Monday, April 11, 2022

What is repentance?

There is an argument that "Salvation" is "easy" and some believers "make it hard" or "do it by works" in regards to "repentance". 

Without going into a long-drawn out debate on the exact meanings of greek words...

Without going into differnet english translations....

One has to recognize that Jesus said and what Jesus meant. 

#1 - What Jesus said. 

'saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.”' Mark 1:15

saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15

let me begin by saying that "if" you have a problem with the word repentance, then please note, that "you" have a problem with Jesus "and" His Teachings. I don't have a problem at all with the word of repentance. 

#2 - Meaning

Open your Bible to the story of the prodigal son in Luke

'Then He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided his estate between them. “Not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together, and journeyed to a distant country, and there squandered his possessions in prodigal living. When he had spent everything, there came a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and hired himself to a citizen of that county, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. He would gladly have filled his stomach with the husks that the swine were eating, but no one gave him any. “When he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have an abundance of bread, and here I am perishing with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ So he arose and came to his father. “But while he was yet far away, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and embraced his neck and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him. And put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. Bring here the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and be merry. For this son of mine was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ So they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. As he came and drew near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ “He was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and entreated him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! These many years have I served you. Nor have I ever transgressed your commands, yet never have you given me a goat, so that I might be merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. But it was fitting to be merry and be glad, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”' Luke 15:11-32

The real repentence is shown in this story, told by Jesus Christ. Note the sinner's realization of being a sinner and guilty, note the confession of sin to God, note the change in thinking resulting in a change of life style (he left the pig pen), not the humbleness. This is not a 'work' of man. The inward belief in God is what repentance is about. 

The devil, who comes to kill, steal, and destroy would trap you into this. 

1. Repentance is a work because 'quitting a drug' or 'stop sexual behaviors' are works and the bible says that there are no works for salvation so it's a free gift and when you add works, you are making null the free gift of Jesus, so you can't say to stop doing the drugs because it's a work, you are preaching. (that is one of the devils' accusations, to make repentance 'null' or 'confusion' in order to remove the holiness God wants in our lifes. 

2. The devil would also say, just believe and when the devil says "just" believe, the devil wants to turn God's grace into a license for sin. Look at these verses in context. 

'Beloved, while I diligently tried to write to you of the salvation we have in common, I found it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. For there are some men who secretly crept in, who were marked long ago for this condemnation. They are ungodly men, who pervert the grace of our God into immorality and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, though you already know, that the Lord saved the people out of the land of Egypt and afterward destroyed those who did not believe. Likewise, the angels who did not keep to their first domain, but forsook their own dwelling, He has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities in like manner, gave themselves to immorality and went after different flesh, they serve as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire. Likewise, these ungodly dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander celestial beings. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil in a dispute about the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce upon him a railing judgment. But he said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men slander those things that they do not understand. But they destroy themselves in those things that, like unreasoning animals, they know by instinct. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily after the error of Balaam for a reward, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are the ones who are stains on your love feasts as they feast with you irreverently and care only for themselves. They are clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; raging waves of the sea, which are foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom the gloom of darkness has been kept forever. Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, also prophesied of these men, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with ten thousand of His holy ones, to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all who are godless of all their wicked deeds that they have committed, and of all the terrible words that godless sinners have spoken against Him.” These men are grumblers, complainers, who walk after their own lusts. Their mouths speak arrogant words, and they flatter others to gain profit. But, beloved, remember the words that were previously spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last days there will be scoffers who will walk after their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who cause divisions, sensual, devoid of the Spirit.'

Jude 1:3-19

To understand repentance, you have to understand Grace and what Grace is and what Grace teaches. 

In the prodigal son story, the son, remembered God and hoped in God's mercy and grace because he said, I will go to my father and say I have sinned against heaven and sinned against you and am not worthy, let me be be like a hired servant. He hoped in God to grant goodness, mercy and grace. 

The Bible says this about Grace. 

'Do you despise the riches of His goodness, tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?' Romans 2:4

'For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, righteously, and in godliness in this present world, as we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people, zealous of good works. Teach these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.' Titus 2:11-15

I ask myself, "if I really understand God's grace, then I would be drawn to God and his goodness and the effect would be like Titus 2:11-15 says "teaching me to deny ungodliness"

and if I am not turning away from my sins, stopping the whatever it is,..perhaps I don't yet understand God or His Grace because I can't see the effect and the produce of God's great. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5.

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