The Repentance from Sin
What is required?
You may now be beginning to understand why the gospel is the "good news. God has provided a way for us to escape the bondage of sin and the penalty of death through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. This message, however, is not simply about knowing the facts. It is about the heart. Do you understand deep in your heart that you are a sinful creature? One who has rebelled against God's authority? One who has continually been focused on yourself and not on Him? Do you deeply see the pain and agony that you have caused God through your rebellion? Are you truly and deeply sorry for that pain that you have caused Him? If so, these are evidences of a repentant heart.
Repentance is a turning from sin. It is admitting to God that you were wrong and committed to doing everything within your own power to turn away from those things that are displeasing to Him. It also goes above and beyond that, because you know deep within yourself that you don't have the strength or the power to turn from sin on your own because of how ingrained it is within your being. You must wholeheartedly and completely open yourself to God, begging Him to save the poor wretched sinner that you are “ realizing that you have absolutely nothing within yourself that can possibly please Him. Isaiah referred to our own righteousness as "filthy rags. Paul describes our spiritual condition without God as:
Rom 3:10b-18 "None is righteous, no, not one; (11) no one understands; no one seeks for God. (12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." (13) "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." (14) "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." (15) "Their feet are swift to shed blood; (16) in their paths are ruin and misery, (17) and the way of peace they have not known." (18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
John the Baptist came before Jesus Christ to announce that the Messiah was coming. Mark 1:4 records John's message "John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus also preached repentance. He began His ministry with a message of repentance - Matthew 4:17 "From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." “ and He ended His ministry with a message of repentance - Luke 24:46-47 "and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, (47) and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
The primary message of the apostles was also that of repentance. Peter, Paul and the other apostles preached a message of turning from sin throughout their ministries. A full study of these teachings is impossible here, but here are several examples:
Peter preached repentance on the day of Pentecost at the beginning of the church: Acts 2:36-38 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." (37) Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" (38) Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Paul preached repentance as a key part of his message: Acts 17:30-31 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, (31) because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Acts 20:18-21 And when they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, (19) serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; (20) how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, (21) solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
This last passage illustrates that salvation isn't just about repentance, but that we must have faith in Jesus Christ¦.. (continue)