1) Repentance is communal
The western culture today is very individualistic. 91% of the Scriptures that talk about repentance have a communal context.
Acts 2.37 ‘what shall WE do?’
Luke 3.9 ‘What should WE do then?’
We are to orient each other for Jesus’ coming.
Acts 19:11-20 NIV
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,  so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.  Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”  Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.  One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”  Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.  When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.  Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done.  A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.  In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
People wanted to get in on the action! They wanted to do it on their own terms.
Verse 17: There was a wakeup call. Our faith has to be real! It’s a moment of re-orientation and repentance.
Do I have complete security in God? What am I still holding on to?
The power of God is not to be messed with.
2) Repentance is costly
Verse 19: Scrolls are worth about £4m today. Wow! They could have sold them and given the money to the church or the poor.
What (comfort) am I holding on to?
3) Repentance is contagious
There had to be a first person. True humility, openness and vulnerability is inspiring and contagious. If repentance only takes place in private then it can’t be contagious. Let’s share what we are learning and have decided.
More by Matt Ricci
More from the Renewal series