Do Christians Need to Repent?

In Hebrews 10:1-23 we see God does not want us to be conscious of our sins anymore, like the people were under the Old Covenant. Rather, He wants us to be conscious of our righteousness. When we constantly tell God how sorry we are for this and that sin, we remind ourselves of how bad we think we are, forgetting that our sin was already forgiven at the cross 2000 years ago!


1For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. (Heb. 10:1-4 NKJV)


12But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Heb. 10:12-14 NKJV, annotations added)


19Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb. 10:19-23 NKJV)


How do you think Christ would want us to walk around like: Feeling condemned, unworthy and guilty, begging and crawling on our knees before Him, constantly pleading for mercy? At the same time having no confidence whatsoever to approach Him, because we feel we are sinners?


Or do you rather think God would want us to be conscious of the fact that we have been completely forgiven of all sins (past, present, and future), fully accepted and loved by Him, and aware of the fact that we have been seated with Christ in heavenly places, given authority over sickness, poverty and all other enemies of God?


Repent also means something entirely different under the New Covenant. “Re” means “again”, or to go back to. “Pent” means the top (like a penthouse). Thus combined this means “go back to the top”. This means when we make a mistake, all we simply have to do is change our thoughts, and go back to God’s thoughts towards us (set our mind on things above). And what are God’s thoughts? Unconditional love and acceptance because Jesus paid the full price on our behalf.


The New Covenant is quite specific about repenting, but from something other than what most would expect:


“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.” (Heb. 6:1 NKJV)


When we try to earn God’s approval by reading more Bible, tithing, praying long prayers, joining outreach ministries, or even giving all we have away, it is called “dead works”, because our security and feeling of belonging is based on what we do, and not on what Jesus has done for us. In broad terms the book of Hebrews is a summary of the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant, with the New Covenant based on the finished work of the cross and us simply believing in what God has already done for us, and the Old Covenant based on ceremonious Law keeping and religion, based on inferior promises and the traditions of men. So we see in Hebrews 6:1 above, Paul is not talking about us having to repent of our sins, but to stop trying to earn our salvation and to stop trying to please God, because He is already pleased with us, regardless of our level of obedience!


In Matthew 3 when Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, this was before Jesus had done any miracles, before He began His ministry, before He had healed even one person. And after He was baptized, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit came down onto Him like a dove, and the Father said “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”You see Jesus was accepted and loved by God before he did even one miracle, BEFORE He began His ministry! Why? Because Jesus was God’s Son – simple as that.


And because Jesus fully bore the punishment for sin on our behalf and we became God’s children, God is now also pleased with us, even if we do miracles or have a ministry, OR NOT.