Repentance That Glorifies God

Revelation 16:9

Don Fortner


     John saw men and women tormented by the vials of God's holy wrath poured out upon them, and declares, "They repented not to give him glory." They were sorry for the judgments of God upon them. They wanted desperately to escape God's wrath. But they repented not to give God the glory.


     Repentance is much more than the fear of punishment, or even a deep remorse over the sin that calls for punishment. Repentance is the gift of God the Holy Spirit. It arises not from the fear of punishment and the dread of wrath, but from the goodness, love, mercy and grace of God in Christ (Rom. 2:4-5; II Pet. 3:15; Luke 7:37-38,41; 22:61-62). I do not want to over simplify or in anyway lessen the scope of repentance. But, in its essence, repentance is characterized by one thing above all others: True gospel repentance gives God the glory. It is sorrow for sin. It is turning from sin. It is a change of heart and a change of masters. But it is much more. True repentance receives pardon and forgiveness at the hand of God and gives him the glory for it (Psa. 32:1-5; 51:1-5).


l. True repentance attempts to hide nothing from God, but confesses all, recognizing, reverencing and adoring his omniscience (Psa. 139:1-6).


2. True repentance acknowledges the righteousness of God's holy law and the evil of sin (Rom. 7:9).


3. True repentance glorifies the justice of God in the punishment of sin, taking sides with God against itself (Psa. 51:4).


4. True repentance glorifies God in the sovereign exercise of his mercy and grace (Matt. 8:2; 15:21-28).


5. True repentance glorifies God as a just God and a Savior, realizing and rejoicing in the fact that there is only one way by which God can both be just and justify the ungodly (Rom. 3:24-26).


6. True repentance glorifies God by taking him at his word and receiving the atonement by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:11).