Thursday, March 7, 2013

Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul's testimony is found fairly succinctly in Acts 20:20-21. He was addressing the Elders of the church at Ephesus.  In fact I have heard Acts 20:20 referred to as the 20-20 vision of the Book of Acts, that is the teaching of the gospel, "...publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." If you have never repented of your sins or put your faith in the Lord Jesus you need to understand that repentance and faith is not optional if you want to be saved.

In Acts 17 the Apostle Paul spoke to "the  philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks" who brought him to the Areopagus, otherwise known as Mars Hill, because "he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." Most of them thought of the Apostle Paul as a babbler, (a little crazy). Some wanted to know more about what Paul had to say. The Apostle Paul went on to tell those men that the God they ignorantly worshipped, Paul declared to them. Then in verse 30b he told them that while God in times past had winked at their ignorance, "now commandeth all men every where to repent..." If you would be saved, repentance is not an option.

The Lord Jesus told His hearers in Luke 13:1-5, "...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Repentance is a serious issue. Without it neither you nor I can expect to make heaven our eternal home! But exactly what is repentance? Well Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary has a definition;

From G3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): - repentance."

I think the last part says it, "by implication (a) reversal ...decision):" of your thinking. Repentance is turning from your ways to God's ways. What are your ways? The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Our ways are a path to eternal destruction. What are God's ways? The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts..."

You might say that your ways are not wicked or deceitful. Why should you need repentance when you are so good? The Bible says in Romans 3:9-19, I won't take time here to quote it all (you need to read it for yourself) but the last part of verse 19 says it well, "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." That means (to me at least) that your righteousness would need to be greater than the Apostle Paul's who said in Philippians 3:6b, "touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."  (You need to read the entire text of Philippians 3:3-15 to get the entire impact of Paul's words) No, your righteousness is insufficient to save you. You need to repent toward God if you would be saved!

"And faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Whew, this is becoming a long post. I hope people will read it!) What is faith towards the Lord Jesus? Well that seems to be a no-brainer. Faith in the Lord Jesus is putting your entire trust in Him for everything. The Bible says in Colossians 2:10a, "And ye are complete in him..." I am reminded of that old chorus we used to sing in Church;
"He's everything He's everything to me, He's everything He's everything to me, 
He's my Father, my Mother, my Sister and my Brother, He's everything He's everything to me."

If He is not your everything in this life, I doubt if you have really put your faith in Jesus. I am reminded of another old chorus;

"He is my everything, He is my all, He is my everything, both great and small.
He gave His life for me, made everything new, He is my everything now how about you?"

Well, how about you? Have you repented toward God and put your faith in the Lord Jesus for your salvation? If not, why not? Repent of your sins, find someone to baptize you in Jesus name and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It's for you and for your children too! (Hey, this would make good preaching notes).



    Is repentance a necessary act that is required by men for salvation or are men saved by "faith only?"

    Acts 17:30-31 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

    People should repent because God commanded it and because all men will stand before Jesus on Judgment Day.

    Luke 24:47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

    People should repent for the forgiveness of their sins. On the Day of Pentecost, in Jerusalem, men were required to repent in order to have their sins forgiven. They needed to make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God. Yes, they needed to repent in order to be saved. (Acts 2:38)

    Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

    Men need to repent in order to not experience the wrath of God. A stubborn and unrepentant heart can make men reluctant to believe what Jesus said "and has been baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16) Shall be saved; follows water baptism and belief.

    2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

    People should repent because it leads to salvation.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

    All people should repent in order not to perish. Contrary to Calvinist teaching God wants all men to repent.

    Luke 13:2-3 And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? 3 I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will likewise perish.

    People should repent because Jesus said "repent or perish."

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    All men should repent so that they can have their sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    It men believe (John 3:16), confess (Romans 10:9-10), repent (Acts 3:19) and are baptized in water (Acts 2:38) then they are saved. It can take 2 hrs more or less.

    Repentance does not stop at water baptism. You also need to repent after you become a Christian.


    Galatians 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.



    1. I just now read your comment. Please forgive me for my late reply. I heartily agree with what you have said. I fully agree that repentance is a lifestyle. I am reminded of another old chorus, it goes as follows,
      I'll live for Him, Who died for me, upon the cross of Calvary.
      I'll live for Him Who died for me, my Saviour and my God.