The Truest Repentance

301px-Augustine Lateran When God convicted Augustine of sin, he became very stubborn.

He would get alone and pray, “Lord, save me from all my sins – but not quite yet!” No answer came. The guilt and burden of sin, however, rested on him more heavily. Then, he cried out to God,

“Lord, save me from all my sins, except one!”

Evidently, he had not learned that God will save us from our sins, but not in our sins.

Finally, Augustine prayed,

“Lord, save me from all my sins, and save me now!”

Instantly, he became a new creation in Christ, learning that the wicked must “forsake his way” before God will “abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). 1

 David prayed,

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity” (Psalm 51:2).

He was referring to a process used in his time and even today.

The Arab women, in washing their clothes, usually go to nearby sources of water, such as streams, pools, or watering troughs. They will dip their clothes in and out of the water, and then, placing them on flat stones, will beat them with a club about a foot and a half long. They also carry water in goatskins, and have a vessel for rinsing purposes.

Alexander Maclaren said, concerning this, “The word employed is significant in that it probably means washing by kneading or beating, not by simple rinsing. The psalmist is ready to submit to any painful discipline, if only he may be cleansed.

‘Wash me, beat me, tread me down, hammer me with mallets, dash me against the stones, do anything with me, if only these foul stains are melted from the texture of my soul.’” 2

   “To do so no more, is the truest repentance.” 


  1. Adult Teacher Supplement, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, Second Quarter, 1965, p. 26
  2. Fred H. Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, Moody Press, Chicago, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Copyright 1953, pp. 84 – 85
  3. Don Wilkerson, First Step, Published by BTC Media, 444 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11238, Copyright 2012, p. 89

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