I cannot pray, except I sin. I cannot preach, but I sin. I cannot administer, nor receive the holy sacrament, but I sin. My very repentance needs to be repented of and the tears I shed need washing in the blood of Christ.
We often hear the “Savior” characteristics of God stressed – His love, mercy, goodness and so on – but the matter of His lordship is absent. The distortion is particularly clear in evangelism. In modern practice the call to repentance is usually called an “invitation,” which one can obviously accept or refuse. It is offered politely. Seldom do we hear presented God’s sovereign demand to repent or His demand for total submission to the authority of His appointed king, Christ Jesus.
Taken from “Foundations of the Christian Faith-Book I” by James Montgomery Boice, page 120. (c)1986 InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of the USA, Revised edition. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. Get this book!
Man cannot be righteous in God’s sight until he repents of his own expectation that he can be righteous in his own sight. God is not mighty toward man until man is weak toward God.
Just as the angel’s announcement to Joseph declared Jesus’ primary purpose to be to save His people from their sins (Mt. 1:21), so the first announcement of the kingdom (delivered by John the Baptist) is associated with repentance and confession of sin (Mt. 3:6).
Love in Scripture is never defined as taking advantage of another’s care, abusing their trust, or imposing on their generosity. If we knowingly continue in flagrant wrong under the presumption that “It won’t matter, because God always forgives His children,” we must question our commitment to Him. There is no human assurance that His love covers us when there is no evidence of our love for Him.
The Power of Mercy by Bryan Chapell taken from Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell, copyright 2001, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 195.|The Power of Mercy by Bryan Chapell taken from Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell, copyright 2001, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 195.
Why are we experiencing such an epidemic of open- and not-so-open- sin in the church today?… [Because] we have promoted a “gospel” that says it is possible to be a Christian while stubbornly refusing to address practices or behaviors we know are sinful. We have accepted the philosophy that it’s OK for Christians to look, think, act, and talk like the world. We have made it an offense to admonish people about their sin, either privately or, when necessary, publicly. If only we were as loath to commit sin as we are to confront it!
It impossible…to be converted to Christ while at the same time loving (your) sin. It is true that anybody who comes to Christ will come with sin. In fact, he or she will come precisely because of that sin – that is, to be rid of it and its awful result. But to come to Christ while loving and cherishing sin is totally impossible. It is like an airplane trying to fly in two directions!
It is easier to cry against one-thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.
God really loves us and wants us to turn away from our sins. If He passed final judgment now, we would have no such opportunity; that would be the end of time for us. He has sufficient provocation to do so; that we recognize. We have sinned enough to deserve His infinite wrath at any moment, but we do not receive it. We have an opportunity, therefore, to turn away from our sin and to turn to God. Instead of continuing to offend Him, we can plead for forgiveness and seek to please Him. While there is yet life, that is possible.
Feelings of sorrow alone aren’t necessarily conviction. We can be sorrowful for many reasons, including selfish ones. We can be sorry for the bad consequences of our sin, sorry we were caught, sorry we lost someone’s respect. The kind of worldly grief can’t begin to address the true offense of sin, and it can’t begin to change us [see 2 Cor. 7:8-9]. Only godly grief brings repentance. And only repentance testifies to the surgical effect of God’s truth applied to our sinful hearts.
Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.
To exhort sinners to be saved by “Accepting Christ as their Saviour” without pressing upon them the imperative necessity of repentance is dishonest, and is to falsify God’s terms of salvation, for “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 17:3) is the Divine dictum. The sinner must either repent or perish, there is no other alternative. And since “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) all therefore need to “repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15) else they will be “punished with everlasting destruction” (2Thess. 1:9). To delay repentance then is most perilous.
For salvation, “repentance unto life” is just as necessary as is faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. No sinner was ever pardoned while he remained impenitent, while he remained in rebellion against God and His authority, and without submitting himself whole-heartedly to His Lordship. This involves the realization in his heart, wrought therein by the Holy Spirit, of “the sinfulness of sin” (Rom 7:13), of the awfulness of ignoring the claims of God and of defying His authority. Repentance is a “holy horror and hatred of sin, a deep sorrow for it, a contrite acknowledgment of it before God, and a complete heart forsaking of it.”
It is important for us to see the close connection between repentance and forgiveness, because while no amount of repentance can ever merit forgiveness in the sight of God, without repentance no soul will ever be saved. Repentance is the telltale mark of the grace of God at work in our lives. Saving faith and true repentance are always found together. Saved souls are repentant souls.
Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, in saying, Repent Ye, intended that the whole of the life of believers should be repentance.
The portrait of Jesus in the gospels is altogether different from the picture contemporary evangelicals typically imagine. Rather than a would-be redeemer who merely stands outside anxiously awaiting an invitation to come into unregenerate lives, the Savior described in the New Testament is God in the flesh, invading the world of sinful men and challenging them to turn from their iniquity. Rather than waiting for an invitation, He issues His own – in the form of a command to repent and take on a yoke of submission.
There can be no repentance or faith until the heart has been re-created. But in the moment of regeneration, the Holy Spirit imparts the gift of repentant faith to sinners – bringing them to saving faith in Christ and enabling them to turn away from sin. The result is a dramatic conversion.
Every sinner who repents and turns to Christ adds another spiritual stone to God’s temple, another member to His Body, and becomes another forgiven and cleansed sinner who is made eternally one with every other forgiven and cleansed sinner.
When a sinner is truly repentant and comes to God in a broken and contrite spirit and asks for forgiveness and God forgives and transforms, it is the working of the Holy Spirit.
Is There Ever a Just Reason for It? The sermon originally appeared (www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-44/true-repentance-gods-highway-to-the-heart-part-4) at www.gty.org. © 1969-2008. Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
Repentance is a theme that belongs in the gospel presentation to the degree that we could say one has not preached the biblical gospel if one has not preached repentance. In Acts 17 verse 30 the Bible says, “God commands all men everywhere to repent.” God commands all men everywhere to repent. If we are faithful preachers of the message of God, then we must in God’s name command all men everywhere to repent. Matthew 9:13 says that Jesus Christ came to call sinners to repentance. Second Peter 3:9, “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Luke 15:7 and 10 indicates that there is joy in heaven over one sinner brought to repentance. And in Luke 24:47, the Great Commission Jesus gave is that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all people.Our message is repentance. It is a hard message. It is a harsh message. It confronts sin. It unmasks hypocrisy. It denies superficiality. You cannot preach the true gospel apart from repentance. John came preaching repentance, the Bible says. Jesus came preaching repentance. The apostles preached repentance. Christ commands repentance. He does it at least three times in just Revelation 2 and 3. God saves through repentance. In fact, in Acts 11:18 it calls repentance, “Repentance unto life.” There is no spiritual life; there is no eternal life without repentance. In Acts 5:31 it is said Christ is exalted as a Savior to give repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
The Christian life is not adding Jesus to one’s own way of life but renouncing that personal way of life for His and being willing to pay whatever cost that may require.
How does every Christian start out? In repentance. We finally admit that we’ve been completely wrong about everything every moment of every day throughout our entire lives, because we’ve been wrong about God, and God is omni-relevant to us at every level of our beings all the time. But from then on, for too many of us, we’re never wrong again. That’s amazing. The first of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”
[Repentance is] consciousness of spiritual poverty dethroning pride, a sense of personal unworthiness producing grief, a willingness to surrender to God in genuine humility, and a strong spiritual desire developing into hunger and thirst, enter into the experience of one who wholly abandons sin and heartily turns to Him who grants repentance unto life (Byron Dement).
Seeking mortification of sin just to quiet the soul and find relief from the torment of the conscience, all the while neglecting to deal with the root cause of sin, is a result of self-love. Men are diverted from coming to God this way. This is of the most common deception in which men ruin their souls. They seek to apply themselves to victory over the troubling sin but do not allow their conviction to lead them to the gospel. They perish in their “reformation”.
The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of Fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.
The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing.
Salvation is by grace, by grace alone. Nevertheless, divine grace is not exercised at the expense of holiness. It never compromises with sin. It is also true that salvation is a free gift, but an empty hand must receive it and not a hand which still tightly grasps the world. Something more than believing is necessary to salvation. A heart that is steeled in rebellion against God cannot savingly believe. It must first be broken. Only those who are spiritually blind would declare that Christ will save any who despise His authority and refuse His yoke. Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the lordship of Christ are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts.
The very first word out of Jesus’ mouth in His ministry is clear: repent. It’s the same word that John the Baptist proclaims in preparation for Jesus’ coming. This word is also the foundation for the first Christian sermon in the book of Acts. After Peter proclaims the good news of Christ’s death for sin, the crowds ask him, “What shall we do?” Peter looks them right in their eyes and says, “Repent.”
