In this message we are going to deal with a Biblical Word. It is one of those words that some people don’t like preached. I really don’t understand that. If a word is used in the Bible to teach something then that is something we should want to understand. In this message we are going to deal with a Biblical Word. It is one of those words that some people don’t like preached.
It is not popular in some circles to talk about repentance. It is considered a negative and depressing doctrine that should be left alone. Some relegate it to be an Old Testament doctrine not to be taught in this age of “grace.” It is interesting that the New Testament uses the Word Repent or Repentance 47 times. It would seem that something that is spoken of so much would be an important matter to God.
May I suggest that if you feel like your fur is being brushed the wrong way with this message that you turn around and try to enjoy something from the Lord.
READ PASSAGE: This passage is very informative to our subject. The Lord Jesus Christ brings up the matter of repentance. We see a lost man who repents. And we see folk that have religion but no repentance.
THE REQUIREMENT OF REPENTANCE
There is an essential question that we must answer: IS REPENTANCE NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
I have heard many a preacher and evangelist over the last 40 years tell congregations, “Don’t worry about your sin, just accept Christ as your Savior.” Is that statement biblical?
MUST A MAN REPENT TO BE SAVED
Who says a man must repent to be saved? That is a good question. Who in the New Testament says a man must repent to be saved?
JOHN THE BAPTIST. Matthew 3:1, 2
JESUS CHRIST. Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3-5
APOSTLE PETER. Acts 3:19
APOSTLE PAUL. Acts 20:20-21
If you were going to pick some preachers to follow I would say that these four would do.
WHO MUST REPENT? Acts 17:30
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” What do we read here? Who is to repent? Just the Old Testament Jew? Just those who live in a certain place? NO! All men, must repent. God commands “all men every where to repent.”
Why? Why must all men repent? Because of their corrupted spiritual condition.
The fact is revealed by the Word of God that all men are sinners. Romans 3:23 leaves no exceptions: “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Sin is a reproach to our holy God, the Bible says that He cannot look upon sin.
(Habakkuk 1:13) “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”
BELOVED, SIN IS A RAISED FIST AND CLENCHED TEETH IN THE FACE OF GOD.
Sin is transgression against him and his word. Sin is that which separates a man from his God. And sin must be dealt with. The sinner is without hope, unless His sin is dealt with.
REALITY OF REPENTANCE.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
If we accept the necessity of repentance, we need to understand just what repentance is.
What does the Bible say about repentance? When there is Biblical repentance there are some things that will be present and manifested.
Most importantly, there are some things that will be present if there is going to be repentance unto salvation.
RECOGNITION OF SIN
There must be a recognition that I am indeed a sinner and at odds wtih God. If I do not think that I am a sinner I will not sense the need to repent.
REGRET FOR SIN
Paul speaks of sorrow in this passage. But he rejoiced in their sorrow. We need to consider that. We get the idea that when someone is struggling with their sin that we need to rush relief to them. But it may be that God hasn’t brought them to repentance. They are not ready to follow through with Christ. There can be recognition of sin without a God given regret for sin. We don’t want to see folk we care about in sorrow, but “godly sorrow” is good because it results in repentance to salvation.
WORLDLY REPENTANCE RESULTS IN DEATH
Worldly repentance (the sorrow of the world) is like the fellow who gets pulled over on the interstate for doing 80 in the 65 mile an hour zone. He is certainly sorry he got caught. He doesn’t want to pay the penalty for what he has been caught doing. But he is not sorry for all the times he was speeding and didn’t get caught nor for the twenty miles down the road when he will be breaking the law again and not get caught.
BIBLICAL REPENTANCE RESULTS IN SALVATION
“Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.”
In biblical repentance there is heartfelt sorrow for sin. Grief, affliction of soul over the matter of sin. There is a realization of the seriousness of its offense against God.
REJECTION OF SIN
True repentance produces a desire to sin no more. Out of true godly sorrow over sin comes a rejection of sin. Sin becomes awful and ugly to the sinner, he rejects the thought of continuing in his sin.
RESOLVE AGAINST SIN
True amd biblical repentance produces not only a desire to sin no more but also a resolve in the heart to sin no more.
Proverbs 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Is it just words or do we believe that the one who is truly saved has been given a new heart. A new heart will desire new things. Repentance is not a work to receive righteousness it is the evidence of a changed heart. The child of God has a new set of desires. He wants what God wants. Paul told the Roman church in Romans 6:4, “even so we also should walk in newness of life.” That is a very important word from God.
The Lord Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “go and sin no more.” John 8:11. We excuse our sin by the rationalization that we are not perfect, and will still sin. That is absolutely true, but we can use that as an excuse to not deal with the things in our lives that we know are wrong. IF I AM SAVED, I NEED TO RESOLVE TO DO RIGHT, TO SIN NOT. TO LIVE AS HOLY AS A SAVED SINNER CAN.
The Christian has the Lord Jesus Christ living in them in the person of the Holy Spirit of God. We have the resurrection power of God to do right, to live for God. There is far to much sin tolerated in the lives of those who profess to be Christians.
Is it the turning from sin that saves me? No. Remember what Paul reminded the Pastor’s from Ephesus about. He had preached, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21. Faith and repentance are inseparable. Which comes first? They are simultaneous. They work together in the soul where heart and mind turn from the ugliness of sin and in faith to Jesus Christ and the beautiful saving grace of God.
CONCLUSION: If you are here today and have made a profession of faith in Christ at some point in your life but you have never seriously dealt with sin, I humbly ask you to examine yourself as to whether you are truly saved. Does your sin bother you enough to reject it and resolve to sin no more?
We have seen from the Word of God that without repentance, without dealing with sin, no man will see the kingdom of God. Are Christians perfect? Absolutely not! The child of God may fall into some sin. He may grow cold for a time. He may wander from the truth. But God will not allow the person who is truly His to go on in his sin. The Bible teaches that God will deal with Him. He will bring chastening to correct him and bring him to repentance and back to Himself.
BOTTOM LINE:Who and what is more important to you? You and your sin? Or Christ and being right with Him? Will you repent and in faith, turn to Christ?