The Path of Repentance

June 15, 2009

In light of our services yesterday, the call to repentance from godless compromise, and the promise of grace, I believe this might be helpful. It is a detailed plan of action in repentance written by John Loftness and published in Joshua Harris’ book titled Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is). You may not be struggling specifically with sexual temptation, but the path of repentance from lust is the same as the path of repentance from other vices (gluttony, anxiety, covetousness, envy, greed, pride, etc).

STEP 1: Pray. Establish your dependence on God by praying for the Holy Spirit’s help in this process.

STEP 2: Identify the Sin. Define its practice in biblical terms (i.e., call it what it is, meaning be specific, not general). Define your heart’s motive for the sin in biblical terms (why did you want this sin?). Define the lie – the false belief – that created this motive and its acts.

STEP 3: Embrace the Gospel. Meditate on how your sin offends God. Cultivate sorrow. Meditate on the fact that God sent Jesus to die in your place to overcome the offense this sin created. Admit your sin to God and ask Him to forgive you and to account this sin to Jesus’ death on your behalf.

STEP 4: Take Steps to Stop. Write down what the Bible says about your sin, its consequences, your forgiveness in Christ, and the Spirit’s power at work in you to change. Memorize the most helpful passages. Purpose to change your thinking and behavior (with the Spirit’s help). Purpose to change your behaviors that increase temptation, including places you shop or visit, people you interact with, things you look at or listen to, and words you say. Confess your sin to those you’ve offended and seek their forgiveness. Make restitution if necessary.

STEP 5: Replace Your Sin with Righteousness. “Put on Christ”.  Replace the lies with truth. Replace the sinful motive for a true motive that pleases God. Replace sinful behavior with righteous behavior.

STEP 6: Seek Fellowship as a Means of Grace. Inform godly friends and/or pastors of your sin and the process you are engaging in to change. Ask for their evaluation of your process and welcome correction if necessary. Ask them to encourage accountability to the new path you’ve chosen.

STEP 7: Review. Repeat as necessary. Do steps 1-5 daily. Repeat step 6 for regular encouragement.

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