Repentance: Central to Jesus’ Message
(1) Mar 1:14-15 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
(2) Mat 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
(3) Mar 6:11 “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”
(4) Luk 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. “
(5) Luk 24:46 “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.”
The Essentials that are without Compromise:
God calls ALL men everywhere to repentance and faith proven by deeds. He draws all men, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and stretches forth His hand daily offering them repentance unto life. He’s not willing any perish in sin and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Acts 17:30-31, 26:18-21, Jh12:32, 16:8, 2 Pet 3:9, Rom 2:4, Ezk 18:32) To ‘draw, give’ is inclusive of all, (all given the opportunity) there is no such thing as election of some and not others or any pre-ordained to salvation and others to condemnation. See James 4:7-10.
Man is born with a moral conscience and natural inclinations totally free and unhindered in will and ability. He is not rendered incapable of obedience to God, or limited in ability by: Original Sin, moral depravity, inbred sin, sin nature or adamic, fallen nature. He is only unwilling to repent in that he is rebellious to God and has chosen self-indulgence over obedience to Christ. Sin is what you DO, not what you are; you are a sinner by choice, not nature. You become addicted to sin as a slave to who you obey. (Rom 6:16). Nature in scripture is ‘physis (our word for Physics) defined as a principle of growth, nature of growth, ‘By Nature children of wrath‘ Eph 2:3, meaning by ‘habit, use, with the variable of free will involved making wrong choices to indulge the lusts.
In contrast, the gentiles are able to ‘do by nature (physis) the things contained in the law, Rom 2:14, meaning, by the use of their free will to make choices for good they answer the accusation of their conscience and do what is right. Sinning is AGAINST NATURE: [Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:”]
Man’s sense of reason can become distorted (reprobate) as he continues in sin, rejects God, exchanges His truth for a lie and ‘reverses nature’, going into perversion. (Rom 1:18-26) The Scripture speaks of man being made upright, innocent (neutral) and able to do what is Right: Ecc 7:29, Deut 1:39, Isa 7:16, Mat 18:3, 19:14, Ps 139:14, 127:3, Ezk 14;14. Passages such as Ps 51:5, 58:3, Rom 5:12, Ecc 7:20, Gen 6:5, 8:21, Job 14:1-4, 15:14, DO NOT prove man is born sinful; please consult our website for further information as to why the church teaches man is born a sinner. (Click here for further Study)
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2Co 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves,yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
One is “saved by grace through faith” through the experience of genuine repentance. Without the requisite change of mind and heart, one simply cannot exercise the biblical faith necessary in order to experience the quickening of grace.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
No Repentance = No Transformation = No Salvation
Sinners must be humbled and therefore brought to what can be figuratively called the “lowest room.” It is from thence that a “raising up” may occur.
Luk 14:7-11 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, Luk 14:8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; Luk 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. Luk 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. Luk 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Repentance lays the necessary foundation whereby the will of an individual actually becomes workable unto God. A wild horse must be broken before it will submit to a rider, likewise a wild and self-willed sinner must be broken (Mat 21:44) before they will submit to God. When submitted to God, the sensual, intellectual and emotional aspects of a human being become ordered and functional. Repentance gives access and thus allows one to effectually utilise the transforming power of “saved by grace through faith.”
The Bible teaches “repentance for remission” because sins remittance (justification) is conditioned upon the manifest state of an individual’s heart. In Acts we read…
Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Repentance ——-> Conversion ——–> Refreshing
Repentance brings about a conversion, whereupon the refreshing can take place.
refreshing – anapsuxis – G403 [Strong’s] From G404; properly a recovery of breath, that is, (figuratively) revival: – revival
The “refreshing” is the heart change or new birth experience which is brought about by the Spirit of God being received within. Being that the new heart is no longer rebellious towards God, it is therefore not operating in discordance with reality, the true self within having come into alignment with its proper function as designed by God. It is then that God is willing to look past the previous improper function and thus be merciful in regards to past sins. It is for this reason that the Bible teaches “repentance for remission” as opposed to a “provision for remission.” The “will” or “yielding of the heart” is what changes in repentance, whilst the new birth encompasses the love of God being shed abroad within the heart (Rom 5:5).
