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What is repentance?

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#1
LoveGeneration

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Repentance, in my understanding, is a changing of the mind, which in effect will alter a person's behavior. Correct?  

 

In other words, when a person repents, would it be appropriate to ask this question....."Do I now hate the sins I used to commit and do I now love the God I once ignored?"

 

I'm asking these questions because I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma...

 

The Bible says in James 4:17, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

 

So here I sit, knowing that the right thing to do would be not to light up a cigarette.  But time after time I continue to do so.  If I run to God after smoking a cigarette and ask His forgiveness, will He forgive me?  Does God's forgiveness hinge upon repentance?  Must I put down the cigarettes for good before God will forgive me?  There have been times when I quit smoking and asked God to forgive me, but those times did not last very long...I went back to smoking, the addiction just keeps overpowering me. So after smoking I run back to God to ask for His forgiveness again.  Will God continue to forgive me...even though I haven't been able to quit smoking...not that I want to smoke or want to continue in sin. 

 

Would my dilemma be what the writer of Heb. 10:26 speaks of? , "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins..."

 

Repentance involves not repeating the sin again. You have not repented, you have simply asked for forgiveness. God will continue to forgive you, but you need to ask Him for guidance and help to quench your addiction before you attempt to repent. Nicotine is an addictive drug, so through your own strength you will not be able to overcome your addiction, you need to pray and ask God for help. 


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#2
2404

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Hello Roy
Sounds to me like your heart is right but that you are getting hung up on reformation. Reformation is alright but I think what you are really after is sanctification. The scriptural process is Justification, Sanctification and then the Sealing. As I understand it the only real sin is unbelief for if we are believers everything else will follow. My suggestion is to stop beating yourself up, commit your ways whole heartedly to the Lord and find a good bible believing fellowship and stay there and let the Lord look after things. What you can do is feed on the Word faithfully come rain or shine.
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#3
Willa

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I have heard Christians say that it was easier for them to overcome cocain addiction than cigarette addiction. I have known people who got help from doctors but smoked as well and never overcame it.

Sometimes we leave ourselves "loop holes" as well. I will quit, but I know if my friends are smoking I will have one, too, type loop holes. So the key would be to avoid your friends who smoke. Hubby and I had to quit at the same time. And we were at each others throats for a month. But I was pregnant and 3 doctors had told me to quit. We did it cold turkey, the hard way, but they weren't as potent in the 60s. So if you really want to quit, you should probably see a doctor, and simply ask God to help you to stick to it. No exceptions. No loop holes.
Then ask God to fill you with His Spirit again to give you the power to overcome.
Then start focusing on God and do the things He does want you to do.--- If He tells you to give the money that you would have spent on cigarettes to the poor at a mission, do it. Whatever you feel God has put on your heart to do that agrees with scripture and is Christ like is what you should focus on doing. That is walking in the Spirit. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not the sin that so easily besets you. And I am not saying it will be easy unless God gives you extra special grace.

If it would help, find a self help group or a pastor who might hold you accountable and pray for you. Ask for prayer from your family or any people that you know who are prayer warriors.
And present your body a living sacrifice to God, which is your reasonable service. Renew your mind daily in the washing and regeneration of His Word, the bread of life.

I do ask God to give you the grace to overcome this, and to help you leave them behind for good. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world. Read Romans 7 and all of Romans 8 again. Walking in the Spirit is the answer to the o wretched man that I am scenerio. Thanks be to God!!! He has given us a way out!!!
Blessings,
Willa
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#4
CurtisCWilson

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Since you already know that "repentance" means ,"to change your mind", but that does not mean to change what you are thinking about, but to change from your carnal mind (which is the enemy of God) in your head, to the mind of Christ (which is your new life) in your heart.


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#5
RustyAngeL

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Since you already know that "repentance" means ,"to change your mind", but that does not mean to change what you are thinking about, but to change from your carnal mind (which is the enemy of God) in your head, to the mind of Christ (which is your new life) in your heart.

Repentance is just that to change your mind and exchange your carnal mind for the mind of Christ.  You become a new creation.  You realize you were bought with a price and you begin to also realize that you are a priceless treasure to the Father.


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#6
Matanah

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My understanding of it is to turn. 180 degrees in other direction.

 

Turn away from sin and to the Lord

 

I hope that's right  :)


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#7
alien224

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Repentance is when we sin and go to God truly sorrowful and ask God to help us turn from our sinful ways and for forgiveness of our sins. Then with Gods help we do the best we can to not to do these things anymore. Its like omegaman said its a complete change within us.
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#8
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Repentance, in my understanding, is a changing of the mind, which in effect will alter a person's behavior. Correct?  

 

In other words, when a person repents, would it be appropriate to ask this question....."Do I now hate the sins I used to commit and do I now love the God I once ignored?"

 

I'm asking these questions because I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma...

 

The Bible says in James 4:17, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin."

 

So here I sit, knowing that the right thing to do would be not to light up a cigarette.  But time after time I continue to do so.  If I run to God after smoking a cigarette and ask His forgiveness, will He forgive me?  Does God's forgiveness hinge upon repentance?  Must I put down the cigarettes for good before God will forgive me?  There have been times when I quit smoking and asked God to forgive me, but those times did not last very long...I went back to smoking, the addiction just keeps overpowering me. So after smoking I run back to God to ask for His forgiveness again.  Will God continue to forgive me...even though I haven't been able to quit smoking...not that I want to smoke or want to continue in sin. 

 

Would my dilemma be what the writer of Heb. 10:26 speaks of? , "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins..."

