These are Scripture Studies, Personal Experiences, Journals, and more in my relationship with the Lord & His Voice through me. Thank You Father! To know more about me & my wife and what we do, please visit & follow us at Provisions of Grace. With much Love, Chris!
Monday, January 22, 2018
Repentance (From Unbelief to Belief)
Repentance only means to believe
in the Gospel (Jesus Christ) from a state of unbelief (not believing / believing falsely).
Repentance is one of
those “big” words we can often find in church and reading the Bible. John the
Baptist spoke of it leading into the ministry of Jesus Christ. And then when He
began His ministry, Jesus Christ spoke of it as well. But what is repentance,
and what is called of us to do?
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of
Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
From that time
Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at
First, let’s clarify
what John and Jesus was telling them to repent of by what Mark says in his
recount. For John the Baptist, we see that he told the people to repent of
their sins, and they came out confessing their sins (that they saw themselves as
sinners—something we should never see ourselves as post-Cross).
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance
for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judæa,
and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan,
confessing their sins.
This baptism is the washing
away of the old, to become renewed in a person’s mind and heart—that they have been
made clean. Similar for the Israelites as to their crossing of the Red Sea (1
Corinthians 10:1-5). But moreso, a clear conscience towards God—especially now
for us because of what Jesus Christ accomplished in His once-for-all sacrifice.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very
image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by
year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not
have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have
had no more conscience of sins.
The like figure
whereunto even baptism
doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the
answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And having been cleared
in their conscience, they were set-up to now accept and believe in Christ Jesus
as their Messiah.
This type of confession
was related to and a transition from, the ritualistic Temple sacrifices they performed
as Israelites. But in all that John the Baptist was doing, was to point to
Jesus as the One and Only who came to take away the sin of the whole world and all
who live on this earth.
John preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the
latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have
baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
The next day
John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh
away the sin of the world.
John’s request for
repentance was then really that they should believe on Jesus (turning from
their belief in anything else). This is what Paul confirms.
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having
passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they
said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto
John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of
repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which
should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they
were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands
upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and
prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.
But for John the
Baptist (and similarly for Jesus) it was the Pharisees and
Sadducees who refused to repent
and be baptized by John (and likewise for Jesus). John scalded them as “broods
of vipers” in Matthew 3:7-12. Why? Because they saw themselves as “righteous”
in their own eyes—deceived in their own false religion and behind their
“whitewashed sepulcher” facades. They refused to see themselves as needing to
And that’s the key
word here: CHANGE. This is what repentance means (Greek word, metanoéō):
“to change one's mind or purpose”
“to change one's mind, i.e. to repent"
the Greek words:
oG3326, meta: “with, after,
oG3539, noeō: “”to perceive
with the mind, to understand, to have understanding”
The Pharisees and Sadducees refused to turn from their self-deceptive practices of
“righteousness” to admit they needed a Saviour. Which is exactly the type of
repentance Jesus called for, clarifying what Matthew 4:17 says.
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, indeed, believe the Gospel.
Jesus told them they
needed to believe the Gospel—which is that Jesus Christ came and did forgive
all and every sin of the world (for all and every human being), making all
righteous, healing all sickness, restoring the relationship of God as a Father
lost by Adam, and pouring out the Holy Spirit upon all human beings. In
essence, doing all the work required for us to be in right-standing with God
Jesus was telling them
to repent from anything they held onto as a belief that was not the Gospel! A
turning away from believing anything else to turning to believing in the
For the Pharisees and Sadducees, this would be the turning away from the Law and their
own attempts at self-righteousness. Dead works.
leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;
not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith
For others, turning away from any form of
unbelief (of which we saw Jesus admonishing even His own Disciples for their
unbelief). A turning away from a belief in something not of God to a direction
to God in belief.
tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not
away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him
unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin [of sin,
because they believe not on me], and of righteousness [of righteousness,
because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more], and of judgment [of
judgment, because the prince of this world is judged].
If repentance were
about turning from “sins”, it is only speaking of one Sin, and that is the Sin
of not believing in Jesus Christ. And what does this repentance look like? A
turning and change of direction in one’s thinking. To stop thinking towards
unbelief and thinking to belief. This is God’s will that we all come to
salvation through believing in Jesus Christ.
The Lord is not
slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering
to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance (believe on Jesus Christ).