The Bible does not teach a substitutional “provision for remission,” a notion in which the underlying factor pertaining to the remittance of sin is a “positional legal adjustment.” The idea of a “provision” in such a context completely circumvents addressing the true condition of the heart. Under “repentance for remission” an individual enters into the New Covenant with a TRUE HEART (Heb 10:22) via the blood (Heb 10:19) and thus receives both the cleansing of past sins (Act 3:19, Heb 10:17,22; 2Pet 1:9), and experiences the law being written upon the heart and in the mind (Heb 10:16,22), the imprint which then saves an individual from present sin.
Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Heb 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God; Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
true- alethinos – G228 [Strong’s] From G227; truthful: – true.
The word “repentance” is rendered from the Greek word “metanoia”…
Repentance – metanoia – G3341 [Strong’s] From G3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): – repentance.
In Greek, “meta” pertains to “change” whilst “noia” pertains to “thought.” Repentance is simply the change of one’s mind as it pertains to sin, righteousness and judgment. God is willing to grant mercy to those whom would both confess and forsake their sin, those whom would forsake wickedness and unrighteousness.
Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
Isa 55:7 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.
John the Baptist preached “repentance for remission,” he did not preach a “provisional substitution for remission”…
Mar 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Jesus preached repentance…
Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Jesus contended that repentance and remission of sins be preached, He did not contend that provisional substitution and remission be preached…
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Repentance is where we are to figuratively die with Christ, in putting off our old man, the old way of conducting ourselves. Paul teaches this by presenting us with several parallels…
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
How Redemption Takes Place:
The Purpose of Redemption is to save man from the corrupting influence of sin and set him free from bondage, redemption means; ‘Release from bondage’. Salvation is not merely ‘receiving Jesus or trusting He paid off your sin debt so you can be forgiven and escape the punishment of hell and then hopefully sin less and obey more. It is the complete and total renovation of man’s mind, purposes, opinions, inclinations and desires, not by degree, but through the Washing, Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Spirit, he becomes a Partaker of the Divine Nature and escapes the corruption that is the world through lust. (Tit 3:5, 2 Pet 1:3-4) to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. Acts 26:18
In order for this radical transformation to take place and not end up as another sin daily, no one’s perfect professed Christian, you must understand that man is fully able to do what Scripture says he must do, to be saved. (men and brethren, what must we DO to be saved!? Acts 2:38) It’s NOT what’s been DONE, but what you must DO! God has given man free will and the ability to DO what is right as a ‘worker together’ with his creator. Faith is NEVER alone! The first act of faith toward God is obedience from the heart, Rom 6:16, Heb 11:6, when the Scripture says, ‘Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, Rom 4:3, we see the ‘synergeo‘ (synergy: two or more things working together to produce a result that cannot otherwise be attained) at work by comparing scripture with scripture: Do you see that faith was working together (synergeo) with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? Js2:22, Abraham doing his part, responding to God’s call, so the conclusion of a faith that saves is:
‘You see then that a man is Justified by what he DOES and not by faith alone’ Js 2:24 The miracle of Regeneration takes place by God through the Spirit, BUT repentance proven by deeds belongs to man. (preparations of heart belong to man, Prov 16:1)
The Sinner comes to God by faith in response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, Jh 16:8, Rom 10:17, humbly seeking Christ, but he must not be given any false assurances that God will receive him as is by merely trusting in Christ or repeating some words and feeling sorry for his sins. Such notions will short-circuit the redemptive process and quell the conviction of the Spirit that may have lead him into godly sorrow and true repentance. The sinner Must have his ‘past sins remitted (Rom 3:25, pardoned) in repentance proven by deeds BEFORE he can be ‘Returned to favor‘ (Reconciled) and filled with the Spirit. The reason scripture says ‘By the works of the law no flesh shall be Justified‘, is under the law the wages of sin is death, Rom 6:23, and merely returning to obedience would not be sufficient to wipe the past slate clean of past rebellion, ONLY faith in the shed blood of Christ can remit past sin and purge the conscience of dead works (of rebellion) to cleanse the heart for present service, Heb 9:14. It’s not that ‘works or deeds’ has no part in salvation, its that the deeds of faith have replaced the works of ritual and sacrifice. (Rom 3:37, 31)
