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Before coming to Christ, a person lives totally under the leading of self-will and the lust of the flesh. This explains the biblical connection between the lust of the flesh and the world (1 John 2:16; 1 Peter 1:14). The world consists of the unregenerate masses of mankind who live out their lives dominated by the lust of the flesh. Until one repents of the world he is hopelessly alienated from Jesus Christ.

To grasp true repentance, one must comprehend the nature of sin. A person sins whenever they willfully act upon a flashy impulse to do something that has been forbidden by God. In other words, they reject God’s will in favor of their own. Any attempt to find freedom from habitual sin while remaining in self-will is futile.

Repentance (Greek, metanoia) means to reconsider, or to experience a change in one's line of thinking. Spiritual repentance is an experience whereby a person's will is altered for the express purpose of bringing it into line with God's will. Repentance describes the transforming of a person who does his own carnal will to one who does the will of the Father.

The act of repentance involves a confession that one's behavior is wrong, a commitment to quit that wrong behavior, and submission to God's will. Godly sorrow that produces a repentance without regret (2 Corinthians 7:10) occurs when the person realizes the error of their ways and agrees to change. This process can be broken down into four basic components:

An excellent study on the mechanics of repentance comes to us in Matthew chapters 5 – 7 — the Sermon on the Mount. It begins with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3 – 12) which describe the attitudes of repentance. After commending these attitudes, Jesus describes the lifestyle that emerges as a result. It is a lifestyle that demonstrates the fruits of repentance and the love that only God can give, leading to a blessed life.

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