The world thinks of repentance as merely stopping those things we do that are bad. But that is merely inactivity of a particular sin pattern. A Christian, however, lives a positive life, full of gracious works, works that bless our fellow man and glorify God, works that are accompanied by God-centered worship. In other words, in repentance we don’t just stop doing certain things; we also do certain things. Nevertheless, repentance does involve turning from our sinful ways. Sin defiles us, for the Lord made His image bearers to live in holiness and righteousness. Bearing fruit is an eternal activity for God’s redeemed people and a great joy to them as well. “
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom. 6:22).
Although repentance is ongoing on this side of heaven, there will come a time when repentance is no longer necessary. This speaks of glory. When the saints die, their souls immediately are brought to God in heaven. There is no possibility for sin any longer. In heaven, we will await the resurrection of our bodies at the last day and the coming of the new creation. In the new heavens and new earth, body and soul will be reunited in perfection, the old things will pass away, and we will obey God perfectly, serve Him fully, and rejoice with complete holiness.
Yet, even now Christians live in liberty, delighting in Christ as we discover in Scripture what He teaches us about the Godhead, ourselves, and the perfect privilege of laying down our lives on the altar of service. This is what we are made for—to know God and to enjoy Him forever. Living in accordance with His commands brings peace to our souls and blessings to others.
This is all part of the gospel promise and reality reserved for all who come to Christ.
Christ has liberated us from the power of sin:“
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).
And so, we are to seek the Lord with all our might, finding our purpose of existence in the Holy Book. The goal of our labors and the end of our joy is in Christ alone. There is no disappointment for the soul that rests in the finished work of Christ and follows the Good and Faithful Shepherd, feeding on His holy words. “
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25).