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  • Writer's pictureMatt Garris

Sorry Not Sorry: A Call to Repentance

“Sorry, not sorry.” You’ve probably seen or heard this phrase in popular culture or on social media. It’s a short way of saying you will not apologize for hurting someone’s feelings and you don’t really care what they think about it. While I dislike the rebellious undertones of this statement, it reflects what have become common sentiments - self-justification and self-righteousness. We see other examples of this behavior in society, from Lady Gaga (https://youtu.be/hPukL4lQrcQ?t=118) saying some sins are “not a sin… [because] ...I was born this way” to then-candidate Donald Trump (https://youtu.be/mFruUe4CEQ0?t=33) saying he does not ask for forgiveness because he is “good.” Not only are self-justification and self-righteousness among the uglier sides of our human nature, they are also deadly.

Take the “self” out for a moment. Justify is a verb that means to prove something is right or righteous. According to Romans 5:18-19, Jesus justifies us to righteousness by His blood and through our faith. Jesus’ blood has the power to justify everyone, but I cannot even justify myself. I cannot self-justify therefore I cannot be self-righteous. Instinctively, we all know this is true. That’s why merely hearing people try to justify themselves and proclaim their own righteousness frustrates us so much.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 19:17 that “No one is good but One, that is, God.” Satan has tricked us into believing that we are good. This is nothing new. Proverbs 21:2 tells us that “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” When we buy into Satan’s lie that we are good and righteous, we try to self-justify our sin and don’t realize how desperately we need a Savior.

The truth is that without Jesus’ blood, we are dead in our sins. Satan deceives us into remaining dead in our self-righteousness, but Jesus offers us true life by justifying us into true righteousness. If Jesus has already shed his blood to justify us, then what do we need to do to make this leap from self-righteous death to true life? The answer is simple: REPENT!

We have to stop pursuing sin and begin to pursue God. This fallen world may believe your lies of self-righteousness, but God is holy and truly righteous. He cannot overlook sin, no matter how the world whitewashes it.

  • It’s not “my body, my choice.” Abortion is a sin and requires repentance.

  • It’s not, “I was born this way.” Homosexuality is a sin and requires repentance.

  • It’s not “only natural to look.” Lust is a sin and requires repentance.

  • It’s not, “I just love to eat.” Gluttony is a sin and requires repentance.

  • It’s not “just sharing information." Gossip is a sin and requires repentance.

And the list goes on and on.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, what the world says about, or how comfortable you’ve become in it. Sin is sin and requires repentance!

Repentance is commanded throughout scripture. We hear the Father’s call to repentance throughout the Old Testament, John the Baptist preached repentance, Jesus preached repentance, Peter preached repentance, Paul preached repentance, and evangelists throughout history have preached the gospel of repentance. As the time ticks closer for Jesus to rapture His Church, we must also share this important truth with those lost and dying all around us. We must echo the message of John the Baptist and Jesus, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17).

Shake off the lies that your sins aren’t really sins and that you can justify yourself. Allow God’s goodness to lead you to repent (Romans 2:4) following the pattern outlined in James 4:8-10.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Recognize the sin in your life. Really understand how despicable, filthy, and wicked it is. Hate this sin, truly hate it, so that the mere thought of it sickens you. Confess that sin to God and humbly accept Jesus’ blood as the only thing powerful enough to cleanse and justify you. Turn away from sin and love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5) As you pursue God, He will lift you up and break the chains of sin in your life.

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