When the sinner enters into a season of godly sorrow under a crisis of conviction, their conscience playing havoc in fear of God they must be handled carefully so not to stifle the process. (as is generally done by the well meaning professed who immediately sympathize with their sorrow and offer them false comfort) If the godly sorrow is not suppressed by outside influences it will through the Spirit bring about effective results, such as: a thorough clearing of wrong doing, the person zealously making amends for past evils, restitution if necessary, also there will be a vehement desire change, the inclinations and dispositions will be transformed. There will be full self-vindication of the past life, bringing about a hatred of sin and love for God. (described in 2 Cor 7:10-11, Ps 97:10, Prov 8:13) Scripture speaks of the empting self of all guile and deceit, coming clean, laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, forsaking the evil of your doings, amending your ways, casting away all your transgressions and making yourself a new heart! (Js1:21-22, 4:7-10, 2 Cor 7:1, Jer 26:3, 13, Exk18:31) In other words ALL known vile sin ceases as you draw near to God seeking His mercy; propitiation, in scripture, Rom 3:25, is speaking of ‘appeasement, that occurs at the Mercy Seat of Christ, Heb 9:5, where the blood is sprinkled on the sacrifice to cleanse and purity it. In this process YOU are the living sacrifice, Rom 12:1-2, presenting yourself in reasonable service to the Lord, having done your part in repentance in which the self-indulgent evil passion and desires of the flesh are Crucified (Put to death, Col 3:5), in Christ, Rom 6:4-6, so you are dead to sin, freed from its bondage and made alive to God in newness of life. NOW the ‘Washing, Regeneration and Renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5, can take place, because the soul has genuinely been set free from sin and has escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The new convert is freely given all things that pertain to life and godliness, the exceedingly great and precious promises and becomes a partaker of the Divine nature. 2 Pet 1:3-4 (he has no excuse further on to neglect doing his part by working out his salvation, adding to his faith, running the race with endurance and making his calling sure, Phil 2:11-12, 2 Pet 1:5, Heb 12:1-2, 2 Pet 1:10, this is imperative to insure entrance into the Kingdom, left undone will result in eternal ruin for the soul).
Answering some of the Common fallacies concerning Salvation:
The Scripture says: ‘we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness (remission) of sins’ (Eph 1:7, Col 1:14, Heb 9:14, Rom 5:10-11) Release from the penalty and the bondage of sin, this is the ‘free gift, not of works, pardon of past sin. (not past, present, future) But the redemptive power of the blood cannot be applied except a sinner repent and produce deeds worthy of repentance. (Acts 26:18-21) The same holds true of Eph 2:8-9, ‘By Grace you are Saved through faith, not of works’, apart from a genuine repentance Grace would be receive in Vain, (2 Cor 6:1, without purpose, to no effect) because it is Grace that teaches us deny ungodliness and worldly lust and live soberly righteously and godly in this present age, Tit 2:11. If it were merely granted as a Covering for Sin, unconditional pardon, how is it going to work its Purpose in the Redemptive Process of man working together with God!
Man is not ‘saving himself’ by producing deeds worthy of repentance and obeying God, he is simply doing his part as commanded by God and being born without a sinful nature does not negate his need for a Savoir. There is no hint of human pride or boasting in this process, it is the most humbling of experiences anyone could enter into. The reason most professed Christians are never set free from their bondage to sin is because they came under the false premise that man in his unregenerate state CANNOT ‘reason with God, call upon Him while He is near and answer the call to ‘lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, doing what is necessary to approach the Mercy Seat of Reconciliation for remission and refreshing. (Acts 3:19) Although he is FULLY capable of doing these things, the 24/7 influence of ‘born in sin, saved in sin, never stop sinning false gospel has dulled his senses to any further conviction of the Spirit that he might rise from the Pig Pen of shame and find true redemption. Therefore most professed Christians languish in the revolving door of ‘supposed ongoing forgiveness via confessing 1 Jh 1:9 for reoccurring sins that should have ceased in repentance.