For every Christian in every culture, repentance is necessary. This doesn’t mean that when people become Christians, they suddenly become perfect and never have any struggles with sin again. But this does mean that when we become followers of Jesus, we make a decided break with an old way of living and take a decisive turn to a new life. We literally die to our sin and to ourselves – our self-centeredness, self-consumption, self-righteousness, self-indulgence, self-effort, and self-exaltation. In the words of Paul, we “have been crucified with Christ and [we] no longer live, but Christ lives in [us].”
Sin forsaken is one of the best evidences of sin forgiven.
We need to be straitly warned, that it is no light matter whether we repent or not. We need to be reminded, that there is a hell as well as a heaven, and an everlasting punishment for the wicked, as well as everlasting life for the godly. We are fearfully apt to forget this. We talk of the love and mercy of God, and we do not remember sufficiently His justness and holiness. Let us be very careful on this point. It is no real kindness to keep back the terrors of the Lord. It is good for us all to be taught that it is possible to be lost forever, and that all unconverted people are hanging over the brink of the pit.
Gold is not the less gold because mingled with alloy, nor light the less light because faint and dim, nor grace the less grace because young and weak. But after every allowance, I cannot see how any man deserves to be called “holy,” who willfully allows himself in sins, and is not humbled and ashamed because of them. I dare not call anyone “holy” who makes a habit of willfully neglecting known duties, and willfully doing what he knows God has commanded him not to do.
You cannot cherish Jesus and your sin. We cannot add Christ without subtracting sin. A change in belief should always be followed by a change in behavior.
Failure to repent simply displays a heart greater in love with its sin than in love with its Savior.
Even our own testimony reveals that nothing good has ever been achieved through our sin. Sin like a deadly serpent, if you play with it, you will get stung. Sin is the number one culprit to destroy marriages and churches. Often, not always, those with the most interpersonal problems have the most sin. Sin sears our conscience. It hardens our heart. It steals our joy. And leaves in its deceptive wake a lifetime of regret and consequences.
Why should all people repent? 1. It’s the gospel, 2. Christ suffered for your sins, 3. God commands us to be holy, 4. God hates sin, 5. Obedience is love for God, 6. Our sin affects others, 7. Work of the Holy Spirit, 8. Need for assurance, 9. Delight in God, 10. Desire to be used by God, 11. Subject to discipline, 12. Personal consequences, 13. Current and future blessings, 14. God’s glory.
Repenting is neither more nor less than crying out to God in Christ, “Lord be merciful to me, a sinner.” Believing is rejoicing in the faithfulness of His promise, that as we so repent, we go home justified. It is not the depth and power of your repentance that earns God’s favor. None of us repent as deeply as we ought, and so must ever repent for the weakness of our repentance. But Jesus came to save sinners.
If Christ has died for me – ungodly as I am, without strength as I am – then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it?
The saints are sinners still. Our best tears need to be wept over, the strongest faith is mixed with unbelief, our most flaming love is cold compared with what Jesus deserves, and our intensest zeal still lacks the full fervor which the bleeding wounds and pierced heart of the crucified might claim at our hands. Our best things need a sin offering, or they would condemn us.
Another proof of the conquest of a soul for Christ will be found in a real change of life. If the man does not live differently from what he did before, both at home and abroad, his repentance needs repented of, and his conversion is a fiction.
Christ and we will never be one until we and our sin are two.
There can be no peace between you and Christ while there is peace between you and sin.
I learn from the Scriptures that repentance is just as necessary to salvation as faith is, and the faith that has not repentance going with it will have to be repented of.
If you will not have death unto sin, you shall have sin unto death. There is no alternative. If you do not die to sin, you shall die for sin. If you do not slay sin, sin will slay you.
You and your sins must separate or you and your God will never come together. No one sin may you keep; they must all be given up, they must be brought out like Canaanite kings from the cave and be hanged up in the sun.
If there be a man before me who says that the wrath of God is too heavy a punishment for his little sin, I ask him, if the sin be little, why does he not give it up?
To say that people can’t be transformed is to say that God cannot transform people and that’s blasphemy. Nothing less.
Encouragement is prompted by love and directs toward the fear of God.
I need to repent of my repentance.
Little sins unrepented of will damn thee as well as greater. Not only great rivers fall into the sea, but little brooks; not only greater sins carry men to hell, but lesser; therefore do not think pardon easy because sin is small.
To sin because mercy abounds, is the devil’s logic.
If I am content to go on in sin, I am an enemy, an adversary of God. Hell, not heaven, follows at the end of my life. I must not comfort myself in this state. I must repent!