Bible Ballistics: BBs #283 Repentance Is Unique!!!
I’d like to continue on our topic of “repentance” today, as many don’t understand what real repentance is. First let’s identify what repentance is NOT. Repentance is not being sorry you got caught doing wrong. Repentance is not regretting the consequences that are confronting you because of a particular sin. Repentance is not shedding tears of regret to get your way. Repentance is not seeking an escape from the results and consequences of your sin.
So what is “repentance”? It involves the recognition of wrong doing/sin and turning away from it. It is changing one’s mind about the reality of sin, being sorry to the degree that you no longer desire to continue in the direction that you have been going, and turning to something else-JESUS!
Paul gives us a good picture of repentance. Paul had rebuked the church at Corinth for their acceptance of open, blatant sin within the body of believers. He had called them to deal with the offender that he might come to repentance. The church accepted Paul’s counsel and dealt with the offender, bringing him to repentance. Paul has heard of this result from his previous letter, and defines this issue of genuine repentance in the heart of the saved or the lost.
“For, when we were come into Macedonia,
our flesh had no rest,
but we were troubled on every side;
without were fightings,
within were fears.
6 Nevertheless God,
that comforteth those that are cast down,
comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation
wherewith he was comforted in you,
when he told us your earnest desire,
your mourning, your fervent mind toward me;
so that I rejoiced the more.
8 For though I made you sorry with a letter,
I do not repent,
though I did repent:
for I perceive that the same epistle
hath made you sorry,
though it were but for a season.
9 Now I rejoice,
not that ye were made sorry,
but that ye sorrowed to repentance:
for ye were made sorry
after a godly manner,
that ye might receive damage
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance
not to be repented of:
but the sorrow of the world
worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:5-10
There is a “godly sorrow” that brings real, genuine repentance—a repentance “not to be repented of”; but there is a “sorrow of the world” that only leads to “death”! That kind of sorrow is all around us, because we have created and accepted a culture that is free of responsibility—where people take no personal responsibility for their actions and choices. A sorrow that only deals with regret of being exposed or caught; which regrets the loss of material or political influence, but has no shame or sorrow for the actions themselves (And often that doesn’t even follow because sin is so readily accepted by the world)!
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” Matthew 3:8
John the Baptizer called the religious crowd to produce the evidence of real repentance, not to depend on their heritage or political position. Real repentance will be manifest.
“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:12-13
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
In these passages, Jesus reveals that only those who recognize their own sin will see any need for repentance. Those who think they are “righteous” in and of themselves, have no need to repent or to seek a Savior. Jesus came to save those who would hear the voice of His Spirit convicting of sin and respond in repentance and faith. Faith that Jesus has already paid the penalty for our sin, which we could never do. We don’t have to go to hell—we can have eternal life with Jesus in heaven, but only when we see our sin, turn from it and to the Savior who died to give us new life!
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:14-19
Jesus came that we might have life (and have it more abundantly, see John 10:10), and He came to purchase our salvation and life with His own blood—HIS sinless blood.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Jesus came to earth, took on flesh and blood, lived a sinless life, revealed His Father to us, and voluntarily gave HIS life to pay for our sin, because HE had no sin debt of His own. What have you done with His sacrifice? Have you recognized your own sin and come to Him in repentance and faith? Today is the day of salvation, will you avail yourself of it? Or will you refuse to see sin as sin and go your own way. The choice is yours, but choose wisely—there is a test at the end. (And the test won’t be by man’s standard!!!)