Cyclical Repentance

Jeremiah 18:11 (ESV)
Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.’

As it was then, so it is now. There can be no doubt that we have all some weakness, or tendency to sin, more fully developed in us than in other people. Externally, we can appear as fine upstanding citizens, but underneath, we have kept hidden a particular sin that we are most prone to, our “go to” sin, if you will. It’s the one in which we most frequently fall victim to, the one we are most easily led to.

Read the Bible through, and you will find that we have many examples from which to commiserate with; examples of drunkenness, idolatry, sexual sin, greed, anger, lying, among many, many others. Which has the greater power over you? If you were tempted, to which temptation would you be most likely to yield?

Regardless of what holds you, the day will come where we must truly turn from the bondage of this sin and leave it behind for good. We cannot simply continue to commit the same sin over and over again and seek forgiveness each time (Romans 6:1). In doing so, we are making a mockery out of what repentance is all about. It is inconceivable that a holy God will give salvation to a man who willfully continues in unrighteousness. We must quit this sin; we must repent or perish.

But quitting means so much more. Not only must we stop allowing this sin to dominate our lives, but we must turn around from its grip. In the verse above, God is saying, “Return”. If you are going on in sin, you know that your future direction must be the way of holiness. Therefore, our true repentance must be moving towards Christ. If you want to truly break free of the sin that consumes you, only He can provide the solution. If only we would, by the power of the Holy Spirit, turn to God with contrite hearts! But how do we do this?

First, we must own our sin. Depending on the type of sin, there are practical matters that we must address so to make continuing in such sin that much more difficult. Seek the counsel of godly men in your church (or women if you are a woman). Allow someone in your life to hold you accountable. We must trust in the great Sacrifice and confess our sin. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to replace the darkness within us with the light of Christ. Let us ask Him to give us new hearts, and right spirits, that we may turn effectually from all sin, and follow on to know the Lord. Let not another day go by that this “go-to” sin reigns in your body, for there are no guarantees of tomorrow.

Take this prayer from C.H. Spurgeon and make a decision now to truly repent and turn from the evil within:

“O Lord, turn us; turn us, and we shall be turned! And, if thou has turned us, help us to persevere in righteousness, and let us not turn again to folly. But oh, turn men and women to-night, for thy love’s sake,—for thy mercy’s sake,—for Christ’s sake! Turn the whole congregation of unsaved ones with their face to the cross; and may they look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn for their sin; and then may they look again unto him, and be lightened, as they see their sin effectually and eternally put away by the substitutionary sacrifice of their redeeming God! Answer, O Christ, the cries of our soul, for thine own name’s sake! Amen.”


  1. Accountability, how I've learned by my experience and many years how important it is in my walk with Christ (first to Christ, but sin always affects others).


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