Thomas Watson’s ‘Doctrine of Repentance’ – Decherd Stevens

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I was sitting in my office one Saturday afternoon and I was getting reading to preach on a passage that dealt primarily with repentance, and I said, I need a good quick definition of repentance So I grabbed ‘Doctrine of Repentance’ by Thomas Watson and I said ‘He’ll give me a quick definition, and then I can move on, say what I want to say.’ I couldn’t put it down. The first third of the book gives you six elements of true gospel repentance. He begins I believe with a caution about counterfeit repentance and I was immediately just struck with the fact that I had not been repenting of my sins in the gospel sense of the word. And as I continued to read, and he continued to bring out these elements; the sight of sin, the sorrow of sin, the confession of sin, the shame of sin, the hatred of sin, the turning from sin – I preached the next six weeks on those individual elements And I have continued to this day to give away perhaps more copies of that little book than any other. It has been monumental in my life, in my personal life, in my ministry, in my preaching, I’ve gone through that series at least three times over the last twenty years and it’s being used in people’s lives. And the striking thing about it, perhaps, is that it’s so simple. This is not complicated or convoluted sentence structure sometimes the Puritan writings can be difficult to follow for our modern day, but this was just so simple, and direct, biblical, and yet effectual. And again, the best way I know to describe it is “life-changing”.


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