Skip to comments.Repentance is a Gift of God...repentance pt 5
Posted on 09/03/2013 8:56:09 PM PDT by pastorbillrandles
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.( I Timothy 2:24-26)
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.(Acts 11:18)
The Christian journey always begins with repentance. There will be no salvation, no forgiveness, no knowledge of God, and no going to heaven for those who do not repent. Jesus said unless you repent, you will perish.
But what is repentance? We have seen that it is rethinking, changing our mind about what we once thought we knew about God, ourselves, our moral and spiritual condition, heaven, hell, Judgment, the spiritual reality, and about Jesus.We have also seen that repentance is Teshuvah, the hebrew word for repentance which means turning. To repent is to turn away from idols, or from folly and sin, and unto God himself, on his terms.
Repentance has a profound effect on the affections as well, for when a person truly repents, He now loves the things of God, and hates the sins which once bound and destroyed him.
There are many examples of this in the Bible, such as the prodigal son re thinking about his Father, Nebuchadnezzar changing his mind about his greatness and sovereignty, Moses realizing that he stood with the slaves, and not with the Egyptians, and Saul of Tarsus, falling in love with Jesus and the Christians, who he once hated and persecuted.
All of these were brought to repentance, they turned away from who they once were, and fully turned towards God, through Jesus.
My point in this article is that repentance isnt something that anyone can work up at will, rather it is a gift from God. People who are trapped in a wrong way of thinking; in sinful habits and desires, shameful lusts, cant rouse themselves out of these things without Gods gracious intervention. God grants unto those who He saves the gift of repentance.
In my own case, as I was sinking deep in sin in my late teenaged years, came across a Bible, a gift someone had given my brother. It really was a paraphrase of scripture, called The Way. One evening I returned from drunken carousing, and saw the Bible on the dresser in our room. A thought occurred to me, I have never really read the Bible, how could I consider my self truly literate?
So I began to read the sermon on the mount, which I found beautiful, but soon found troubling and convicting. Jesus interpretation of the spirituality of the law hit me very hard. I thought it would be good enough not to kill a person, or not to commit an act of Adultery.
But Jesus words changed my mind (albeit reluctantly). He was working on my soul, changing my mind about the nature of true righteousness. I was being given a gift, repentance. Now I saw that I had already broken all of the laws of God, and that my inner man was sick, corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and that I was liable to Divine judgment
My repentance began by turning me away from myself righteousness and sin.
My repentance was completed when I was shown who to turn to. I was in despair one night, because I knew I was damned, and lost, but didnt know how to be saved. I had answered so many altar calls trying to shake the guilt, but still had no faith to be saved. I couldnt see how God could forgive my breaking of his law.
Reading the Bible, but so depressed and despairing that I really didnt even know what it was I was reading, I had a clear thought penetrate my mind,Look at what you are reading and understand it!. I had been so distracted by sorrow and fear of judgment, I had been reading the same verse over and over agin and couldnt even tell you what it was!
I looked again at the scripture, Suddenly I perceived why Jesus died on the cross; He was taking my place in judgment and bearing my sin , that I might be accepted before God as He was. Jesus became me so that I could become Him as far as status before God!
God uses scripture, and people, and even circumstances to get a person to turn aside and look at the burning bush, or to ponder the path of their feet, and consider their own end. But in the final analysis, it is not going to happen unless the Holy Spirit of God gives a person the gift of repentance.
I now realize that what happened to me in the years 1977-1978 was the fulfillment of the words of Jesus,
And when he (The Holy Spirit)is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.(John 16:8-10)
We must pray that God will grant repentance to this generation, for without it, they perish forever. The minds of many have been so blinded by secular humanism, atheism, Islam, humanistic christianity
anything but the Truth. But God is not willing that any should perish, but that all will come to repentance, He is dealing with people by His Spirit, urging them to get right with Him, calling them to himself.
Ez 36:26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.... 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations.
While the passage above is in reference to Israel, it points out the “I will”s of God’s sovereignty in the creation of the new heart, the imbedding of the Spirit, and the resulting desire and ability to love God correctly by obeying His commandments, and the change of heart toward sin. Yes, all from the Lord...all by grace as a gift.
We serve an awesome God...
Amen brother, thanks-