There is no transfer of virtue or sin in the redemption process, Christ did not ‘become sin nor did He have to suffer God’s Wrath in man’s place or pay any kind of penalty so man could be forgiven. He gave Himself as a spotless, blameless offering for sin (1 Jh 3:5, 8) in order to destroy the works of the devil and ‘Release (Ransom, Redeem) man from the bondage of sin; by offering him a way to be reconciled (returned to favor) through repentance and faith proven by deeds. (2 Cor 5:20, Acts 26:18-21, repentance alone is sufficient to divert God’s punishment for sin, Mat 18:23-35) God points the Way through Christ (Narrow gate you strive to enter Lk 13:24) man responds or rejects. (Isa 1:19-20) Christ cannot obey in your place, repent for you or transfer His personal righteousness.
Sin (known, willful, vile) Stops in repentance, the Old man of sin is put to death, it does not die out gradually, daily, there is no process of sanctification(aka “progressive sanctification”) in the sense of sinning less and obeying more. Growth in Grace and Knowledge, 2 Pet 3:18, is adding to your faith, working out your salvation and running the race with endurance, 2 Pet 1:5, Phil 2:11-12, Heb 12:1-2, NOT treating grace as a revolving door of forgiveness for ongoing sins that are covered by merely confessing 1 John 1:9, He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy, Prov 28:13, Because man is not perfect in Knowledge or free from ignorance, even as a born again Christian he will be subject to mistakes in judgment, errors, wrong decisions, personality flaws due to vanity. His Perfection toward God is in Obedience and devotion, loving Christ with all his heart, mind, soul and strength according to his God given ability. (he is NOT required to be as perfect as God!) Such sins as listed in 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-7 are NOT Mistakes and must cease in Repentance. Returning to your Vomit (even once) will result in disqualification from the Kingdom and require a protracted season of godly sorrow in repentance to recover from and may prove impossible the longer you remain in sin.
Real Christians are NOT:
The Wretched man of Rom 7, the Chief of sinners who sin daily in thought, word and deed, nor do they have desperately wicked hearts of divided loyalties. Their Righteousness is not filthy rags in God’s sight, sin is never a foregone conclusion and they don’t run around spouting such non-sense as: ‘no one is perfect, its not of works, judge not and if I say I have no sin I’m a liar without truth!’ FULL ROMANS 7:14-25 STUDY HERE
Definition of Terms that pertain to Redemption:
Reconciliation: means ‘Return to favor’, not Atonement in the sense of Christ taking man’s place on the cross, paying off his sin debt by suffering the wrath of God and magically transferring His righteousness
Redemption: means, Release from bondage, can be translated ‘Ransom, it’s the escape from the corrupting influence of sin that genuine Salvation provides.
Remission: means Pardon and Release, ‘We have redemption through His blood, the remission of sin’, Eph 1:7, Col 1:14, ‘Release from bondage on both sides’, if you’re redeemed by the blood you are FREE from bondage to sin
Propitiation: means Appeasement, Mercy, ‘Mercy Seat’ Heb 9:5, it has nothing to do with expiatory sacrifice or vicarious (replacement) theology.
Flesh, SARX: is sinew covering the bones. It is not vile or sinful nor does it have a substance of sin dwelling within, redeemed man serves God in his flesh, Gal 2:20, Rom 8:11, with the evil passions and desires crucified so he does not indulge the lusts of his flesh. Gal 5:24, Rom 6:4-6
Grace: charis, is the loving kindness of God (not unmerited favor) by which He exerts His holy influence on souls to turn them from their sins to Christ and then strengthen and empower the redeemed to exercise their faith toward godliness and self-control. Titus 2:11-14, If you have partaken of His Grace it is evident in your conduct
Faith / Believe (synonyms) defined as: Faithfulness, fidelity, steadiness, synonymous with obedience, Rom 6:16, said to work by love, Gal 5:6, Purify the heart by obedience to the truth, 1 Pet 1:22, uphold and establish the moral law, Rom 3:31, 13:10, and have victory over sin, flesh and devil, 1 Jh 5:4-5
Righteousness: is integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, a state of approval by God, He who does what is Right is Righteous. It is what you DO, not what you receive, 1Jh3:7-8, Virtue cannot be transferred only performed.
