Luke 5:31,32 They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
How many of us have made some New Year’s resolutions? Goodbye couch potato, gym membership, here I come. Sick of my eating habits? No more of that junk food; in a few weeks you are going to see a new me. And the list of resolutions goes on and on. On a human level, that is all well and good in its place; but at the end of the day, resolutions have no effect whatsoever upon your soul or your fellowship with God. You don’t go to heaven because you look buff and eat kosher. That is why Jesus didn’t call sinners to make resolutions; He calls sinners to repentance.
On this Lord’s Day as we observe The Lord’s Supper and saints make a public declaration of their faith in Jesus by Water Baptism, we are going to look at what the Bible has to say about repentance. There is no pathway to heaven apart from repentance. There is no growth in personal holiness or grace apart from repentance. Unless there is a change of God wrought by the Spirit on the inside, a person may lose weight and look buff, but still be dead in trespasses and sins and separated from God. Repentance is a way of life for the follower of Jesus Christ. The first message Jesus preached in Mark’s Gospel was Repent, for the kingdom is at hand (Mark 1:14,15). God commands all men, everywhere to repent. Peter’s response to the 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost who were convicted and asked what must we do to be saved was, repent and believe on The Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved (Acts 2:37,38). God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
So what will it be for you, my friend, a New Year’s Resolution or a Spirit-driven pursuit of a life of repentance for the glory of God? Only those who recognize that they are spiritually sick by nature and by choice qualify.