I have two questions. 1) I am walking with Christ after a life-time of sexual sin. My accountability partner has stated that repentance is a gift from God and that I need to ask or cry out to God for this gift. I have been trying to find this in the Bible and am having a difficult time locating this verse or even this thought. All I can find is that you are to repent - to make a complete turn from sin. Is repentance a gift? I am asking God for it, but again making a 180 turn from my sin. I have been praying to Jesus daily for the “gift of repentance.” So far I am not sure if I have received it or not. 2) I am reading the Bible daily and offering long prayers (conversations) with Christ on an ongoing basis. I have been told to memorize Bible verses. I read and study the Bible and have some idea as to what some of the verses mean. I have trouble memorizing them. I am unable for the most part to say, “Oh, that verse is James 1:16. ” Do you have any suggestions how to memorize verses?
Repentance occurs when a person realizes the ugliness of their sin, responds emotionally with regret and strives to turn away from their sin. Repentance is a decision to turn away from sin. We started with a definition of repentance. Now we answer the question, “Is there a gift of repentance?”
Spiritual Gift of Repentance
The Bible never discusses a spiritual gift of repentance. Some teach that there is a “gift of repentance,” but it does not exist. It cannot be found in the two lists of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28-31. Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit so that believers can spiritually minister to other believers. Hebrews 6:10 refers to saints ministering to one another. For a list of the spiritual gifts visit, “What do we do with spiritual gifts?”
God Grants Repentance
The closest idea that can be found in the Bible about a gift of repentance can be found in three New Testament passages. Here are the three passages.
He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 (NASB)
When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18 (NASB)
And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth . . . 2 Timothy 2:24-25
In each passage, we are told that God grants repentance so that people believe in Christ. It is part of God choosing a person for salvation and the Holy Spirit drawing them to Christ. John 6:65 reveals that God the Father grants or allows a person to come to Christ, and then repentance follows.
“For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” John 6:65 (NASB)
John 6:37 and 44 reveals that those whom the Father grants to come to Christ will come comes to Christ. The Holy Spirit causes repentance to occur and also gives the gift of faith (Acts 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Peter 1:1). They come together. Repentance that accompanies salvation is not a spiritual gift that believers use to minister to others. Repentance is the response of saving faith to the knowledge that Christ is God, He died on the cross for our sins, He was resurrected, and a desire to be forgiven. Saving faith also includes a desire for God to transform the believer and make him or her holy. God’s gift of repentance is not a spiritual gift of repentance. Those are two very different facts.
Repentance is a personal choice. You can discover how to repent over your sins by following five steps.
Suggested Links:Searching for God — In Search of God — Go To Heaven
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What is the meaning of the word repent or repentance in the Bible?
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