And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume XII, Number 10 March 08, 2009
In this issue:
The verb translated “repent” in the New Testament (metanoeo) literally means “to perceive afterwards”; so that repent means “to change one’s mind or purpose” (Thayer). God commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). That is, God commands a change the mind and purpose concerning sin in one’s life.
Turning to God for salvation cannot occur unless first there is repentance (a change of mind) toward sin. Repentance is not turning; it is the change of mind that produces turning to God. Paul declared the gospel “to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). First comes the repenting, then the turning.
Godly sorrow results in repentance that leads to salvation: “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorry of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). Godly sorrow is directed toward God. Since sin is against Him, our sorry for our sin must first be turned heavenward (cf. Psa. 51:4).
The fruit of repentance is borne in a changed life. Since what we do comes from the heart, when our heart changes our life will show that change. The person who continues to practice sin after claiming to have repented is deceiving himself (Rom. 6:1-2; Rev. 9:20-21).
There are many misconceptions about repentance. This is not surprising, since our adversary the devil is a liar whose aim is to distort the truth. Sinners remain lost in their sins whenever repentance is redefined and misunderstood. It will help us better understand repentance by learning what it is not.
1) Repentance is not denying and covering up sin. There is no change of mind toward sin when our intent is to refuse to acknowledge our sin to God or to those we have sinned against. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov. 28:13). Sin is only truly “covered” when it is forgiven by God: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psa. 32:1). Repentance is necessary for that forgiveness to occur.
2) Repentance is not simply being sorry for sin. Judas was “remorseful” (NKJV) when he saw that Jesus was condemned to death, but his sorrow led him to suicide (Matt. 27:3-5). That’s not the action of godly sorrow that leads to salvation without regret (2 Cor. 7:10)! Herod was “exceedingly sorry” when Herodias’ daughter asked for John’s head on a platter. But, he stood by his rash oaths to save face, and killed John (Mk. 6:26). Just being sorry for your sin does not mean you have repented (changed your mind and purpose about it).
3) Repentance is not merely a promise to stop sinning. When John preached repentance to sinners he said they must “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Lk. 3:8). When the people asked him, “What shall we do then?”, he did not say, “just promise not to do it again.” No, he gave specific instructions on changing their conduct as a result of their repentance (Lk. 3:10-11). One does not repent by just saying, “I won’t do it again.” Repentance will result not only in promising not to sin, but also in changing one’s life to reflect a change of heart. The liar must stop lying; not just promise to stop while continuing to be dishonest.
4) Repentance is not confessing sin. Many people confess (acknowledge) their sin but never repent. Certainly one must admit his sin in order to be forgiven (1 Jno. 1:9). But confessing sin does not mean one has changed his mind about the sin. The drunkard or the adulterer may confess their conduct is sin yet continue to sin, never changing his heart about the sinful action.
5) Repentance is not being afraid because of one’s sin. Felix was afraid when he came face to face with his sin, but he did not repent (Acts 24:25). Demons believe and tremble, but they are still lost (Jas. 2:19). It can be good to be afraid of our sins when that fear moves us to godly sorrow, a changed mind and a changed life. But fear alone does not mean you have repented of your sins.
6) Repentance is not merely reformation. An alcoholic may reform because his liver has been damaged; not because his soul has been damaged. Reformation alone is not “repentance leading to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10). He is sorry for his poor health and he reforms; but his soul is still in sin. Changing your conduct without changing your heart is not repentance.
7) Repentance is not “going forward.” Making a public confession of public sin may be one of the results of your repentance. However, “walking the aisle” does not necessarily mean you have changed your heart toward God and toward your sin. Unfortunately, “going forward” is sometimes more about “reporting” than it is about “repenting.”
8) Repentance is not prayer. The disciple Simon was told to repent and pray in order to be forgiven (Acts 8:22). Praying and then continuing to commit sin is not repentance.
