When it comes to Repentance of sins, I think the Ten Commandments is a good place to start. God meant this to be a guide to transforming the way we think, what we do and how we live. God's guide to the good life full of blessings. That's why the Bible calls them "the royal law" and "the law of liberty."
1. You Shall (or Shalt) have no other Gods Before Me.
“And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Ex. 20:1-3). Under no circumstances would God want other gods worshipped in his place.
2. You Shall not make unto you any Graven Image.
Notice God’s specific instructions to Moses: “You shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall you make unto you gods of gold” (Ex. 20:23). False gods were common in ancient times, but today’s Christians usually don’t have a problem with this commandment. (I won’t either as soon as I get that golden calf out of my workshop.)
3. You Shall not Take the Name of the Lord in Vain.
The Third Commandment is tied directly to the first two. It describes the careful reverence with which God wants his name to be used at all times. The meaning of this commandment is when people reference the true God, they should be very careful how they do it. Obviously, it could be easy to break this commandment.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it Holy.
It does not say hour, or morning, but Sabbath Day. This means all day long. In Judaism and some other religions, Saturday is the day of worship.
5. Honor your Father & Mother.
Honoring God bears a strong relationship to honoring parents. The implications of this commandment are serious. The concept of honor begins with the concept of obedience. In life, there are many things children must learn to respect. There are boundaries of acceptable conduct that have to be ingrained.
6. You shall not Kill.
God said, “He that smites a man, so that he dies, shall be surely put to death” (Ex. 21:12).
Since God is the giver of life, he forbids man from taking it. This includes Murder, Suicide, and the controversial Abortion. Mankind is made in the image and likeness of God and has been given a mind and potential destiny to be born into God’s Family. This is why we must respect human life with the sanctity that God intended. *Over one million people commit suicide each year.
7. You Shall not commit Adultery.
Extramarital sex that willfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations; adultery is often cited as grounds for divorce. Criminal conversation, fornication, extramarital sex, and free love, between individuals who are not married to one another is a sin.
8. You Shall not Steal.
Before you plead innocent to stealing, consider this: Remember back to when you were in school. If you ever glanced at another student’s test answers, you committed “Theft of Knowledge.” We must examine all forms of stealing carefully for repentance.
9. You Shall not bear False Witness against your Neighbor.
This commandment condemns all manner of lying and deception in every form. It includes outright lying, false advertising, slander, shading the truth, and even exaggeration. Justice can only be based on Truth. It embodies the very character of God—all that he is and does. God’s character is so perfect and powerful that he literally cannot lie.
10. You Shall not Covet.
The word “covet” comes from the Hebrew word “chamad“, which means to desire or lust for something pleasant or of precious value. It is easy to understand why God does not want anyone to desire someone else’s wife, house, etc.
*When you desire another person’s possessions, you are not desiring your own, which might be Blessings from God.
Repentance typically includes an admission of sin, a promise not to repeat it, and asking for forgiveness. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25. “No one need despair on account of his or her sins, for every penitent sinner is graciously received by God.” (Jeremiah 31:9).
Jewish doctrine holds that it is never too late, even on the day of death, to return to God with sincere repentance, for "As the sea is always open for every one who wishes to cleanse himself, so are the gates of repentance.”
Here is the Irony: Several passages in the Bible refer to the “Unforgivable Sin.” “Anyone who speaks a word against the son of man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will Not be Forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matthew 12:30-32. In addition, taking a life by murder, suicide, or abortion, is also an Unforgivable Sin.
“Unforgivable Sin” seems to contradict the “All sins will be forgiven” version. This is confusing. Or could it be another example of mankind's limited comprehension? What do you think?
Dr. Joe K. Reed
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