Archive for the 'Repentance' Category

THE CONTINUITY OF REPENTANCE

FRIDAY

When you think about it, the follower of Christ is in a constant attitude of repentance. You are constantly changing your mind. You begin following Christ by changing your mind about who He is and what He did for you (He is the Son of God who took the punishment for your sins). You change your mind about the Bible (it is the Word of God that teaches us about the Person of God, the nature of our salvation and convicts us of sin). And when you change your mind, it manifests itself by changing your behavior out of appreciation for His work on the cross – you turn away from doing that which is displeasing in God’s sight as revealed in the Word of God, the Bible. In fact, as we expose ourselves to God’s Written Word, His Spirit will convict us of our wrong thinking and behavior and prompt us to repent in our thinking and behavior. We repent because we appreciate His sacrifice on our behalf. So repentance is not a one time act, it is an ongoing mark of the follower of Jesus. We should repent everytime God’s Word and God’s Spirit convicts us of sin.

Another way of discussing this topic is to use the term conformity. We are chosen to conform to the image of Jesus:

NAU Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

The followers of Jesus are NOT to be focusing on themselves and conforming to their desires:

NKJ 1 Peter 1:14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

Instead we are to allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing our minds through God’s Written Word:

NIV Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is interesting to note that the word used in both 1 Peter 1:14 and Romans 12:2 means to be shaped by. Our own desires and the world system is not to continue shaping our thinking and behavior. Rather, we are to be shaped into the image of Jesus. Although perfection is not obtainable in our thinking and behavior here in this life, it is certainly the hope we will attain when we enter the presence of God as believers in the Person and work of Jesus.

NEXT WEEK – ABIDING: A COROLLARY TO REPENTANCE

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EXPRESSING REPENTANCE

THURSDAY

While repentance begins in the heart, it will express itself in behavior – changed (repentant) behavior.

NAU Acts 26:20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

NIV Acts 26:20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

NKJ Acts 26:20 “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

First, the changed mind and heart believes differently about the Person and work of Jesus. But then, the changed heart will want to prove this new internal attitude about God by performing deeds consistent with the teaching of Jesus. No longer will a follower of Jesus insist upon doing things his or her way, but the follower of Christ will seek to discover what is pleasing in His sight!

NAU Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

NIV Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

NKJ Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

This must involve an attitude of repentance toward the Bible – it is no longer a book of writings sourced by men that we can pick and chose what to believe and do, but it is a book of writings sourced by God, and delivered authoritatively and inerrantly through men to tell us what to believe and how to perform appropriate repentance.

BELIEF – THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE

WEDNESDAY

Yesterday we saw that we need to change our minds about who Jesus is and what He has done. He is not merely a son of man but also the Son of God. He did not merely suffer and die but rose again from the dead demonstrating His power to overcome that which causes death – namely sin! It is not merely putting our confidence in Him as the Son of God BUT also in what He did as the Son of God! It begins within us and expresses itself outwardly. Look at what Romans 10:9 says:

NAU Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

NIV Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

NKJ Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

When a person repents in this manner, the results are instantaneous:

NAU Acts 3:19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

NIV Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

NKJ Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

Changing your mind about who Jesus is and what He has done is the foundation of repentance. Tomorrow we will look at the challenge of repentance.

CHANGE YOUR MIND RE: JESUS!

TUESDAY

If we are commanded to ‘change our minds’ about Jesus, then how is it to change? We must first put ourselves into the shoes so to speak of a 1st century Jew. As a Jew living in Israel (especially Nazareth) during the earthly ministry of Jesus, how would you have looked at Jesus? As the Son of God? Probably not. He looked like a man, He was born like every other man, and He died just like every man must do (although not in the manner of most). The natural conclusion when looking at Jesus would have been to conclude that He was an ordinary man.

Yet, during His almost four years of ministry, He claimed to be the Son of God. That would have been difficult to accept by anyone who was merely acquainted with the person of Jesus. But He did something no other person could or was able to do – He proved that although He looked like a man, He could do what no other ordinary man was able to do as the Son of God – He performed miracles!

A few of the many claims by Jesus to be the Son of God:

NAU John 5:18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

NIV John 5:18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

NKJ John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

NAU John 10:36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God ‘?

NIV John 10:36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

NKJ John 10:36 “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

NAU John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

NIV John 8:58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

NKJ John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

A few of the claims about the work Jesus was doing as the Son of God and man:

NAU John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

NIV John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

NKJ John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

NAU Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

NIV Matthew 26:2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away– and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

NKJ Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

NAU John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

NIV John 8:28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

NKJ John 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.

A clear statement from Jesus connecting His actions with His claims:

NAU John 10:37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

NIV John 10:37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.

NKJ John 10:37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 “but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

So, to a 1st century Jew (and to Gentiles as well), the command to repent would have been to stop thinking about Jesus as merely a man! Accept His claim to be the Son of God, a claim He demonstrated to be true through His miracles.

Tomorrow, the next expression of biblical repentance.

The Meaning of Repentance

MONDAY

One of the challenges of Scripture that has caused some debate in the church is the call to repentance. It was the message of John the Baptist:

NAU Matthew 3:2Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

NIV Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

NKJ Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

It was also the message of Jesus Christ:

NAU Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

NIV Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

NKJ Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

And it was the message of the Apostles:

NAU Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

NIV Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

NKJ Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In each case ‘repent’ is a COMMAND. As a command by the FORERUNNER of Messiah, by THE Messiah and by the MESSENGERS of the Messiah, we should know what it means to repent!

The Greek word, metavnoew, means to change your mind after understanding the facts. As it relates to the Gospel and in each of the contexts above, it refers to changing your mind about Jesus after you have heard the facts regarding who He is and what He has done. So this week we will be looking at what is means to repent.