I have two questions.
1) I am walking with Christ out of 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 this a gift? I am asking God for it, but again making a 180 turn from my sin is what I am able to do. I have been praying to Jesus daily for the “gift of repentance, ” and 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? Everyone I have talked with says the same thing. Memorize. Thanks for taking your time with my questions.
What you do mean when you say, “I am walking with Christ?” Is it possible that your accountability partner is not sure that you are truly trusting Jesus to forgive your sins? First, let me encourage you to study the page “Searching for God” and ask God to help you understand if you are believing in Jesus to forgive your sins.
Gift of Repentance
The Bible never talks about a gift of repentance. Some teach that there is a “gift of repentance,” but it does not exist. It cannot be found in the Bible. The nearest idea that can be found in the Bible occurs in 2 Timothy where we read,
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 . . . (NASB) 2 Tim. 2:24-25
God does grant us repentance through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin (John 16:8-10). But if you already understand that you are a sinner, have mourned your condition, see that you need God’s forgiveness, and have asked Jesus to forgive your sins, then you have already repented. Only you know if these statements are true. If you are already trusting Jesus, then you might ask your accountability partner why he or she believes that you need the gift of repentance. Such a gift cannot be found in scripture. There is no special blessing of repentance in the Bible.
Is it possible that he or she is concerned that you have not turned away from your past pattern of sin? Sexual sins can be like an addiction. I would encourage you to also read about the source of victory over your past sins. It is found in an article called, “How to be Filled With The Spirit.” Daily confession of sin is essential to a right relationship with God (1 John 1:9), but it does not require some special gift of repentance. Confession only requires a sincere heart and time for you to talk to God about your sin. Ask God to have the Holy Spirit take control of your life and give you victory over your sin(s).
Memorizing scripture is wonderful, but it just takes practice and time. It also requires a lot of review. After a few years you will discover that you are remembering verses which you did not even try to memorize. Ask God to help you memorize scripture.
May I also encourage you to read the article at the following link: “God’s Great Passion“? May the Lord bless you.