9) Repentance is not baptism. Repentance and baptism are commanded “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Both are required to escape sin.
Repentance – changing our mind about our sin – is not easy, but it is possible. It helps to know what is not repentance in order to truly repent.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Psa. 119:153-160
“To flourish anew, renewal, revitalizing, reinvigorating, rescue from
trouble, Psa. 143:11: “Bring my soul out of trouble” (Salvation, rescue,
renewal; resuscitation from death, cf. 1 Kgs. 17:21-22).
I. THE LORD IS THE ONLY VALID SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL REVIVAL.
The Lord is the True Source of Spiritual Revival, Psa. 138:7-8; Jno.
II. GOD CAN/WILL REVIVE US…
According to His Word, Psa. 119:154 (25, 107, 37); Acts 10:2, 22; Phil.
3:4-7; Heb. 12:17; Matt. 19:16, 20; Acts 23:1.
III. TO BE REVIVED, WE MUST:
A. Respond in Faith to God’s Grace; cf. Eph. 2:1-3, 5, 8; Hos. 6:1-3; Psa. 80:18 (Acts 22:16); Psa. 85:6 (seasons of refreshing, Acts 3:19).
longs to give life to our dead souls by the Prince of Life (Acts 3:15; Eph.
You can find the complete outline of this sermon at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:9-32
12:1-8: Jesus exposed the Pharisees’ hypocrisy as they clung to their
I. JESUS: THE LORD OF THE SABBATH, THE LORD OF MERCY, 12:9-14 (8).
The Unmerciful are Ready to Accuse and Condemn the Merciful (Rom. 1:31);
12:10; Jno. 9:13-16; cf. Lk. 15:25-32 (Mk. 3:4-5).
II. MESSIAH IS GOD’S SERVANT WHO BRINGS PEACE, JUSTICE AND TRUTH, 12:15-21 (Isa. 42:1-4).
had Work to do before He Gave Himself up to His Enemies, 12:15-16 (Jno.
III. COULD THIS BE SON OF DAVID? 12:22-30
Miracle Called Attention to Jesus, 12:22-23 (cf. 12:15-16).
IV. ONE IS NEVER FORGIVEN AS LONG AS HE DENIES JESUS IS THE MESSIAH BY DENYING HIS POWER , 12:31-32; Mk. 3:28-30.
Conclusion God’s Servant serves sinners by saving the lost (Acts 4:12); Trust His power to save.
Looking but not Seeing
Scientists are set to explore the heavens for evidence of Earth-like planets in our Milky Way galaxy. The Kepler mission is set to launch a space telescope Friday that will search 100,000 stars for orbiting planets that can sustain life like the earth. The project is costing U.S. taxpayers $600 million. “Kepler will push back the boundaries of the unknown in our patch of the Milky Way galaxy, and its discoveries may fundamentally alter humanity’s view of itself,” said Jon Morse, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.” (“Space Telescope Launches Friday to Find New Earths”, 06Mar09, foxnews.com)
These are many of the same scientists who reject out of hand the existence of God. Many scoff at creation by Almighty God, and that He designed the earth specifically to give humans – who are created in His image – a place of habitation (Gen. 1:1, 26-28).
As scientists scan the heavens for signs of life they fail to see the glory of God staring back at them. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psa. 19:1)
The Kepler telescope will look for planets that exist in stars’ “habitable zones” – "not too hot, not too cold, but just right.” It is curious that scientists believe “habitable zones” just happened to come into being (given enough time and chance) without any intelligent intervention and power. Yet, years of effort, much scientific knowledge and millions of dollars went into designing, developing and deploying the Kepler telescope! Power and intelligence put our Earth in just the right place (“not to hot, not too cold, but just right”) in the heavens so we can live; not “natural forces” combined with vast amounts of time. What will Kepler find? It will find amazing design and power; principles that speak of the Creator’s presence. Truly, there are none so blind as those who will not see!
Created by Chuck Sibbing. 03/17/2009
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA