You said we have to REPENT and BELIEVE. Those are both verbs, verbs require action, and action is WORK. Please be consistent.
You said we have to REPENT and BELIEVE. Those are both verbs, verbs require action, and action is WORK. Please be consistent. [Verga]
Ah. This shows the need to bring up a few posts I put up last year...with only a tiny bit of touch-up on each...first, repentance; then belief:
Repentance. Literal meaning: u-turn. Who does the u-turn? We do. The key question, though, is "Who gets the credit when we do such a u-turn?" If you're driving down a road & a man in the orange vest stops your vehicle, warns you that the road ahead is washed out, and advises that you do a u-turn, are you going to take credit for your wisdom in turning around? Jesus said that when the Holy Ghost would come, "he will reprove the world of sin" -- meaning He would convict the world of that sin. Some convicts get the message & "u-turn" away from the prison system; others return; others never leave. On top of that it's a Christian's "born-again" "in the Spirit" experience that empowers him or her to not return to that life of bondage.
So...who gets the credit for leading us to repent? God's kindness does. On what basis do I say this? Romans 2:4: Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
Verga, if you were lost in the dark...and a person guided you home via his light...are you going to credit you stumbling home to yourself & how you verbed/worked yourself home?
Still not convinced? Read these two Book of Acts passages:
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might GIVE repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. (Acts 5:31)
[Uh, hint, Verga: When you GIVE something of tremendous value to someone else, that's a gift of tremendous generosity...Or, are you saying God "owes" us to forgive us?]
Or: When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has GRANTED even the Gentiles repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18)
Bottom-line, Verga..if God didn't grant repentance to any of us; none of us would have repented!!! (He could leave us hard-hearted & not have the Holy Ghost convict us of anything!)
You see, some religionists have made repentance into yet another man-glorifying work. Yet what was revealed even by the prophet Isaiah? This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Is. 30:15)
Repentance, Isaiah says, is in a similar category to rest...quietness...trust in another (not in ourselves). But guess what? Too many "religious" people are like the Israelites of old: we "would have none of it."
As for "believe," this one's readily answerable from Jesus Himself:
28Then they asked him, "What must WE DO to do the works God requires?" 29Jesus answered, "The work OF GOD is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28-29)
Tell us, Verga. Who does Jesus attribute this "work" of belief" to: His Father -- or the person standing before Him?
At first glance, somebody might ask, "Why does God need to do a work of belief? Doesn't He believe already?" (Of course He does). But the belief here is worked out in the context of a person's life...
...God doesn't simply operate in a vacuum.
Yes, He does the work.
Yes, faith is a pure gift from Him through His grace (Eph. 2:8-9)
But notice, Jesus gives zero shrift (not even short shrift) to works as the key thing.
By contrast, legalists stress their works...but if you do works to get yourself either to heaven or to become a god, that is self-glory. Even what would be otherwise "good works" are not "good" when you do them for a kickback reason...a boomerang accumulation attempt. They become polluted with our self-ambition.
And finally this verse also shows there's no vacuum...that even our ability to call Jesus "Lord" in a public way is credited to the Holy Spirit, not us. As such the flesh-and-blood Church is the temple of the Holy Spirit: "No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3)
So, who gets the credit & glory for that confession there? (The Holy Spirit speaking thru the person!)
Face it, Verga: God qualifies us: 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (Col. 1:12) [Did you notice the past tense there?]
And who gives us the gift? The desire? The ability.
God regenerates (gives new birth to) the elect, which results in belief and repentance.
God is the potter, we are the clay. We do what he molds us to do.