3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
Martin Luther was sure that true repentance would show itself in action. So he did not want to give the idea that a person might have inner repentance but not do anything to show that repentance outwardly. We look for those outward signs in those who have wronged us, you can say that you are sorry, but I need you to “show me”.
In the church of those days the outward actions had become more important than the inner repentance. It was more important that you do the acts of contrition than that you actually BE repentant!
There is a fine line that we walk in repentance. We need to act like repentant people, if we keep doing the same sin, it would seem that we are not really repentant. But if we are only too ready to do something to show how sorry we are and it is for show only we don’t have the inner repentance that Luther spoke of. The change of heart that leads to a life lived in repentance. That is the result that we should be seeking in the church today is people who have turned from their selfish ways and lead a life of repentance.
Lord Jesus send Your Holy Spirit that I may know that I am forgiven and allow that Spirit to change my life. I want to live the life of repentance that You are calling me to. Help me to overcome my stubborn human nature and live a life in service to others. Amen.