Beginning the Christian Life - 2 - Repentance
Scripture reading: Matthew 3:1-12
3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
1. What is the Meaning of the Word?
a) In the Old Testament there are two words translated "repent". The one (naham) means to "Lament" or "to grieve" and refers to the aroused emotions of God or man when undertaking a different course of action.
The other word (shubh) "is not generally employed to express the Scriptural idea of genuine repentance. It is used extensively by the prophets and means A RADICAL CHANGE IN ONE'S ATTITUDE TOWARD SIN AND GOD. It implies a conscious moral separation, and a personal decision to forsake sin and enter into fellowship with God."
b) In the New Testament there are also two words translated "repent". One of these (Metamelomai) is like the first Old Testament word we considered (naham), and means " to have a feeling or carry, concern or regret."
The other word (metanoeo) means "to have another mind" and occurs in the noun and verb forms 57 times. it is also associated with the word "turn" and "describes that deep and radical change whereby a sinner turns from the idols of sin and self unto God."
c) SUMMARY: Repentance is the informing and changing of the mind; the stirring and directing of the emotions to urge the required change; and the action of the yielded will in turning the whole man away from sin and to God!
2. How important is it?
a) GOD COMMANDS IT
Acts 17:30 - - "God now COMMANDETH all men everywhere to REPENT!"
b) A REASON FOR CHRIST'S COMING
Luke 5:32 - - "I am not COME to call the righteous, but sinners to "REPENTANCE"
c) PART OF OUR LORD'S COMMISSION TO US
Luke 24:47 - - "REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be PREACHED in His name among all nations."
d) NECESSARY TO AVOID DESTRUCTION
Luke 13:3,5 - - "Except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH."
e) NECESSARY TO ETERNAL LIFE
Acts 11:18 - - "God also to the GENTILES granted REPENTANCE unto LIFE."
f) GOD'S DESIRE FOR ALL
2 Peter 3:9 - - "The Lord...is longsuffering to usward, NOT WILLING that any should perish, but that all should come to REPENTANCE."
g) PART OF CHRISTIAN'S FOUNDATION
Hebrews 6:1 - - "The FOUNDATION of REPENTANCE from dead works..."
h) JOHN THE BAPTIST PREACHED IT
Matthew 3:2 - - "REPENT ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
i) JESUS PREACHED IT
Matthew 4:17 - - " REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
j) THE APOSTLES PREACHED IT
Mark 6:12 - - "And they went our, and PREACHED that men should REPENT."
k) PAUL PREACHED IT
Acts 20:21 - - "TESTIFYING both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, REPENTANCE toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
3. What causes men to repent?
a) THE GOODNESS OF GOD
Romans 2:4 - - "Despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the GOODNESS OF GOD leadth thee to REPENTANCE.
b) CHRIST'S CALL
Matthew 9:13 - - "I am not COME TO CALL the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE."
Matthew 12:41 - - "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it; because they REPENTED at the PREACHING of Jonas."
Luke 17:3 - - "If thy brother trespass against thee, REBUKE him; and if he REPENT, forgive him."
e) GODLY SORROW
2 Corinthians 7:10 - - "Godly SORROW worketh REPENTANCE to salvation..."
Luke 6:48 - - "Digged deep"
f) DIVINE GIFT
Acts 11:18 - - "Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE unto life."
Acts 5:31 - - "Jesus hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to Give Repentance to Israel."
2 Timothy 2:25 - - "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will GIVE them REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth.