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"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)

                        published by

Mt. Baker church of Christ
                  Bellingham, WA
Volume III, Number 22 · July 18, 1999
Editor..................Joe R. Price

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 In this issue:

--Repentance and Restitution (Joe R. Price)
----'No, I Do Not Believe The Bible'
----The Collapse Of Israel (Hosea 7)

Repentance and Restitution

Joe R. Price

Without genuine repentance no sinner can be saved (Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 7:10).  The Messiah’s forerunner (John) and Jesus Himself proclaimed the necessity of repentance in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 3:1; 4:17; Mk. 1:14-15).  Nobody who obeys and proclaims the gospel plan of salvation can do so without properly understanding repentance and its effect upon the life of the convert.

What Is Repentance?

Repentance (metanoeo) literally means “to perceive afterwards” (meta, ‘after,’ implying ‘change,’ noeo, ‘to perceive’; nous, ‘the mind, the seat of moral reflection’),...hence signifies ‘to change one’s mind or purpose” (Vine, p. 525).  So repentance is a change of mind.  The question before us is, does that change of mind necessarily produce changes in the way one lives?

Repentance is produced by godly sorrow over sin, leading to a changed way of living (2 Cor. 7:10).  The preaching of John the baptist teaches us that when repentance occurs we stop committing the sin we repent of -- the “fruits worthy of repentance” (Lk. 3:8-14).  A  refusal to stop sinning while claiming to have repented is a contradiction in terms - repentance has not occurred when one will not cease his sin.

Revelation 9:20-21 spells out this fruit of repentance:  “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.  And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (emp., jrp)  Those who did not repent continued to worship idols and commit murder, sorcery, fornication and thievery.  Read this passage carefully:  the fact that they did not repent is shown in that they did not cease committing sin!  The Ephesians who obeyed the gospel vividly illustrate the fruits of repentance as their bonfire consumed a fortune in magical books (Acts 19:18-19).  Those folks stopped their sin - severing themselves from its influence upon their lives!  They repented!  This is the gospel we must preach and obey (Acts 26:20).

Works Worthy of Repentance

Repentance (the change of mind which leads to a changed life) is not difficult to understand -- until one is convinced he can be forgiven without bearing its fruits.  Like the Pharisees John scolded, some brethren today are convinced (and are convincing others) that sinners can continue to live in sinful relations and unholy deeds - yet claim for themselves repentance and cleansing from Christ (cf. Lk. 3:7-8).

Brethren are being persuaded that some sinful relations can continue after one is baptized.  Specifically, they are being taught that a person who is living in an adulterous remarriage (due to sinning against Matthew 19:9), upon being baptized for the remission of their sins, may stay with the adulterous mate.  They argue that since baptism washes away sin, the adultery is no longer adultery!

The weakness of this reasoning is exposed by the strength of God’s word.  Go back and read again the verses cited in this article.  Luke 3:8-14 teaches that repentance means the sinner stops the sin of unloving selfishness (v. 10-11), stops the sin of greedy extortion (v. 12-13), and stops the sin of violence against his neighbor.  (How to repent of these specific sins teaches us the principle upon which repentance is based, namely, a changed mind toward sin means that we stop committing the sin!)  Revelation 9:20-21 teaches that repentance only occurs when one stops sinning!

Baptism does not change the nature of sin.  That is, stealing is the same thing after baptism as it is before baptism.  One cannot continue to steal after being baptized -- that would show he has not repented of his sin.  One cannot continue to lie after being baptized -- that would show he has not repented of his sin.  One cannot continue to commit homosexual acts after being baptized (1 Cor. 6:9-11) -- that would show he has not repented.  One cannot continue to commit adultery after baptism -- that would show he has not repented of his sin.  Like all other sinners, the adulterer must stop sinning when he is converted to Christ.  Otherwise, Bible repentance has not taken place.

What About Restitution?

Does repentance require restitution?  That is, must one who repents restore the damage his sin has caused?  When the prophet Nathan told King David of the man who stole his neighbor’s lamb. David’s response was clear:  “he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing” (2 Sam. 12:6).  David was applying the law of Moses, which commanded restitution when one sinned against his neighbor (Exo. 22:1; Lev. 6:1-7; Num. 5:5-7).  Zacchaeus assured Jesus that he obeyed the law in such matters, and Jesus blessed his house with salvation (Lk. 19:8-10).

