is foundational to growth and maturity in our walks. But, we must get on board, and not only acknowledge His chastening, but call it a joy! Trials are not just tragedies that happen to us. Trials can very much be incidents or issues we had a part in. T’shuva, turning back to YHVH and His ways and His instructions is walking in repentance…

After years of pondering this question, here’s my best answer. The chastening of the Lord is not a bless- ing. When God blesses you, He truly blesses. And when He chastens, well, He truly chastens. They’re not the same thing. Now, the chastening of the Lord produces a blessing in the end, for those who have been trained by it (Heb 12:11). But in the moment it’s not a blessing, it’s a trial. The cross was not a blessing given Jesus by the Father; it was a grievous trial marked by great anguish and sorrow. However, because He endured the trial, He attained to the joy that was set before Him, and now His joy knows no bounds (Heb 12:2).

The Chastening of the Lord by Bob Sorge (p.25)

“Depart from Me, I Never Knew You”

Folks, this is serious stuff, yet we are so sure of ourselves, so puffed up with our understandings or a wee bit of knowledge. We must learn to embrace T’shuva and the steps of repenting. It should be a lifestyle.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [amiracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23

What Repentance is Not

  • sorrow
  • blame
  • regret
  • fear of consequences
  • staying where you are (you must turn back, t’shuva)
  • sweeping the issue under the rug or pretending like it didn’t happen
  • pointing at the speck in your brother’s eye
  • A few of these may be phases to work through in our processing through the steps of repentance – but these are not repentance.

Genuine biblical repentance includes sorrow over our sin and a willingness to admit and take responsibility for our actions. While we don’t earn forgiveness through good behavior or somehow atoning for our sins, genuine repentance will produce a change in our behavior. It’s the fruit of a changed heart.

Donna Reidland

How Repentance and Humility are Related

Truly, Biblical repentance, will, without a doubt, be humble. The steps of repentance cannot be genuine without our pride being broken and our acknowledgment to our Creator and to our fellow man. There’s a reason the bible talks about confession one to another. It’s humbling, it’s important. T’shuva is not an easy trail, nor is it for the puffed up.

How to Love Those Who are Without Repentance

coffee pouring into ugh cup how to deal with unrepentant people

In my review of the book Boundaries, I talk about forgiveness and how to forgive and the very important work of having boundaries. It’s hard to deal with the unrepentant in our daily life. The defensive, the prideful, the blamers. Love them with your boundaries in place, we have all, at one point or another been where they are, right?

O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?
You have smitten them,
But they did not [bweaken;
You have consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.

Then I said, “They are only the poor,
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord
Or the ordinance of their God

Jeremiah 5:3-4

Steps of Repentance – a Lifestyle Transformation

Repentance is always a positive action, choice or attitude.

Stepping out our Repentance

phone map gps repentance how to get there and what to do when you arrive
  • First, Persevere in being aware, if you feel defensive, check yourself, inquire of YHVH if there is any repentance on your part needed
  • Second, do your due Diligence – walking in His abundance, requires diligence on our part, be aware, are you abiding, do you need to draw near, do you need a clean heart?
  • Thirdly, Confession – eventually I hope to study out this neglected, biblical principle – at this point, I can share that confession to our fellow man keeps us humble and also gives motivation for staying on the straight and narrow. It is an activity that builds relationships and bodies. Unity is impossible without this vital component.
  • Finally, Grace – the only thing that makes repentance reasonable, right? Without it denial sounds pretty sweet! His grace, His will, His abundant life? Yep, worth it!
  • Last, make this a Lifestyle – His love is the author of our heart’s repentance.

In conclusion, embrace a study and lifestyle of YHVH’s chastening, confession and repentance. Keep these topics as a rich part of your prayer life, look up quotes and Scripture verses in regards to these topics. Teach others about what you are learning. Let’s acknowledge the whole Bible, not just the easy parts! Grace and good fruit await us, as we take the steps of repentance daily.