Friday, October 14, 2011
"NEW TESTAMENT SALVATION - THE ACT OF REPENTANCE"
Good Evening to All!
I am continuing the topic of "Salvation" tonight with the "Act of Repentance".
I love this picture to the right. What better way to teach your children the way to repent than to show them by example?
Unfortunately, in today's lax times, repentance is taken WAY TOO LIGHTLY. You would be surprised at the people who actually think that as long as they make a trip up to the altar (if that) and tell God that they are sorry, then everything is ok, and they can go on about their business, with nothing changed, happy and "forgiven" and think they can go out and do the same thing over again as long as they make a return trip to the altar the next service.
These people are being deceived. By whoever is telling them this, and by themselves because they don't read God's Word enough to know the difference. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if people really and truly expect to be saved, STAY SAVED and enter the Kingdom of Heaven, they need to study God's Word. It's going to take more than just a little "common sense" or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" attitude. Jesus says we must obey His commands. There are a lot more commandments in the Bible than the "Big Ten". It is going to take reading and study God's Word to know what exactly He expects from us for us to be allowed into His Kingdom. We are going to be judged not just by the Ten Commandments, but by ALL sixty-six books of the Bible when we stand before Him. As well as the need for having our names written in the Book of Life.
Now, to get to the "nitty-gritty of Repentance. Repentance is turning AWAY from sin TO God. These are Jesus' words about repentance. (18) To open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me. (19) Wherefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, (20) But made known openly first of all to those at first at Damascus, then at Jerusalem, and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance. (Acts 26:18-20 AMP.)
Verse 18 was Jesus telling Paul what he was supposed to do, the last two verses was Paul explaining his actions to King Agrippa.
Repentance has three necessary aspects: an intellectual change (change of views), an emotional change ( change of feelings), and a volitional change (voluntary change of purpose). (God will not force us to change. We must do it because it is of our own free will). It includes recognition of sin; (when Jesus was sitting and eating with the publicans and sinners her over heard the scribes and Pharisees making comments to His disciples) Jesus said, "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17AMP.), This includes the confession of sin to God. Proverbs 28:13 AMP says: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (1:9) if we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [ everything not in conformity to His will in purpose,[thought and action].
Please let me interject here. This does not mean that we go up to the altar ONE time, ask for forgiveness and then all of our future sins are forgiven. We must "die" daily which means to ask for forgiveness every time we sin. This is true repentance This idea of "once saved ALWAYS does not hold water Biblically. , contrition, or godly sorrow which is sincere penitence or remorse, with true purpose of amendment. (Psalm 51:17; 2 Corinthians 7:10), and a decision to forsake sin (Proverbs 28:13; Luke 3:7-8). With repentance comes the willingness to make restitution for past sins as much as possible (Matthew 5;23-24; Luke 19:8).
Repentance is the first response of faith to the call of God. And saying, The [appointed period ] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel). (Mark 1:15 AMP). It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO SALVATION. (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9). Without repentance, baptism is not effective, and without repentance a person cannot receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 3:19).
You may ask why is this so. It is because without repentance, you still have "issues" that come between you and God. How many times have you said something to someone or done something and apologized just so "you" would feel better, or so the other person would stop being angry or upset with you? I know I have been guilty, and I know I'm not the only one. Repentance is when you bear your soul to God. Cry out with sincerity for His forgiveness as well as the other people from whom you need forgiveness. When we have unforgiven issues in our hearts it puts a "wall" up of sorts between us and God and makes it hard for Him to hear our prayers asking for His help and forgiveness. If we go to Him with a clean heart and a right spirit, He will forgive us for our sins, but we must truly mean it and don't mistake it. He sees our hearts so He knows if we are sincere or not.
Not only that, if we continue to do the same thing over and over again, then we have not repented, therefor the above applies; ineffective baptism (so our sins have not been washed away), and we will not receive the Holy Ghost, which is given to us to help us on our journey of being saved. You see, the Holy Spirit is what teaches us How to Live for God, as well as guiding us into ALL truths. He will help us to stay on the right path IF WE WILL LET HIM. So He is definitely need to stay saved. We cannot do it on our own.
At repentance, a person begins to let God work in his life. He decides to turn away from sin and allows God to run him. As part of the turn from sin, God enables him to break away from sinful habits and desires. As part of the turn to god, repentance prepares the way for him to have a personal relationship with God, qualifying him for baptism of water and of Spirit.
The work of forgiveness and remission comes through repentance and water baptism
(Acts 2:38). Repentance deals with a person's sinful lifestyle, and baptism deals with the record and consequences of sin.
If you can't get your thought around repentance any other way, look at it from the stand point of following one of the Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt not lie". If you do not repent of your sins, and confess them to God, then in a sense, you are Lying by Omission. Even if God sees you sinning, His command is to confess your sins and be honest with Him. If you don't repent, then you are not in obedience with His Will. (My own way of thinking).
Tomorrow, I will be discussing the importance and significance of water baptism to Salvation.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!