But, you say, we do not live under the law of Moses.  That is correct.  However, the restitution under the old law serves to illustrate that repentance occurs and forgiveness is obtained only when one’s life changes.  The man who covets and steals his neighbor’s car, then repents of it, has no right to keep the car!  To treat others as we would have them treat us, we will return the car, right?!  (Matt. 7:12)  Likewise, when one covets and steals his neighbor’s wife and then repents, shall he keep that which is not rightfully his?!  God forbid!  “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”  (Rom. 6:1-2)

It is also true that one may not be able to go back to the original (God-approved, Matt. 19:6) spouse.  To say that such is impossible and therefore one can remain in an adulterous remarriage entirely misses the point.  The scriptures teach that when one is in such a situation he or she must “remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband” (1 Cor. 7:10-11).  Celibacy is always a better choice than sin (Matt. 19:9-12).

The primary purpose of repentance (and its fruit) is to restore the sinner to God (Acts 3:19).  Such restoration is impossible if the sinner continues to commit his sin.  The prodigal son repented, ceased his wasteful living, and was restored to his father.  He could not restore the inheritance he had wasted, but he could - and did - stop living in the filth of sin!  No one is cleansed from his stain of sin and restored to the Father’s presence who continues to practice sin after being baptized.  The stain of sin is renewed - only repentance and its fruits will bring God’s forgiveness!  Let us help sinners repent and live holy lives instead of comforting them in their sin!  The eternal welfare of souls is at stake!


(Scripture Reading:  Psalms 119:33-40)

1.  In 1967, Jeffry Haddon sent a questionnaire to 10,000 Protestant ministers. He received 7,444 replies & compiled the results. (Christianity Today, October 13, 1967)

·   “Do you believe that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact?”

·   “Do you believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ as a biological miracle?”

·   “Do you believe in the existence of Satan & of demonic powers?”

·   “Do you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, literally?”







Resurr. of Christ?

51% - No

30% - No

35% - No

33% - No

7% - No

Virgin Birth?

60% - No

44% - No

49% - No

44% - No

5% - No

Existence of Satan?

62% - No

37% - No

47% - No

33% - No

9% - No

Bible Lit. God’s Word?

82% - No

89% - No

81% - No


57% - No

REAL PROBLEM:  Failure to believe the Bible IS God’s word!  Jno. 17:17; 1 Cor. 14:37


  -The credibility of Jesus (Jno. 2:18-22; Rom. 1:1-4);God’s power to save us (1 Cor. 6:14);  the gospel (1 Cor. 15:12-20); our justification (Rom. 4:25; 5:10); Our hope (1 Cor. 15:19-23;   1 Thess. 4:13-18).

II.    THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST - Isa. 7:11-14 (Jer. 31:22).

  -Prophecy is rejected (Matt. 1:22-23; Acts 3:22-26); the Holy Spirit is blasphemed (Lk. 1:34-35; cf. Mk. 3:28-30); Jesus was only a man (Matt. 1:23; Jno. 1:1-3, 14; 8:58; Col. 2:9);  God’s redemptive work is nullified (Jno. 3:16; 1 Jno. 4:9-11).


  -Eliminates the reality of evil (Eph. 2:1-3); of sin & temptation (2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3); of the spiritual realm (Job 1:6-8; 2 Cor. 10:3-6); of judgment & eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 20:12-15).  No heaven, no hell (Matt. 25:46).

IV.  THE BIBLE IS THE LITERAL WORD OF GOD - 1 Cor. 2:10-13; Matt. 10:19-20.

Eliminates the reality of absolute truth & error (Jno. 17:17; 16:13); Man is exalted as highest authority (Jer. 10:23; Matt. 28:18); not one way (Matt. 7:14; Jno. 14:6); no gospel (1 Pet. 1:22-25).



  -Sin became rampant - Hos. 1:2; 7:1, 4-7; 4:1-3 (Isa. 1:4).  Hearts hardened, Hos. 7:2-3.
  Judgment was certain, Hos. 9:7; 10:4.  Israel lost her conscience toward God & man, 7:2.
  -Christians are losing their conscience toward God & man!  -cf. Acts 24:16; 1 Tim. 1:5;  4:2; Titus 1:15


  -Israel was to be a separate nation (Exo. 19:5-6; Deut. 7:1-6)!  -But....Idolatry, Hos.
  4:11-13, 17; Worldly alliances (Hos. 7:11; 5:13, 11; 13:9-11);
False prophets - Hos. 9:7-9.
  -Compromise is present among Christians! - 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1


  -Israel was complacent about her past redemption, (Hos. 7:13; Micah 6:3-5), God’s present help (Hos. 7:14), and her blessings from God (Amos 6:1, 3-7).
  -Complacency is still a plague which consumes god’s people - Rom. 12:11.

 The Spirit's Sword is a free, weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA

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