Disciplines of Repentance – Gospel in Life

Disciplines of Repentance

Tim Keller |  February 23, 1997

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  • Repentance
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Psalm 32
RS 275-06


We’re in a series on experiencing God. And we’ve talked about experiencing God’s presence in prayer, in guidance, and in suffering. But how do we get the presence of God in prayer, and in guidance, and in suffering?

Repentance is the secret. Repentance is the way to experience God’s presence in everything.

In Psalm 32, we look at experiencing God through repentance. In it, we see 1) the power of guilt, 2) the power of repentance, and 3) the process of repentance.

Understanding Psalm 32

The key to feeling God’s presence in our lives is repentance, a crucial part of being a Christian. It means we have to admit that we’ve made mistakes in how we see ourselves, how we relate to God, and how we interact with the world. Psalm 32, one of the seven penitential psalms, explores how guilt affects us, how repentance can transform us, and what the process of repentance involves.

1. How Guilt Affects Us

Guilt can have a deep impact on us, making it hard to let go of past mistakes. We see this in books and movies like “The Trial” by Kafka and “The Fisher King.” The stories show that the real answer to guilt isn’t trying to shift the blame or trying to be perfect, but through genuine repentance.

2. The Power of Saying Sorry

Psalm 32 talks about the power of repentance. The writer admits his wrongs and God forgives him, showing us how to deal with guilt and our need for God’s help. Sin is when we try to control our lives, hiding our flaws. But God promises to forgive us if we admit our sins honestly. This forgiveness isn’t just about hiding our sins, but about Jesus taking our sins upon Himself, so that we can be seen as righteous in God’s eyes. This is a very important part of saying sorry to God.

3. Turning Away From Our Mistakes

Repentance isn’t just about admitting wrong actions, but also about giving up trying to make ourselves look good. It involves recognizing our mistakes and choosing not to make them again. And we should do this joyfully and consistently. The aim is to willingly and happily say sorry for our mistakes, while trying to be more like Jesus.



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