J.I. Packer on Repentance

Timmy Brister is starting a blog series on the importance of ongoing repentance in a Christian’s life.

His post today in that series is this quote from J.I. Packer:

“We need to realize that while God’s acceptance of each Christian believer is perfect from the start, our repentance always needs to be extended further as long as we are in this world.  Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice of repentance has to be enlarged.”

– J.I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in Our Walk with God, 87.

The sign of life and health in a believer is that his or her’s knowledge will be growing of all three of the bolded things above. As we progress we should become more aware of the depth of our sin and depravity, we should become more aware of parts of ourselves that haven’t been surrendered to God’s control and we should be always learning more about God as we study His Word.

If we are healthy Christians we will be increasing in these three types of knowledge and enlarging our repentance accordingly. It isn’t a straight line graph of growth, but the trend should be upward.

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