Sin is Willful transgression of God’s law 1Jh3:4, not all sin is the same; there are sins unto death and sins not unto death, 1Jh5:16, You cannot sin willfully against Grace and escape the consequences thereof, Heb10:26-31.
When the Lord Returns He will Judge each person according to their deeds, (Matt16:24-27,Rev22:12) those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28-29) As you are, so you will be in the final Judgment, Rev 22:11-14, there is no magic transformation from wicked to righteous or filthy to clean, His Bride has made herself ready, clothed in righteous garments which are the righteous deeds of the Saints, Rev19:7-8. The Reward is eternal life (not rewards) Rev 22:12-16. The Gift of eternal life is held in ‘Earnest, Eph 1:14, until the Race is finished, it is not a guarantee but a Hope in the age to come, Yet to reaped. (Titus 3:7, Gal 6:8-10) Conditional on you finishing the race.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Virgin Mary as a Sign to the Jews. (Isa 7:14, Mt 1:20, Lk 1:35) The Lord’s human nature consists of the same flesh and blood as mankind. He was tempted in all points as man yet without sin. (Jn 1:14, Rom 8:3, Phil 2:7-8, Heb 2:14, 17, 4:15, 2 Jn 7) Christ overcame Sin, the flesh and the Devil in His Life, Death and Resurrection. (1Jh3:8) He resides as our Great High Priest, head of the church and will return to Judge the World in Righteousness. (Heb 10:12, 12:2, Eph 5:23, 2 Thes 1:8-9, Rev 22:12) He is the Image of the invisible God, first born of all creation, creator of all things and in Him all things consist. (Col 1:14-18) In Him the fullness of the Godhead expressed is Col2:9. (Hebrew elohim plural, divine ones, Gen 1:1) Christ is God, infinite in Power and Knowledge; Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence. (Godhead: ‘theotes’, state of being God. Synonym of divinity ‘theiotes’, divine nature) In Scripture the Godhead is expressed to us as: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Matt 28:19. You DO NOT have to be a ‘Trinitarian (in the Catholic sense) to believe Christ is God! But you must recognize Him as God manifest in the flesh or your sin remains.
Ransom is the Biblical model of Redemption
All models of Satisfaction and Substitution, Moral Government, Public Justice were invented by the Catholics and remove the imperative of man coming clean with God in Repentance Proven by deeds.
2 Cor 7:10-11 “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”
For true repentance to have taken place the following MUST have occurred:
1) Season of deep felt godly sorrow for sin. (Invoked by Spirit of Truth working, Jh16:8)
2) A crisis of conviction that cuts to the heart! (Sin already being forsaken!)
3) A zeal to CLEAR oneself of all wrongdoing against God. (make restitution if necessary)
4) Indignation and fear that leads to vehement desire to STOP sinning!
5) Approve yourself with PURITY of heart. (2nd Cor 7:10-11 & James 4:7-10) .
Every incident of repentance in scripture follows this PROCESS. (DON’T let anyone tell you it doesn’t, and they will MOST certainly try!) The sin STOPS HERE… The old man DIES here… The Flesh is Crucified HERE! NOT Afterwards. The desires and conduct are CHANGED here. (Or never will be!)
OBEDIENCE to God follows in NEWNESS of life and all things are new! (Rom 6:4-6, 2 Cor 5:17) If you have NOT experienced this and have NO IDEA what it means, you are NOT BORN of the SPIRIT!!!
You may indeed have ‘RECEIVED’ Christ, and ‘believed’ on His Name (repeated some words) BUT the devils ALSO believe! (James 2:19) If a person is SAVED by what he DOES and NOT by faith alone! (as James affirms, JS 2:24) The what he DOES PART, STARTS with this REPENTANCE!
Acts 26:20 “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds!”