Luke 5.31,32 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole (healthy) need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 13.1-5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans (greater sinners), because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (be lost eternally). Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (be lost eternally).
Last week, Pastor Ben exhorted us to say goodbye to excuses and get on track with God’s plan for our lives in 2015. The world calls such a decision as a New Years Resolution. The bible describes such a change as the doctrine of repentance. Repentance is the pathway of God to real change.
Let me begin by saying this; according to the words of Jesus Christ, there is no such thing as salvation apart from repentance. According to the teaching of the New Testament, there is no sanctification or growth in grace or personal holiness apart from repentance. Repentance is not a sinless life, but one of progressive growth in grace, holiness, thus being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
Puritan author Thomas Watson wrote, there is no rowing to paradise except upon the river of repentance.
Ezekiel 33.11 As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel.
2 Peter 3.9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us- ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Acts 20.21 The gospel is the message, both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks of, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is one thing to be a troubled sinner because of some crisis in my life or because I am reeling under the consequences of my sin; it is another thing to be a repentant sinner.
Repentance is a way of life for the child of God. It is that work of God’s Spirit whereby we are humbled within and progressively being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
The first sermon that Jesus preached in the gospel of Mark was, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1.15
Some people think that all they need Jesus for is a little bit of cosmetic surgery. They don’t really believe that they are as sick as God says they are. Jesus, the Great Physician, only reveals Himself to people who see themselves as being incurably sick and in need of His saving and sanctifying grace.
Repentance is not “saying the sinners prayer”, that afterward produces no testimony of Jesus Christ or any visible fruit of a changed life with abhorrence because of my past sins.
Repentance is not “receiving Christ” because I do not want to spend eternity in hell. If an atheist were to “hypothetically” believe that there was such a place as heel, they would not want to go there.
Repentance is what Jesus commanded the apostles to go out and preach.
Luke 24.46-48 Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
Scripture tells us in Acts 17.30 that God commands all men everywhere to repent. That means that God is calling every person here this morning to repent and bring forth fruit, meet of repentance.
6 ingredients of genuine repentance
First, repentance begins with a sight or awareness of sin. It is that revelatory work of God’s Spirit that enables me to see what my sin is and what our sin looks like to a holy God. What is sin?
Sin is when the glory of God is not honored. The holiness of God is not reverenced. The greatness of God is not admired. The power of God is not praised. The truth of God is not sought. The wisdom of God is not esteemed. The beauty of God is not treasured. The goodness of God is not savored. The faithfulness of God is not trusted. The promises of God are not relied upon. The commandments of God are not obeyed. The justice of God is not respected. The wrath of God is not feared. The grace of God is not cherished. The presence of God is not prized. The person of God is not loved. Sin is esteeming and valuing and honoring and enjoying man and his creations above God. John Piper
Before a sinner can come to Christ, he must first come to himself. A man must first recognize and consider what his sin is, and know the plaque of his heart before he can be accordingly humbled and see His need for the grace of Christ.
Where there is no sight of sin, there will be no need for repentance.
Second, repentance then develops a genuine sorrow for sin.
Psalm 51.17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.
Such sorrow for sin is not to be confused with a sorrow for being caught in sin. 2 Corinthians 7.10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Worldly sorrow is not sorrow for the sin itself, but sorrow over the consequences of being caught in sin. Regret for being caught in sin and the consequences of my sin without the desire or effort to bring my life in harmony with God’s truth is not repentance. A woman may as well expect to have a child without birth pangs as one can have repentance without sorrow for sin.
Luke 7.38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Third, true repentance will bring forth a confession of sin.
1 John 1.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 51.2-4 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.
Confession is agreeing with what God says about my sin. This kind of confession owns the sin; a repentant person will not be making excuses or blaming others for their sin.
He that falls into sin is a man; he who grieves at sin is a saint; he who makes excuses of his sin is a devil.
We are born in Adam with the propensity to blame others for our sin, including the providence of God. God made me do it! Guilt with an explanation is not repentance. The infusion of grace in the soul will cause one to say, Lo, I have sinned. This is biblical confession.
Fourth, repentance is the result of the shame for sin.
Repentance takes place because of the shameful realization of sins filth, sins corrupting powers and sins destructive nature. It produces a sense of shame before God, before others and in my own soul.
Like Isaiah 6, a repentant soul sees the filthiness and pollution of sin as being affront against the holiness of God. Woe is me! For I am undone: because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen The King, the Lord of hosts.
Job 42.5,6 I have heard Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Fifth, repentance will produce a hatred of sin.
A true penitent will loathe sin, not love it or justify it. This hatred of sin means a hated of all manner of sin, not just some sin. It was said of Jesus that He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Heb 1.9
Genuine repentance does not only love righteousness, it hates iniquity. When the queens wife cast her eyes on young Joseph and asked him to sleep with her, he replied, how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? Gen 39.9
Sixth, repentance will produce a turning from sin, and a turning to God.
This turning from sin is spoken of in Scripture as a forsaking of sin, rending of the heart, putting off the old man, mortifying my flesh. Repentance is an ongoing turn from living a life after the flesh to living a life after The Spirit. Proverbs 1.23 Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will our out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.
Many people pray about sinning, but then go on sinning against their prayers. This is not repentance.
Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner like myself, out of a true sense of my sin, with an apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, abhors and turns from sin with a sincere desire to walk in obedience to God and newness of life.
5 evidences of true repentance
First and foremost, genuine repentance will manifest itself with a love for God. A desire for fellowship and communion with God that far exceeds any and every other love or pleasure.
As the deer pants after the waterbrooks, so panteth my souls after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42.1,2
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Phil 3.10
Secondly, genuine repentance will manifest itself with a desire to walk in holiness and separation according to the will and word of God.
Every man that hath this hope in Him purifes himself, even as He us pure. 1 John 3.3
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thess 4.7
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Thirdly, genuine repentance will by manifested by a love for the brethren.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John3.14,15
Fourthly, genuine repentance will be manifested by the fruit of The Spirit and good works for the glory of God.
Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. John 15.8
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2.10
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10.31
Fifthly, genuine repentance will give birth to new set of affections and desires such as a love for The Word of God. It will give birth to a desire for fellowship with other saints, worship and serving others.
Like on the Day of Pentecost, the means that God uses to bring sinners to repentance and the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is the preaching of the gospel. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Cor 15.3,4
It is the preaching of the gospel or good news, which leads thee to repentance. Romans 2.4
Faith in Jesus is a saving grace, whereby we receive Him as Lord and rest upon Him alone for salvation. Christ is The Gospel, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
The gospel is not if you love Jesus, then you get everything you want. The gospel is you’ll get Jesus and He’ll be enough no matter what. Matt Chandler
Trust in His shed blood as the price for the salvation of your soul. Trust in His resurrection to infuse into you newness of life. Confess Him before men, and He will confess you before His Father.