Repentance is ownership. We own our sin. We own our failure before God. We own our rebellion. We own our iniquity. We own our transgression. We agree with God, we have fallen short of his glory. We take full responsibility. Repentance was the launching point of Luther’s 95 Theses. Thesis 1: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Repentance is a life-style, a posture, a way of being—the life of the Christian.
Faith is ownership. We grasp onto forgiveness. We hold fast to an imputed righteousness that comes to us from Christ. We trust that condemnation is no longer for us and has been settled at the cross. We lean on the certainty of a future, unending, resurrected existence. We embrace being heirs of the world. We agree with God’s verdict on us. We own his promises to us. We take our seat at the table he has prepared for us. Luther said that faith is “a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times.”
The Christian is called to own it. We own our sin. We embrace God’s provision for our sin in Christ. Repentance takes full responsibility for sin. Faith takes hold of Christ’s righteousness and trusts fully in his substitutionary work. Repentance and faith are two expressions of radical ownership.