The Consequences of Superficial Repentance

In our eagerness to settle disputes, we easily are tempted to settle for superficial repentance. We rush to make the offended party forgive without equally addressing the offender’s real offenses – the outstanding issues of justice that remain in making restitution – and without recognizing the gravity of the offender’s sin.

The effect of this process is the opposite of what we intended. We get a mere apology rather than a true confession of wrongdoing. We see the offender nodding to the idea of needing to change rather than taking concrete steps to recompense the one against whom he has sinned and alter the offender’s behavior.

Alfred Poirier, The Peacemaking Pastor (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 141.
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Grace Alone Accounts for God’s Faithfulness

Only when believers act with a conscious awareness that God accepts them in their works solely a result of the work of His Son does their righteousness have the potential to glorify God. If our works or feelings were the basis of God’s faithfulness, then obedience could only be a means of buying blessings from a stingy divinity and the goal of our righteousness would be some form of selfishness — self-protection or self-promotion. But since grace alone accounts for God’s faithfulness, believers can respond to God with confidence of His abiding and unconditional love. Loving service results as our hearts fill with the desire to glorify the One whose goodness, mercy, and love never cease. Instead of trying to barter our blessings by fulfilling distasteful duties, we discover that the properties of God become our greatest pleasure. True repentance results as our hearts increasingly reject the priorities of the world, acknowledge and sorrow for the evil and emptiness our sin, and delight in glorifying our Savior with the gifts His Spirit bestows.

Bryan Chapell, Christ-centered Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 318.