Commands of Christ


Where is this command found?

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 4:17

Applying This Command

Repentance is more than just a one-time event that happens at salvation. A pattern of repentance in a believer’s life is key to obeying the Word of God and reflecting the character of God. Choosing to follow this command involves a daily commitment to address the way we think.

Why is this significant? Our thoughts determine our actions. Our actions do not primarily come from a whim of our will or our feelings. Instead, our actions are a byproduct of what we have been choosing to think about. If we leave our thoughts unchecked, our lives will take on the character and attributes of whatever influences our lives.

As believers, genuine change happens in our lives when we fully submit our minds to thinking the thoughts of God. This takes place as we daily exchange our thoughts for His through meditating on His Word. We should meditate in focused, set apart times, and we should meditate throughout the day. The more we soak ourselves in the living Word of God, the more our lives will reflect His life and character.

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on Matthew 4:17, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Repent.

Revelation 3:19

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Psalm 51:1–4

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”

Acts 3:19

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”

Acts 8:22

“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”

Proverbs 1:23

“Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”

II Corinthians 5:10

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Related Episodes

From the Podcast

Dive deeper into the command Repent with these episodes from the Commands of Christ podcast!

Study Question

Q: Since Esau could find no place of repentance for simply selling his birthright, why did David find repentance for adultery and murder?

A: The answer to this question reveals the true nature of repentance. Esau was a profane fornicator. He refused to follow God’s ways, but was deeply grieved over the loss of the blessings that came with his birthright. He was only repenting to regain what he had lost.

On the other hand, David was a Godly man who loved the Lord. His sins separated him from God, and he repented to restore that broken relationship. This is true repentance.

Jesus did not come to restore the blessings that were lost by the sin of Adam and Eve. He came to restore the relationship that was broken by their transgression. If we repent for any other reason than wanting to restore and maintain an intimate fellowship with God, we are missing the true meaning of repentance.

For Further Study

You can learn more about the command Repent in the book Commands of Christ: Series 1.

Other Resources

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