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March 6, 2016

"REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD"

TEXT: Acts 20:21 (Read vv 17-38)
READING:
 Mark 1: 1-15

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SUBJ: Biblical repentance, its necessity and its function in both the conversion and life of the born again children of the God especially noting that it is both the gift and commandment of God.

AIM: To renew in us a call to repentance as well as embracing the need that our faith might be faith indeed.

INTR: The edge of necessity has been taken off many biblical concepts in that men have discovered a real difficulty in meeting the biblical standard which, of course, requires a work of grace.
1. So it is that many have softened the idea of repentance by retreating to a mere definition of the Greek word while ignoring the effects of it as recorded in the Bible.
2. It is true that the word is used in reference to the operations of God in the manner of His revelations to men and that especially with regard to their sinfulness and disobedience.
3. The idea that a mere change of mind or opinion commands such attention both in Heaven and on earth before God requires a minimization of the command of God as well of the degree of the divine hatred of sin!!

THESIS: Repentance is indeed the command of God issued to all and at the same time is a necessity provided by the grace of God in salvation.

I. What it is not
1. The basic definition of the word translated repentance does indeed mean a reversal as to direction and thought but in particular with reference to guilt before the holiness of God!
2. It is not the sorrow of this world: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
1) Notable examples are Cain, Ahithophel, Judas and Esau all who lamented misdeeds and loss.
2) But even the rich man in hell erred: And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. Luke 16:30.
3. It is not something that can be produced apart from spiritual life.
4. It is not a one-time action never to be engaged again – as long as we have sin there will be repentance.

II. What it is based on scripture
1. It was the initial message of our Lord: And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15
2. Repentance is a foundational element: Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Hebrews 6:1
3. It is something that pertains to life and godliness and in particular something that bears evidence of its existence: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: Matthew 3:8.
4. It is a matter of heavenly sanction: I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7.
5. It precedes conversion: 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; Acts 3:19.
6. The preaching of repentance is integral to the message we are commanded to preach: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:47.
1) We note that here as in our text that repentance is followed by remission of sins (which is faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ).
2) That it is a universal command and it is gospel indeed!
7. And so would Paul preach it without equivocation: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30.

III. To Whom it is directed
1. It is toward God and it must be that any form of sorrow is disqualified if it is not so directed!
2. Consider again: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10
1) Pink aptly observed that a Godly nature us required to experience Godly sorrow! “Ye must be born again!”
2) The implication in every place that in repentance one is acutely aware of the awful offense of His sin toward a Holy and loving God and leaves one suitably affected and seeking unto mercy and forgiveness.
3) It is God’s gift to us that we might be constantly reminded of an ongoing need to fully trust Him and, of course, we here see the connection of faith toward our Lord Jesus.
3. It is a precious gift of the Spirit and to be esteemed as such and exercised: Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 AND 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.
4. May we be reminded that while often repentance is associated with unpleasantness and painful recollection, to be incapable of true repentance portends a horrible end.
1) Repentance removes all hope of self-deliverance and prepares our hearts for the gift of faith!
2) We are ever reminded of the source of it: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4.