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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

THE GOSPEL’S FIRST DEMAND—REPENTANCE

I want to focus on Biblical salvation for a couple of days. Because so much of what is presented in our churches falls short. They only focus on the loving God and never mentions repentance or judgment.

So, What does it mean to repent?

Does it mean: A)To say "I'm sorry...", and yet continue the same sin over and over?

Or...

Does it mean: B)To say "Lord, I'm done with that, I want to live YOU'RE way, not mine"? This does not mean perfection, the true believer will sin, but will grow in holiness through the process of God sanctifying us. In other words we should see a difference a week from now, a month from now, then a year from now. An upward climb, if you will. Yes, we do backslide, but I'm talking about over all seeing change from year to year.

The biblical answer is B), but many churches teach A) And there is the problem. Without proper understanding of repentance, we may not have proper understanding of salvation. Dangerous indeed. I'll let a couple of seasoned pastors explain below.

-Chris



1st Article

Apprising ministries-Pastor Ken Silv
a

THE GOSPEL’S FIRST DEMAND—REPENTANCE

By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Jan 30, 2009 in Devotions

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

The message that Jesus brought to the people—the “great light” He revealed to those “sitting in the land of shadow and death”—was always very clear. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our Lord thus began with the same basic exhortation that His herald, John the Baptist, had begun with (cf. Matt. 3:2).

Repentance is a crucial but often neglected or omitted element of the gospel. “Repent” means to turn from sin, to change your orientation, and in so turning to seek a new way of life. The person who repents has a radical change of will and heart, and as a result, a change of behavior (cf. Matt. 3:8) The repentant sinner will radically change the way he or she views sin and righteousness.

Repentance was, is, and always will be the foremost demand of the gospel. It is quite simply the first part of the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the sinner’s soul. In his Pentecost sermon, Peter also issued a call for repentance: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38). Paul reassured Timothy that repentance leads “to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25). If repentance was crucial for the people of Jesus’ day, it is even more imperative for everyone today, because the kingdom is nearer than ever.

Ask Yourself

Like all of us, you’ve confessed many things, many times before. But today is another good opportunity to take repentance seriously. What sins need its corrective touch in your life? Bring them before the Father. Receive His mercy. Walk away refreshed and in freedom. (John MacArthur, Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, January 30)

2nd Article

John MacArthur


What is repentance and how does it relate to salvation?

The meaning of the word repentance has been twisted in recent years to the point that its biblical meaning is now obscured in the minds of many. The idea that genuine repentance could result in anything but a change of life is completely foreign to Scripture.

What does the Bible teach about the relationship between salvation and repentance? First, it teaches that repentance is essential to salvation. One cannot truly believe unless he repents, and one cannot truly repent unless he believes. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin (but they are not synonymous terms). Acts 11:18 and 2 Peter 3:9 are two of the many verses that teach that repentance is necessary for salvation. Perhaps 2 Timothy 2:25 best sums up the relationship between repentance and saving faith when it speaks of "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth" (see also Acts 20:21).

Second, the Greek word for repentance (metanoia) means "to have another mind," but it cannot properly be defined to exclude a sense of hatred of and penitence for sin. The biblical concept of repentance involves far more than merely a casual change of thinking. Biblically, a person who repents does not continue willfully in sin. Repentance is a turning from sin, and it always results in changed behavior (Luke 3:8). While sorrow from sin is not equivalent to repentance, it is certainly an element of scriptural repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Finally, despite what is being widely taught today, affirming that repentance and acknowledgement of Jesus' lordship are necessary to salvation does not "add" anything to the requirement of faith for salvation. It is not "faith plus repentance" that saves, but rather a repentant faith. The notion that salvation is possible apart from a genuine, heartfelt repentance, which includes a deep hatred of sin, is a relatively new one, neither believed nor taught by the people of God until the twentieth century.

For more information on this and other topics, see archives.

2 comments:

Wayne Dawg said...

Great post!

"Lord, I'm done with that, I want to live YOU'RE way, not mine"? This does not mean perfection, the true believer will sin, but will grow in holiness through the process of God sanctifying us. In other words we should see a difference a week from now, a month from now, then a year from now. An upward climb, if you will. Yes, we do backslide, but I'm talking about over all seeing change from year to year."

This is exactly what I try to stress when I witness. It's a complete turning from sin (I like the upward climb analogy) and staying away from it through the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we do stumble, but the fruit of repentance should be very obvious.

Chris Shanks said...

Thanks Wayne Dawg! And thanks for adding that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we don't want to return to our old ways. Also, the emphasis on the fact that "the fruit of repentance should be very obvious" is key.

-Chris