What is Repentance??
God’s word reigns supreme even in today’s post modern “I know what the word of God says, but God told me this” age we live in. As the days are far spent more and more enemies of Christ arise. Armed with the foolish wisdom of this world, and the blessing of their father “satan”, they relentlessly attack God’s word. Their objective: To muddle and obfuscate the truth enough to cloud the pathway to God. Since that is their objective, what it is they go after? The Gospel……
The bible clearly tells us that the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).
The gospel message is that all men as a result of the fall (Genesis 3) have sinned. Because of that sin, we are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21) and have been placed under His wrath (Romans 1:18). All men have sinned (Romans 3:23) and broken God’s Holy law and the wages of that is death (Romans 6:23). No one is good enough to seek for God (Romans 3:10-13) or able to work their way to Him by works of the law (Romans 3:20). As I said before the breaking of God’s law requires a payment that no mere human is able to make.
With no way to appease God’s wrath all are headed toward an eternity in the lake of fire. But God, in his love and mercy, has provided a Savior (John 3:16) to redeem those sinners whom He sovereignly predestined to be conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). Becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), Jesus Christ bore the wrath of God and died on a cross thus becoming the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). He was buried in the ground, rose on the third day, and ascended to heaven where he sits at the right hand of the throne of God. Through repentance of sin and faith in the work and person of Jesus Christ men can be granted eternal life.
That is the gospel message. So you may ask: “ok Brandon what is it that men are attacking?” Repentance….
What is repentance?
In a previous post (Do you have to repent to be saved?), I systematically broke down the scriptures and clearly presented that all of God’s preachers, prophets, disciples, apostles, and even Jesus himself preached repentance. But in this post I want to explain just what repentance really is. The scripture that stands out is Isaiah 45:22:
“Turn to me and be saved…..”
Repentance is a turning away from sin and unrighteousness to righteousness and God. Repentance is leaving our former life of sin and embracing the life that God calls his children to walk (Holiness). Repentance is death of the old man and life to the new man. Repentance is confession that our previous life was wrong and sinful and that God’s law is good. In the gospel presentation I gave above I made it known that men were dead in sin. If that’s true, how can a sinner, who loves sin, and hates God’s righteousness truly repent? Good Question.
Where does repentance come from?
That’s an easy answer. God! True repentance comes from God. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
“God having raised up His servant, sent Him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.” Acts 3:26
God blessed those Peter preached to in Solomon’s Protico by granting them the gift of repentance. That is easily understood.
“And the Lord servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, and patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth….” 2 Timothy 2:24-25
“When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” Acts 11:18
All true repentance is produced by God’s sovereign grace. Ephesians 2:7 tells us why:
“so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
God will get all glory for the salvation of men. He will be glorified for causing totally depraved sinners to turn from their sin and to faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He is full of grace toward us and we have absolutely nothing to boast about. We can’t save ourselves nor can we repent and turn from our sin. God selected a portion of sinful humanity and gave His only Son to die for them. He grants them faith and repentance unto eternal life and conforms them into the image of His Son.
True repentance is a radical miracle God performs in the heart of sinners. He takes out their stony hearts and replaces it with a heart of flesh that will obey Him (Ezekiel 36:26). All glory to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ for saving me!
I’ll leave you with this scripture and this quote:
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of His Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become eternal heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-8
“When God, by grace grants saving faith, it includes the granting of repentance from sin. Neither is a human work.”-John MacArthur