8. THE MEANING OF REPENTANCE
Repentance means to come to your senses (cp. Luke 15:17), to return to God, to have faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21) and to prove the authenticity of repentance with suitable deeds. (Acts 26:20)
The authenticity of repentance is proved by the restitution of past wrongs. (Cp. Luke 19:8) There are certain things which must be rectified. The Bible says: "Let no debt remain outstanding." (Rom 13:8) That simply means to pay your debts, honour your contracts. If you cannot honour your agreements, discuss the matter with your creditors. In Romans 12:18 it is said: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." We won't be able to live in peace with everyone, but we must at least try. We must do everything in love (1 Cor 16:14) and live according to love (Rom 14:15). Love does not harm its neighbour. (Rom 13:10) Restitution has to do with our witness, our sanctification and our spiritual growth. The extent of the restitution between ourselves and God, and between ourselves and our fellow human, is a measure of the extent of the living reality of our religion.