Big Idea/Main Point: Repentance is a gift from God not from our works so that no one may boast.
Introduction: Don’t separate what God has joined: Providence & Repentance; Also Repentance & Faith.
(1) God Grants Repentance that Leads to Life (Isaiah 44:22; Lamentations 5:21; Acts 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
(2) Repentance & Faith/Belief Are Twin Gifts
– Repentance & Faith are two sides of the same coin (Mark 1:15; Acts 19:4; James 2; Hebrews 6:1).
– Where genuine faith is, there is also repentance, and vice versa (James 2).
– We don’t get credit or boasting when we repent, it is God working in us (Cf. Colossians 1:28-29; Hebrews 13:21).
– Need to have a regenerated heart before one can exhibit the gifts of repentance and faith.
– Repentance and faith as the continual posture of the Christian life.
(A) We don’t know those who will repent and believe so we share the gospel with all.
(B) If this is difficult to understand and you wonder if you have been regenerated, simply repent and believe in Jesus Christ. We don’t need to understand how all of this works in order to be the recipients of grace in Christ.
(3) Repentance is Reformational Turning
– Repentance and Faith is Christianity 101 (Hebrews 6:1)
Action: Repentance in John the Baptist’s preaching (Matthew 3; Luke 3)
(1) Acknowledge that we are vipers or totally depraved sinners who need to flee from God’s wrath that is coming (Matt. 3:7).
(2) Turn away from putting trust in biological, family, national, ethnic, and connections to Abraham (Matthew 3:9). Similarly don’t trust in the fact you grew up going to church or that your parents are Christians.
(3) Trust in Jesus Christ as the one who saves and who judges those who do not believe in Him (Matthew 3:10).
(4) Repentance shows itself in sharing clothes with those who have none (Luke 3:11).
(5) Repentance shows itself in sharing food with those who have none (Luke 3:11).
(6) Tax-collectors were not to collect more than they were authorized (Luke 3:13).
(7) Soldiers no longer extort money from people by threats or false accusations (Luke 3:14)
(8) Contentment with wages (Luke 3:14).
Jesus preached the same message as John in Matthew 4:17
– “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Note: Mark 1:15 includes “believe”)
Heart & Action: Repentance in the Apostles’ preaching (2 Corinthians 7:11)
(1) Earnestness, diligence, sincerity and genuineness to urgently, quickly, firmly and decisively run from sin as an expression of a greater love for God than for a love of self.
(2) Eagerness to clear oneself of sin by acknowledging it, confessing, apologizing for sin, and making restitution for sin, even being willing to face whatever worldly consequences that come as a result of the wrong things we’ve done.
(3) Indignation or anger at ourselves for our sins in the way that we agree with God’s anger against us for our sin.
(4) Fear of God and fear of His wrath and punishment for sin or as Matthew Henry writes, “an awful fear of God, a cautious fear of sin, and a jealous fear of themselves.”
(5) Longing or an earnest strong desire for fighting sin and seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
(6) Zeal for repentance and reformation expressed in a love for the teaching of Christ and His Apostles and even a zeal to faithfully obeying God’s Word to practice church discipline.
(7) Punishment or seeing justice done in the way a person is willing to face the consequences of his or her sin, not being afraid of the worldly consequences for obeying God, and also in how the local church in Corinth followed what Paul wrote about church discipline.