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Repentance To Salvation
April 08, 2012
Once we become believers in Jesus Christ, and have had our former sins washed away in His blood during baptism, we still sin occasionally through ignorance, mistake, or a moment of weakness. Recognition of such sins is vital so that we may confess our sins to God and beg His forgiveness. Godly sorrow leads to repentance, which is a change of heart.
Repentance To Salvation
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 04-08-2012
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 04-15-2012
When we think about righteousness and the forgiveness of sins, we need to understand the role that repentance plays in our lives. God wishes for every human being to repent.
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
.According to Strong’s definition of the Greek word for repentance, it means to have a change of mind. What was our mind before, and toward what should we change it?
Mark 1:1 "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins."
John, who baptized, preached baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. As we have studied some time back, to remit means to pay for. Therefore, remission of sins means that our sins have been paid for. We also studied previously that Jesus was the one who paid for our sins.
So, the believer has a change of mind. What is that change? He first recognizes his sins, and then he turns from his sins! And where does he turn?
Luke 1:13 "But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
This is a quotation from:
Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
John would turn many of the offspring of Israel to the Lord their God! They had turned away from Him, and John would turn them back to Him. But, John also would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers. In other words, the elders would teach the children the ways of the Lord, and the children would listen to their fathers, who knew wisdom.
Jesus told Saul of Tarsus as He recruited him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles:
Acts 26:17 "Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
Once we have repented of sins and turned to God, our intention is to listen to Him and follow His commandments. We bring forth works meet for repentance.
Matthew 3:7 "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:"
Acts 26:19 "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance."
What are these good fruits, these good works?
Philippians 1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."
We had a lesson on those good works not too long ago, and saw that they included loving one another, looking after one another’s well-being, sharing what we have with others who need help, and preaching the gospel to the unbelieving.
But what happens when we fail in our charge to do good works? What happens when we go astray, when we get wrong ideas that alienate us from God, or do those things that we should not do? What happens when we stray from the beaten path, the strait and narrow way?
When a man named Simon tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money, he was told:
Acts 8:21 “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”
We see that when we sin, we must recognize our sin, repent of it, and ask God’s forgiveness. This acknowledges that we understand that we cannot plot our own course, we need God’s leadership into righteousness.
When a man committed fornication in Corinth, apostle Paul told the local congregation to put him out from among them, and encourage him to recognize his sin, and to stop sinning. Once he had done so, Paul rejoiced at the man’s repentance. Here is what he wrote:
2 Corinthians 7:10 "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."
Even the righteous sin, as we saw in our recent studies, even when we try not to sin. When we do sin, we are to reflect upon our situation, repent and turn back to God in sorrow over our sins.
Revelation 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
Repentance shows the zeal that we have to serve God and keep His laws and commandments.
1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
John writes that we are not to sin, but when we do, Jesus makes it right with God.
1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
We see that it is important not to sin. When we do sin, we must reflect upon our sin, and realize that we stand guilty before God. In the righteous, this leads to a godly sorrow, and repentance. When we repent, Jesus cleanses us of our sins, so that we are not counted as unrighteous.