What Comes First: Change or Repentance?
Question: Does one acknowledge and repent of their sin first, and then change their actions? Or do they change their actions and then learn to repent of their sin?
Answer:My Dear Brother in Christ, I firmly believe that change, real change can not come without true repentance. First, I must clarify my position. I believe in the human heart there is nothing but filth. Mark 7:21-23 Jesus gave a very clear description of what was in the human heart. However, when Jesus comes into our filthiness, He cleans out a place and as a tiny seed lives there, beginning to grow. We are commanded to GROW! (Eph 4:13)
So how do we grow? We repent, for the filth in our heart, and ask Jesus to change us as He begins to Grow in us! Just like an embryo begins to form and grow in it’s Mother’s womb, Jesus will begin to expand and take form in us, as we surrender those things not like Him.
Example, say you have a terrible temper, but now you are a Christian. Jesus lives inside your heart. Every day you give your temper to Jesus, asking Him to change you, make you more like Him. You might not see the change in yourself but your temper is being changed. Jesus is working on you because He loves you and He wants to grow in you.
We are told to Grow in Grace 2 Pet 3:18 Well Who is Grace? Jesus is!
This being said, we can not hope to change without Jesus first being in our hearts, we must have true repentance to change. Change only comes through growth. Growth only comes when Jesus is growing inside us. Be Blessed in Him.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 3:18