When Jesus preached His first sermon, He came straight to the point: “Repent and believe in the gospel.” In today’s English He was saying, “Change your way of thinking and fill your heart and mind with the good news.”
Repentance doesn’t mean simply saying, “I’m sorry,” nor does it necessarily require deep emotion. Repentance is all about the way you decide to think. It involves cleansing your mind with what the Bible calls “the washing of water with the word.” As you fill your mind with God’s thoughts, you simultaneously cleanse it of all matter of unholy clutter.
We want to believe that our problem happens to us rather than in us. Society loves and adores the victim model. Commonly, we are taught to blame our problematic behaviors on negative life experiences and the people who contributed to them, or on disease, or even on genetics. Personal responsibility is not too popular a concept in most circles.
Just as everyone possesses a carnal or sinful nature from birth, so also do we come into this world with a free will. Most people don’t really realize just how free they are to choose. The fact is, much of what we feel victimized by, we actually played a huge part in bringing on ourselves because of choices we have made…
If someone tells you that you’re psychologically sick or that your “condition” is genetic, then by accepting that diagnosis you surrender hope. It’s out of your hands. But if God’s Word diagnoses your condition as sin and commands you to repent, then you are empowered by the very command to obey it. This is because God’s Word really is alive; it isn’t just something He once said, but it’s what He is still saying now. That’s exactly why 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” The command to obey always includes the power to obey.