Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Your sins are truely forgiven...


Ike said...

Jesus preached repentance: “And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel ’“(Mark 1:14, 15). When the gospel spread to the Gentiles, here is how the apostles responded: “And when they heard this, they quieted down, and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life ’“(Acts 11:18). It is obvious that the gospel is not “self-help.” God “grants” repentance, but through His ordained means - the preaching of the gospel. Preachers who do not make the gospel clear and do not preach repentance are not preaching for conversions. They may be preaching to get people interested in joining a church, or being religious, but the idea of a radical conversion that turns a hell-bound sinner totally around to being a heaven-bound saint is absent in many supposedly evangelical churches.

What is amazing about the resistance to preaching repentance in order to convert sinners through the gospel is the fact that preaching repentance in included in the Great Commission: “He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem ’”(Luke 24:46,47). C.F.W. Walther comments on this section of Luke:

Why is repentance required as well as faith? Our Lord gives the reason in these words: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick . . . I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matt. 9:12, 13. With these words the Lord testifies that the reason why contrition is absolutely necessary is that without it no one is fit to be made a believer. He is surfeited and spurns the invitation to the heavenly marriage feast.

If the need for repentance is never placed before the perishing, we do a disservice to the gospel and the Great Commission. Walther also asserts that repentance is not the cause of forgiveness, but is what happens when the Law shows the sinner the need for forgiveness. God graciously opens one’s eyes to this need. Walther writes, “As long as a person has not been reduced to the state of a poor, lost, and condemned sinner, he has no serious interest in the Savior of sinners.” Forgiveness is received by faith.

I see repentance and faith as two aspects of the same conversion experience. Repentance is turning from self to God. It emphasizes the turning away from our previous sin of trusting self. Faith is trusting God through the gospel for our salvation. The whole of conversion is granted by God’s grace and is not a meritorious human work. John MacArthur explains:

Conversion occurs when a sinner turns to God in repentant faith. It is a complete turnaround, an absolute change of moral and volitional direction. Such a radical reversal is the response the gospel calls for, whether the plea to sinners is phrased as “believe,” “repent,” or “be converted.” Each entails the others.

Repentance cannot be taken out of gospel preaching without changing the idea of what it means to come to Christ. Without repentance we are just adding Christ to the self we intend to continue serving.

The Lewis Family said...

Are you (Ike) trying to say you disagree with the video? Or are you just adding your 2 cents to the video?

Quite frankly I was very stirred by the video. . . I can't get enough of hearing what Jesus has done for me and how God loves me.

Ike said...

Lewis Family,

I am simply saying that "we" are to repent and believe. Both are graces from God.

If there is no working of sanctification in a persons life....he is lost. The same God that has the power to raise a dead sinner to life....has the same power to change that life.

Bino M. said...

Ike - I think Pastor Prince made it quite clear that 'repentance' is biblical and is required to turn from unbelief to belief. All the verses you quoted confirms that it is required for an unbeliever to repent of his unbelief and come to belief in the Gospel.

Repentance is not about feeling sorry for our sinful actions. It is much more than that. When a sinner sees his need for a Saviour, he repents and come to faith in Jesus. At that moment, through faith, he is declared righteous; and is now expected to live out of his/her new identity (which is perfectly holy and righteous)

Andrew said...

The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church releases September 1, 2009. Preorder on for only $10.19