Repentance is necessary for God's own people, who have a real work of grace and are Israelites indeed. They must offer up a daily sacrifice of tears. The Antinomians hold that when any come to be believers, they have a writ of ease, and there remains nothing for them now to do but to rejoice. Yes, they have something else to do, and that is to repent. Repentance is a continuous act. The issue of godly sorrow must not be quite stopped till death.
The pursuit of joy is not accidental to the Christian life; rather it is the very heart and soul of being a Christian. But let's not forget that as we run after joy, we often stumble and fall. Ultimately, our joy and our rest are waiting for us, secured by Christ. But to get there we have to walk the road of repentance. Continual sin calls for continual repentance, continual rebellion calls for continual sorrow. Not sorrow without hope - but sorrow that, having such a sure and certain hope, I still betray over and over again my Lord and Master.
I am reminded, as I often am, of the hymn by A.M. Toplady:
A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do;
My Savior’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heav’n.