R E P E N T

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


"Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1).

Here is a command in the Bible that says that God wants His people told about their sins and transgressions.

Godís servants are to speak boldly, to cry out loudly like a trumpet and tell Godís people about their sin.

How do we begin telling Godís people about their sin? All we have to do is to pick up a newspaper or listen to the nightly T.V. news and we will see and hear about the sins of our world, nation, state and our local community. We will see violence, war, murder, burglary, crime, rape, adultery, homosexuality, child abuse, parental abuse, abortion, drugs, environmental pollution, scandals involving government officials, scamming the elderly, dignitaries lying under oath, people cheating on their income tax, and children killing their classmates at school.

What is the cause of all of this crime and violence? The answer is SIN!

What Is Sin?

The Bible definition of sin is: "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).

The law being referred to here is Godís Ten Commandments. They are listed in Exodus 20:3-17 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

What are the ten commandments? How many of the ten commandments can you list? Try it! How many?

Hereís the answers:

1.) "You shall have no other gods before Me.

2.) "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

3.) "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

4.) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days you shall labor and do all your work, {10} but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

5.) "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

6.) "You shall not murder.

7.) "You shall not commit adultery.

8.) "You shall not steal.

9.) "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10.) "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.""

Everybody Has Sinned! "Sin" is the breaking of Godís ten commandments. Everybody has sinned: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God " (Romans 3:23).

There was only one man who has walked upon this earth who did not sin, and that man was Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said of Jesus: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

What Does Sin Do?

What happens when we sin? The prophet Isaiah gives us the answer: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. {2} But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Our sins, transgressions and iniquities separates us from God.

The Apostle John tells us: "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him" (John 9:31).

The best kept secret in the universe was the secret that God the Father kept from His only Son. That secret was that when all of the sins of the world were placed on Jesus, when He was hanging on the cross, God the Father turned His face from Jesus. Why, because God could not look at the sins of the world that had been placed upon His Son. Notice that Jesus cried out with a loud voice and with tremendous feeling and said: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matrhew 27:46).

Sin even cut Jesus off from God.

Sin Leads to Eternal Death!

An Old Testament prophecy states: "You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this," Says the LORD of hosts" (Malachi 4:3).

The New Testament declares: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

We can recall from a memory verse from the Bible: "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" (John 3:16).

"Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4).

Our sins, transgressions and iniquities cuts us off from God and leads to death.

What Can We Do?

The Apostle Peter in his first sermon on the Feast of Pentecost said: "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know; {23} "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; {24} "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it" (Acts 2:22-24).

We all are responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. We have to look at this from a personal point of view: Jesus was crucified and put to death for me! Letís continue with Peterís sermon: "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. {32} "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. {33} "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear" (Acts 2:31-33).

Letís skip ahead to verse 36: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." {37} Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" {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. {39} "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. {40} And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:36-40).

The men of Peterís day asked the question: What can we do? Peterís answer was to Repent and be Baptized! Did you notice what gift you will receive after you repent and are baptized? You will receive the gift of Godís Holy Spirit.

Jesus Preached Repentance!

As Jesus began His Galilean Ministry, letís notice that the message that He preached was about the "kingdom of God" and it was associated with "repentance".

"Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, {15} and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel"" (Mark 1:14-15).

Letís notice who Jesus is calling to repentance: "When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance"" (Mark 2:17).

Remember everybody has sinned: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God " (Rom 3:23). 

What is Repentance?

Websterís Dictionary defines the word "Repent" as: " to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life, to feel regret or contrition, to change one's mind".

Strongís Concordance #3340 defines the word "Repent" as: "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction):--repent".

Repent means to "turn from sin and change oneís mind."

What Do We Need to Change?

We must change how we think about God. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

Enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. Synonyms are hostility, animosity and rancor.

Remember that this enmity is against God. Man has a desire to hate, avoid and reject God.

In order to repent we must change our attitude toward God! We must learn to love God. We must become a new man: "and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:10).

We must have a renewing of our mind: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).

We must become holy as God is holy.

The Apostle Peter recorded: "because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy"" (1 Peter 1:16).

We must follow Jesus: "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

We must keep Godís ten commandments: "He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. {5} But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. {6} He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:4-6).

We must live by every word of God: "But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'"" (Matthew 4:4).

We must let Jesus live in us: "To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Coossiansl 1:27). To let Jesus live in you, you must give yourself to Him. You must serve Him, obey Him, live as Christ lived, follow Him and imitate Him. Thatís what it means to let Jesus live in you.

We must come out of this world. There is an end time prophecy regarding the fall of Babylon the Great in which God warns His people to come out of Babylon. Today we need to come out of this Babylonish world of sin, confusion and fables: "And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Rev 18:4).

We are not to love the world! "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. {17} And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17).

Sorrow Leads to Repentance

Most people are sorry that they got caught in their sin and transgressions. Feeling sorry is not repentance, but it can lead to repentance.

The Apostle Paul said: "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. {10} For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death" (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

We must change from the heart, from the inside. We should desire to have Godís law written in our hearts. There is a prophecy in Hebrews 8:10 that says: ""For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees about their self-righteous hypocritical attitudes: ""Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. {26} "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. {27} "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:25-27).

If we change the inside, the outside will take care of itself.

How Do We Repent?

First of all, we have to realize that we are sinners. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Next we must know that only Jesus can save us. The Apostle Paul said: "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15).

We must realize that salvation comes only through Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Jesus died for us sinners. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" {8} "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6,8).

We must accept Jesus as our personal savior and walk as He would walk.

We must ask God to forgive us of our sin of breaking His commandments and ask Him to give us strength in keeping His commandments. We should ask God for grace and mercy because salvation is a gift.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, {9} not of works, lest anyone should boast. {10} For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:8-10). Repentance is an ongoing process and we must bear fruit.. "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance" (Matthew 3:8).

The Example of King David

"Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. {3} So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" {4} Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house." {5} And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, "I am with child"" (2 Samuel 11:2-5).

David sinned and he had a major problem. He brought Uriah home from the battle thinking that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba and would think that the child was his, but Uriah was an honorable man and did not lay with his wife. David then sent Uriah to the front of the lines of battle and he was killed.

Davidís sin made him a liar, murderer and an adulterer.

The prophet Nathan confronts David and delivers a message: "'I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! {9} 'Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. {10} 'Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' {11} "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. {12} 'For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'" {13} So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. {14} "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die"" 
(2 Samuel 12:8-14).

In verse 13, David said: "I have sinned against the Lord." David repented.

Davidís Prayer of Repentance

Psalm 51 is Davidís prayer of repentance: "Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. {2} Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. {3} For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. {4} Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight; That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. {5} Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. {6} Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. {7} Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. {8} Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. {9} Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. {10} Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. {11} Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. {12} Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. {13} Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. {14} Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. {15} O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. {16} For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. {17} The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; These, O God, You will not despise. {18} Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. {19} Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar" (Psalms 51:1-19).

God loved David very much and accepted his prayer of repentance and said: "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will'" (Acts 13:22).

Repentance is a very important part of being a Christian. Each one of us should go to our prayer closet and read and meditate on Psalms 51. Letís ask God to have mercy on us, create a new heart within us and to restore to us the joy of His salvation.

Joy in Heaven

Letís close with an encouraging thought: Jesus said: "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

In Conclusion: REPENT!


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