Relationships of the Believer
LESSON THREE – REPENTANCE
Lesson Goal: The goal of this lesson is to understand what true repentance is and how and why it is carried out.
Introduction: When Allah first created man, he gave him both wisdom and intelligence in order to do what was right. Also, in order that man did not accidentally go astray, Allah gave him instructions to guide his actions. In addition, Allah gave man one more very important quality – freedom. Not only did Allah show man the path he should go and gave him the strength to obey, but He also gave man a free will. Thus, while man had the strength and ability to obey, he also had the freedom to disobey if he so chose. Man was not created as a doll or machine without freedom of will or choice. Allah desired our love and obedience voluntarily, not because we had no other choice.
1. Read Dhul-kifl 33:11–Say to them, `As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Allah, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’
a. Who is speaking in this passage?
b. Is it Allah’s desire or plan that any man should sin and come under judgment?
c. What does Allah want all sinners to do?
d. There are some people who claim that all man’s actions are dictated by Allah in every detail, even the sins and wrong doings. Not a leaf on a tree falls apart from His will, they claim. Do you agree with that claim? Why or why not? If such thinking was true, would there be any point in Allah commanding people to repent or giving guidelines for living a holy life?
2. Read Matthew 3:7-12–But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, `We have Ibrahim as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones Allah can raise up children for Ibrahim. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
a. What did Prophet Yahya instruct people to do? (hint: Mark 1:4–And so Yahya came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.)
b. What should be seen in one’s life as evidence of true repentance?
c. Prophet Yahya spoke of another important person’s coming. Who was that person? (hint: John 1:29,30–The next day Yahya saw Isa coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of Allah, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ )
3. Read Acts 3:17-20. In this passage, the Apostle Peter is preaching to a crowd of Jews at the temple in Jerusalem–“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how Allah fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Masih would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to Allah, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send al-Masih, who has been appointed for you–even Isa.
a. What does Peter instruct his listeners to do?
b. Thus, we can say that the first step in receiving salvation is to
The person who confesses his sin to Allah and turns from it has taken the first step towards salvation. The second step is to go on and to accept Isa al-Masih as one’s personal savior (Romans 10:9,10). Those who do so thereby become sons of Allah and are adopted into his spiritual family (John 1:12).
Now, the next question is, What relationship do those who have received salvation have with repentance? Does repentence play any part in their lives? We shall be looking at what Scripture says on that question below.
4. Read 1 John 1:8-2:2–If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Isa al-Masih, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
a. Even after salvation, if we claim that we are without sin, what is the result?
b. Thus, saved believers still sin. And when they sin, they need to do what?
c. If we confess and forsake our sin, what does Allah promise?
d. After sinning, if a disciple of Isa confesses that sin to Allah, who is there to speak on his defense?
5. We shall now look at the person who refuses to repent of his sin.
a. The unrepentant unbeliever – read 1 Thessalonians 1:8,9–(He will punish those who do not know Allah and do not obey the Injil of our Lord Isa. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power). According to this passage, the unbeliever who does not obey the Injil of al-Masih will be punished how?
b. The unrepentant believer – read Hebrews 12:4-12–(In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; Allah is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but Allah disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.).
What does Allah do with the believer who sins and refuses to repent?
c. Match the items from the two columns below by typing the number from each item in column ‘B’ beside the item in column ‘A’ to which it corresponds.
a. The results of a believer not repenting of sin
1. Allah’s eternal punishment
b. The results of an unbeliever not repenting of sin
2. The discipline of a loving father
6. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10–Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
a. What is the result of worldly sorrow?
b. What is the result of godly sorrow?
c. Matthew 27:3-5 says–When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Isa was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.)
From this passage, what kind of sorrow did Judas experience, godly or worldly sorrow?
d. Matthew 26:69-75 says–Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Isa of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Isa of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Isa had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.)
From this passage, what kind of sorrow did Peter experience?
7. From your own experience, what does Islam say about repentance, the need for it, and how it is done?
8. Consider your own life. Is there any thought pattern, action, or habit in your life which is not pleasing to Allah and should be repented of? What should you do about it? Elaborate briefly.
TO MEMORIZE – 1 JOHN 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.