 

1 John 1:9 declares that if we confess our sins He will not only forgive our sins but will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

I'm not going to minimalize things for you by telling you that smoking isn't a sin.  But because it isn't a sin specifically mentioned in the word, I believe your problem lies in this completely.  If you are going to have the victory you are going to have to understand wholeheartedly that it is a sin; otherwise you will figure that it doesn't matter too much to eternity and will continue because of the pleasure it offers you.

 

That is what addiction is all about.  And Paul declares that addiction is based in sinful things in 1 Corinthians 6:12.  He declares his victory over sinful addiction in this verse.

 

Jesus also speaks of the sinfulness of addictive things in John 8:31-36, especially verses 34-35.

 

I don't mean to scare you by these verses but salvation is not complete without repentance unto victory as he who overcomes will inherit all things and eternal life.

 

The good news is that if He has begun a good work in you He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6.  Hold onto this promise and also believe Philippians 2:12-13 understanding that it does not say in those verses work for but rather work out as in when figuring out a math problem. 


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#9
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Hi Roy B,

 

Some points for reconsideration about the scripture you had referenced.

 

James 4:17 was in relation to James 4:13-16 about how making plans for tomorrow was akin to evil boasting.  The correction was to say," If the Lord will... " to any plans for tomorrow.  In the conclusion of verse 17, was to serve as a deterrant for procrastinating from doing anything good today.  Keep in mind that just as we are to rely on God to do good tomorrow, so are we to rely on God today to do good since it is obvious we cannot live that christian life without faith in the Son of God as our Enabler.

 

As for Hebrews 10:26, the sinning willfully when in context is in regards to after having received the knowledge that there is no more sacrifice for sins.  That means if a saved believer still believes that there is a necessity for more sacrifice for sins, then he is sinning willfully after that point by denying this truth.

 

That was why those saved believers that do that are going to get a comeuppance from the Father for treating the blood of the Son as if it was the same as the blood of goats and bulls for them to need a continual sacrifice.

 

Anyway, I am not sure if smoking fits the bill as a sin.  People use that to relax just as people use coffee to wake them up in the morning.  Granted, too much smoking and too much caffiene can do the body harm, but you will have to ask Jesus about whethor or not He would want you to stop smoking altogether.  It's like alcohol, I would think.  A little wine is okay, but in excess, where drunkenness is the result, and that depends on a person's tolerance level as it will be different with every one, then no, it is not okay.  If a person cannot drink and remain sober, then they should not drink at all.  Some people have trouble staying beneathe the limit in drinking alcohol to stay sober, and so they need His help to not drink at all.   

 

Also, when a believer knows another person is an alcoholic, then they should not drink in front of him or have alcohol breath in being around him afterwards les he cause him to stumble.  The same would apply if you are around someone trying to quit smoking;  then you should not do it or be around them with smoke on your breath afterwards.  Have a breath mint or something.  It is the small things that God sees in showing love for one another.

 

I do not smoke; and the wine I have is like a small glass which is on rare occasion, but generally, I do not like alcohol.  FYI

 

Anyway, in regards to your fear of smoking as a sin, that fear will certainly make it harder to quit smoking since smoking will help you relax that tension in your body.  Best bet would be to take it to Jesus Christ in prayer and ask Him for help to cut down on smoking, and if it pleases Him, to lead you to stop smoking altogether.  Trust Him to do His work in you.

 

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

 

If you do not like the power that smoking has over you, then trust Jesus to deliver you from its power.

 

It is a general consensus that smoking is bad for your health, but when in doubt, trust Jesus to lead you in the right way.

 

Don't live in fear, but live by trusting Jesus Christ to overcome smoking's power for you, and He will.

 

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.


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#10
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Hello Roy.  I am addicted to nicotine also. I couldn't imagine life without cigarettes.  I struggled with my faith and cigarettes for many years after receiving Christ as my saviour.  I would pray and pray for it to just go away. People who haven't suffered with this addiction cannot understand how hard and painful it is. and then you get to see other Christians walking by you on the street or wherever, judging you for smoking.  I would go to meetings and hear how God had delivered this person and that person and I thought I wasn't good enough to be delivered and somehow God loved them more than me. I tried just about every quit smoking technique available. The gum, the patch, the life signs beeper. All of it. Nothing worked.  I prayed and agonized, pleading with God to make it go away, to take it away. I struggled. I quit more times than I can count to only find myself lighting up within days if not hours after flushing a pack down the toilet.  I got to the point where I would buy a pack of cigarettes a day and smoke one.  Then I would take the rest and break them one by one, into little unsmokable pieces.  Now we didn't really have enough money for me to be smoking at all so I could in no way replace that pack until the next day. And the cycle continued, and I continued to pray. One day a friend lent me a book called "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking" by Allen Carr.  At the beginning of the book it tells you if you haven't quit yet then don't, but if you use this tool, my suggestion is do.  Now the book is quite short, an easy one day read. So I threw away my cigarettes and read the book. Still praying in my spirit while I was reading.  That night I went to bed and while I was asleep i was permitted to watch the spirit world. My spirit man sat there and watched this nasty spirit of addiction rise up in me, then an angel came with a huge sword and cut him in half. He continued to rise all night and that angel cut him in half all night. When  I woke up the next day I was free but a mighty battle had taken place that night. I knew inside myself I would never smoke again.  That isn't to say that I never desire, or wish for a cigarette, I occassionally dream about smoking.  My best advice to you is to keep seeking God, keep reading the word. Ask His Spirit to guide you to scriptures that will help to set you free.  Don't allow the judgement of others drag you down. Keep praising God.  I don't believe that addicts lose their salvation because of their addictions.  I believe that God wants the best for you and that is to be cigarette free, keep seeking, keep asking, keep knocking, keep praising.  He is God. Trust Him.


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#11
JesusIsLordMinistry

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And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
repent is to turn from your evil ways to the Lord Jesus Christ

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