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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: 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 55:6-7)

 

Aug 15, 2016

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:

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What is Repentance?

  1. Intro
    1. In our last episode we answered the question, “What is the Gospel?” In this episode we are going to answer the question, “What is Repentance?”
    2. 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.
    3. It is an important truth to properly understanding what is expected of man from God in response to the gospel.
  2. The Commandment of the Gospel
    1. “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)
    2. “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 24:45-47)
    3. “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 17:30-31)
    4. 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.
  3. Faith is the principle thing in salvation.
    1. Before continuing about repentance we must first understand faith.
      1. “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Eph. 2:8-9)
      2. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…” (1 Pet. 1:5)
      3. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Mark 2:5)
    2. We see in these verses two important facts:
      1. Faith is a condition of salvation. (shown clearly in the word “through” being used) Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6)
      2. 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.
      3. Fireman warning analogy.
    3. 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.”
    4. If faith is the principle thing in salvation, then what part does repentance play in man’s salvation?
  4. Biblical Repentance
    1. The word “repent” has a two-fold meaning:
      1. To have a change of mind regarding past conduct.
      2. To turn from something.
    2. Both of those meanings are used in scripture and are very important.
    3. Jesus Christ said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5) So we see its importance in our salvation.
    4. 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:
      1. They must believe who Jesus Christ is, and that He accomplished all that the scripture says.
      2. They must turn from their ways to Him for salvation.
    5. This in essence describes the relationship between faith and repentance.
      1. To believe the gospel is faith.
      2. To turn from sin unto Jesus Christ is repentance.
  5. Perversions of Repentance
    1. A one-time prayer at an altar is not biblical repentance.
    2. A “decision for Christ” is not repentance.
    3. “Asking Jesus into your heart” is not repentance.
    4. 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.
      1. “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)
      2. “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)
  6. Faith and Repentance together
    1. Saving faith is that which leads to biblical repentance. It is because I believe that I do or don’t do certain things anymore.
    2. 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 narrow way.
    3. 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 Jesus.
  7. Example of Repentance from Scripture
    1. 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 here.”
    2. 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.”
    3. When the Ninevites believed the warning Jonah declared to them from God they humbled themselves and put away their sins.
    4. 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 begin with.
    5. To this, the scriptures agree:
      1. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7)
      2. “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)
    6. 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.
  8. Examine yourself
    1. 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 13:22)
    2. 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.
    3. Here is your counsel from the Word of God:
      1. “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 55:7)
      2. Confess your sins, and put them away. The Lord is merciful and faithful to pardon through Jesus Christ.
    4. 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.
    5. “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)
      1. Comparing Old testament and New testament disobedience.
    6. 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.