If repentance were about
turning away from a person’s sins of the flesh for salvation or grace, it would
be false. A person does not need to believe in God for them to turn away from
sin. This is simple morality. Christianity and belief have nothing to do
with morality as a purpose and goal. Anyone can be moral. Even Jesus told the
Pharisees that they, though being evil, still gave good gifts (Matthew 7:11). They morally did right things, but were far
Take a compass that
has North, South, East, and West on it. If we place God “North” and sin
“South”, one can easily turn from sin either “East” or “West” and not be turned
to God. Thus, repentance is not about turning from one’s sins to then be “right
with God”. And moreso, even if you did think you could turn from sin “East” or
“West”, the Lord has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West!
(Psalm 103:12). Our sins have been completely forgiven, removed, and forgotten
(never to be remembered again)!
We are all redeemed with God because of what Jesus Christ fully and completely
accomplished to us and for us. And having been redeemed, we have the choice to accept His Gift of Righteousness.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God
did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being
witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is
by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is
no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to
declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the
forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he
might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat
down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be
made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that
are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that
he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those
days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds
will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now
where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
But what is even more
interesting, is that we were never really enemies to God; we only thought we
were (or think we are)—"alienated and enemies in your mind”.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and,
having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all
things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things
in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by
wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through
death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
So, this goes back to
a “thinking” and belief, and not about our sins of the flesh; all about the
thinking and belief in only the Gospel.
Paul wrote a harsh
letter to the Galatian church for turning away from the Gospel (repenting from
the Gospel) back into the Law and Legalism (self-works).
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace
of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that
trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the
truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified
among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works
of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the
Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things
in vain? if it be yet in vain.
And if repentance of
sins had anything to do with acquiring salvation, why were none of the new
believers in Acts were told to repent—they were only told to believe!
when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of
God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then
Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with
Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the
eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all
thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ
is the Son of God.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell
down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I
do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt
be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to
all that were in his house.
Even Jesus confirmed
that in order to be saved, all you need to do is believe!
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal
life. 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.
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the
Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 3 does not say
that to earn salvation you need to believe and “repent from sins”; nor does it
say that if you don’t “repent from your sins”, you would not see life and the
wrath of God is on him. Sin is not an issue with God!
Jesus even goes
further by saying all you need to do is believe for you to perform the same and
even greater miracles as Jesus Himself did!
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that
I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go
unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that
the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I
will do it.
repentance had only to do with sin, Paul would not have said that even
salvation (which is not sin) could be repented of:
For godly sorrow
worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the
world worketh death.
Even Hebrews says one
can repent of salvation (that being belief in Jesus Christ).
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have
tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and
have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they
shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance [believing in Jesus
Christ]; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him
to an open shame.
So after all that, we must clearly see that repentance
only means to believe in the Gospel (Jesus Christ) from a state of unbelief (not
believing / believing falsely). To turn the Gospel in belief away from the unbelief of:
is angry with you.
mindset of a “sinner saved by grace”.
When we believe in the
Gospel, we repent from those things. We change our thinking to whom we are in
relation with God the Father and set ourselves free for freedoms sake that is
Sin really is not an
issue with God! Why do we remember our sins when God doesn’t? What part of “remember
no more” do we doubt! I don’t doubt the Faith that God has to keep His own Word!
and their sins
and iniquities will I remember no more. Now since there is now (because of Jesus
Christ’s sacrifice) remission of all these sins and iniquities, there is therefore no more offering
And since there is no more
offering we can do for sins, there is nothing to “repent of” or “confess” to gain
right-standing with God or Salvation. This then sets us free from sin and from sinning
because we have a clear-conscience (righteous-conscience) that can focus on our
perpetual right-standing with God without needing to focus on sins or any sin we
may or may not commit.
When we learn to let
go of sin, we learn to Love others as Jesus demonstrated that Love (not judge
others or ourself). The more we focus on sin, the more we get caught up in sin.
The more we sin, the more we fear God. The more we fear God, the less we have
relationship with Him. And the less we have relationship, the less we have His
And if there is a “sin
of the flesh” in our lives, we have the ability and authority of Christ Jesus in
us and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit out from us to overcome and set ourself free
from bondage and strongholds. Not out of our own flesh-ability, but Him in and through
us. He does the work for us as we get to eliminate fear and worry with the KNOWING
that we cannot change what Christ accomplished on the Cross and our relationship
This is the freedom Christ came to set us free
from: sin. Once and for all time, forever and forever (Hebrews
10). Which is the Gospel we are told to believe in!