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Reviving Believers : “Grace Driven” Repentance

Prism Church exists to Revive Believers, Reach Friends and Renew Culture for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Most church going people have experienced the struggle of breaking God’s commands and then trying to “repent” of bad behavior…only to fall back into the same pattern again and again. You realize what you’ve been doing is “wrong” and you should cease disobeying the Bible, but your desire to stop is more about not feeling guilty than it is about actually loving God. So the motivation to obey His Word is elusive and you remain stuck in a behavioral pattern from which you can’t escape.

In this scenario, you are a Christian who desperately needs “Revival.” But what does “revival” even mean? Some were raised in Christian traditions which equated revival with a renewed pursuit of good or holy behavior. But from the standpoint of our ‘Gospel-Centered’ church, revival is first and foremost about reinvigorating one’s love for God. Reigniting a passion for intimacy with God is what produces a revival of our desire to love/obey Him in friendship; which is how we please God.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” – JOHN 14:21

This is not semantics on our part. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had good behavior (the appearance of holiness) without any intimate relationship with Jesus. Their “good works” made them feel superior to others, and entitled to what they perceived was “the joy of the Lord.” Trying to keep God’s law without truly knowing Jesus creates within us both self-righteousness and presumption about what God owes us.

Once friends with Jesus, Scripture teaches us to obey him (1 John 1:5-10). But Jesus’ primary concern is relationship. Hence, our first step in being “Revived Believers” is to repent of our independence from Jesus and commit ourselves to re-engaging Him relationally. Grace-driven repentance simultaneously knows that we are secure as God’s child and confident in His willingness to forgive. This means that when we sin, we come to Jesus and re-enter close friendship with Him. The result is a renewed desire to please Him and not just a need to “feel” free from guilt. Our desire should be to “love” God and not just to obey His law. This only happens if we’re securely in fellowship with Jesus by grace.

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