Have you never understood what the Bible means when it says,
"Repent"? If you've ever wondered what it means to "repent", or
what God expects you to do, then listen to this episode.
Here are the notes for this episode:
What is Repentance?
- In our last episode we answered the question, “What is the
Gospel?” In this episode we are going to answer the question, “What
- The issue of repentance needs to be restored in Christianity
today. In most congregations it is either redefined or completely
removed from the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- It is an important truth to properly understanding what is
expected of man from God in response to the gospel.
- The Commandment of the Gospel
- “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
- “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand
the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it
behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his
name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke
- “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now
commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed
a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by
that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance
unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts
- In preaching the gospel we see that repentance is included, and
is indeed commanded. Paul the Apostle himself stated that the
gospel itself was something to be obeyed in Romans 10:16.
- Faith is the principle thing in salvation.
- Before continuing about repentance we must first understand
- “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Eph. 2:8-9)
- “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto
salvation…” (1 Pet. 1:5)
- “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the
palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Mark 2:5)
- We see in these verses two important facts:
- Faith is a condition of salvation. (shown clearly in the word
“through” being used) Without faith it is impossible to please God
- Faith can be seen in what you do. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith
is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen…” Faith is the evidence of things not seen; and that shows
that faith itself must be seen. James says very clearly in James 2
that if you do not have works to verify your faith then your faith
is vain. It is dead and useless, and it is not saving faith.
- Fireman warning analogy.
- The principle thing in salvation is faith. The Lord said
numerous times that it was faith that made a person whole in the
gospels. 2 Corinthians 1:24 says that it is by faith that you stand
in Christ. Also, Ephesians 3:17 tells us, “That Christ may dwell in
your hearts by faith.”
- If faith is the principle thing in salvation, then what part
does repentance play in man’s salvation?
- Biblical Repentance
- The word “repent” has a two-fold meaning:
- To have a change of mind regarding past conduct.
- To turn from something.
- Both of those meanings are used in scripture and are very
- Jesus Christ said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5) So we see its importance in our
- When the gospel is presented to a person they are confronted
with the fact that they have sinned against God and that Christ has
been made a sacrifice to reconcile him to God the Father. What is
necessary at this point is two-fold:
- They must believe who Jesus Christ is, and that He accomplished
all that the scripture says.
- They must turn from their ways to Him for salvation.
- This in essence describes the relationship between faith and
- To believe the gospel is faith.
- To turn from sin unto Jesus Christ is repentance.
- Perversions of Repentance
- A one-time prayer at an altar is not biblical repentance.
- A “decision for Christ” is not repentance.
- “Asking Jesus into your heart” is not repentance.
- Biblical repentance is understanding that how you lived your
life in sin apart from God was an offense against Him, and you
forsake your old ways of living (sin) and give yourself to God.
What was under your control independent of God now becomes His to
direct and lead as He sees fit.
- “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
- “And that he died for all, that they which live should not
henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them,
and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
- Faith and Repentance together
- Saving faith is that which leads to biblical repentance. It is
because I believe that I do or don’t do certain things
- If I want to go to the grocery store and begin to leave my
house, and then someone tells me I’m going in the wrong direction:
I understand and believe them, and then turn to the correct way.
That is salvation. I was in the broad way that leads to
destruction, living in sin and selfishness, but I’ve believed the
gospel and turned to salvation in Jesus Christ in the straight and
- If you understand and believe that it is sin and worldliness
that separates you from God, then if you desire to know God you
would desire to put away sin to be reconciled unto God by His Son
- Example of Repentance from Scripture
- Matthew 12:41 says, “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment
with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented
at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is
- We read about this in Jonah 3:5-10, “So the people of Nineveh
believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the
greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the
king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe
from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he
caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the
decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor
beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor
drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and
cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil
way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if
God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that
we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their
evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he
would do unto them; and he did it not.”
- When the Ninevites believed the warning Jonah declared to them
from God they humbled themselves and put away their sins.
- Seeing that the scriptures show clearly that faith is necessary
for salvation, faith results in outward works because you believe
the word, and repentance is part of that outward change of action:
from this we can be clear that if there is no outward change in a
person’s way of living then they never put their faith in Christ to
- To this, the scriptures agree:
- “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth
righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John
- “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of
the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither
he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:10)
- Contrary to what is widely taught today you can absolutely know
who is a Christian and who is not: those that have repented of sin
show it in how they live. They live wholly for Jesus Christ, and
His word directs how they live. If they find out they are living
contrary to some principle of God’s word, they repent again, and
turn their feet unto His paths.
- Examine yourself
- Thanks to modern preaching, many false prophets are gone out
into the world. The Lord Himself said of this type, “Because with
lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not
made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should
not return from his wicked way, by promising him life.” (Ezekiel
- The wicked, the unrighteous, and the ungodly will not inherit
the kingdom of God. You need to take some time to examine yourself
whether or not you are in the faith as it is taught by the Word of
God. Or are you a church member, or ex-church member, who said a
prayer one time or made a “decision” for Christ? If you never
turned from sin, then you never turned to Jesus Christ; and you are
yet in your sins and separated from Him.
- Here is your counsel from the Word of God:
- “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his
thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy
upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah
- Confess your sins, and put them away. The Lord is merciful and
faithful to pardon through Jesus Christ.
- Perhaps you truly committed your life to Christ at one time,
but you’ve let things slip. You’ve followed the slow descent from a
zeal for Christ, to, “Yeah, I’ve been saved.” My question to you
is: Are you following Him? Do you intentionally set your feet to
walk in accordance with His commandments? Do you seek to know Him
more and the power of holiness in daily life? Be very careful.
- “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things
which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For
if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression
and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we
escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began
to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that
heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and
wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost,
according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:1-4)
- Comparing Old testament and New testament disobedience.
- Renew your zeal for Christ, put away everything that hinders
you from serving Him, and set your face as an adamant stone to
follow Him and love Him supremely.