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Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's
Scott T. Brown  |  Wake Forest, North Carolina
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The Signs of True Repentance
TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
At The Church Discipline Conference, which will be taking place in Wake Forest July 9-11, we will be talking about repentance and how it relates to church discipline. Here is a helpful article by Jared Wilson explaining the signs of true repentance:

How do you know when someone is repentant? In his helpful little book Church Discipline, Jonathan Leeman offers some guidance:

“A few verses before Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 18 about church discipline, he provides us with help for determining whether an individual is characteristically repentant: would the person be willing to cut off a hand or tear out an eye rather than repeat the sin (Matt. 18:8-9)? That is to say, is he or she willing to do whatever it takes to fight against the sin? Repenting people, typically, are zealous about casting off their sin. That’s what God’s Spirit does inside of them. When this happens, one can expect to see a willingness to accept outside counsel. A willingness to inconvenience their schedules. A willingness to confess embarrassing things. A willingness to make financial sacrifices or lose friends or end relationships.” (p. 72)

These are good indicators, and I believe we can add a few more.

Here are 12 signs we have a genuinely repentant heart:

  1. We name our sin as sin and do not spin it or excuse it, and further, we demonstrate “godly sorrow,” which is to say, a grief chiefly about the sin itself, not just a grief about being caught or having to deal with the consequences of sin.
  2. We actually confessed before we were caught or the circumstantial consequences of our sin caught up with us.
  3. If found out, we confess immediately or very soon after and “come clean,” rather than having to have the full truth coaxed out of us. Real repentance is typically accompanied by transparency.
  4. We have a willingness and eagerness to make amends. We will do whatever it takes to make things right and to demonstrate we have changed.
  5. We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized, spending as much time as is required listening to them without jumping to defend ourselves.
  6. We are patient with those we’ve hurt or victimized as they process their hurt, and we don’t pressure them or “guilt” them into forgiving us.
  7. We are willing to confess our sin even in the face of serious consequences (including undergoing church discipline, having to go to jail, or having a spouse leave us).
  8. We may grieve the consequences of our sin but we do not bristle under them or resent them. We understand that sometimes our sin causes great damage to others that is not healed in the short term (or perhaps ever this side of heaven).
  9. If our sin involves addiction or a pattern of behavior, we do not neglect to seek help with a counselor, a solid twelve-step program, or even a rehabilitation center.
  10. We don’t resent gracious accountability, pastoral rebuke, or church discipline.
  11. We seek our comfort in the grace of God in Jesus Christ, not simply in being free of the consequences of our sin.
  12. We are humble and teachable.

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. – 2 Corinthians 7:9-11

(I have put my signs in the first person plural not because it is always inappropriate to seek to gauge someone’s repentance, but because we should always be gauging our own first, and because the truly forgiving heart is interested in an offender’s repentance but isn’t inordinately set on holding up measuring sticks but holding out grace.)1

1Jared C. Wilson, "How Do You Know You're Repentant?," The Gospel-Driven Church, The Gospel Coalition, http ://ww w.the gospe lcoal ition .org/ blogs /gosp eldri vench urch/ 2015/ 04/23 /how- do-yo u-kno w-you re-re penta nt/

Scott T. Brown Scott T. Brown

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Logic on Fire - A Film to Fuel Reformation
MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
I sat down with my family to watch Logic on Fire, a documentary on Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I highly recommend it. I feel it will be used of the Lord to fuel reformation and refreshment in the church. We need more and more pastors like Lloyd-Jones who...
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Free Download of Family Foundation in Sound Doctrine - Chapter 3
FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
God's Sovereignty and man's responsibility - this theme has been the subject of much debate throughout church history. If God's sovereign, then why do we need to evangelize? Why do we need to pray? Doesn't man have a free will? Questions like...
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NCFIC Declaration: Article VI - Families May Be Divided by the Gospel
THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
We affirm that the gospel may divide families, because the gospel can “set a man at variance against his father,” that “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” and that we ought to obey God rather...
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NCFIC Declaration: Article VI - Families May Be Divided by the Gospel
THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
We affirm that the gospel may divide families, because the gospel can “set a man at variance against his father,” that “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,” and that we ought to obey God rather...
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Family Worship - Advice for Busy Fathers
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
Here is a transcript of a video by Joel Beeke giving busy fathers some helpful advice on how to prepare for family worship: Fathers are busy, they've got a full-time job, they've got all kinds of responsibilities, a lot of the fathers here are...
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Robert Murray McCheyne on the “Vast Importance of Church Discipline”
MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
Robert Murray McCheyne speaks of his early avoidance and abhorrence of church discipline, as well as the change that took place: "When I first entered the work of the ministry among you, I was exceedingly ignorant of the vast importance of church...
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Free Download of Family Foundations in Sound Doctrine - Chapter 2
FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
It is critical that our churches and families have a biblical understanding of the doctrine of God. Our view of God affects every aspect of our lives: our response to the trials of life, how we interpret Scripture, our view on current issues, and...
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NCFIC Declaration: Article V - The Church is Eternal While the Family is Temporal
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
We affirm that the church is the bride of Christ and the family of God, and that in heaven people ‘neither marry nor are given in marriage,’ indicating that the family, which is part of the creation order, established for the...
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5 Tips for Corporate Prayer Meetings
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
Here are a few things to consider regarding corporate prayer meetings. There is much to say about the Godward focus of our prayer, which is the very most important matter. This most important matter in all prayer is the heartfelt acknowledgment of...
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A Call to Battle 2015 - Recap
TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015
Posted by: Ntl Center for Family Integrated Ch's | more..
We (Carlton McLeod, Voddie Baucham, B. Courtney McBath, and I) had a great time preaching on Friday and Saturday last week at Carlton McLeod’s, “A Call to Battle 2015: Taking Back the Family” conference. The messages from the...
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