Repentance Unto Salvation

Matthew 3:1-2

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 Repent! Was John’s theme.  In the Bible the word “repent” means “to change one’s mind.” To do an “about face” – a 180 degree turn – from the kind of self-centeredness that leads to wrong actions such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, revenge, abuse, sexual immorality and so on.

Repentance means a genuine change of mind that affects your life in some way.

Change the mind about what?

Unsaved people (those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior) can truly repent but without being saved, as, for example, to change the mind about a bad habit and to break that habit as a result. This in itself cannot bring Salvation.

However unsaved people can repent unto salvation.  That means they change their mind about Jesus Christ. So whatever a person thought of Him before, he changes his mind and trusts Jesus to be his Savior.  That is the only kind of repentance that saves…Change your mind about Jesus!

Saving repentance may be preceded by a repentance concerning sin which can cause an individual’s sense of the need for forgiveness. A repentance toward God that shows him the fact that he has offended God.  Now he needs to appease Him.

This part of repentance is still not saving unless it is accompanied by faith in Jesus Christ.

Question, does one have to make Jesus Christ Lord of his life or be willing to do so in order to be saved?  Only one answer to this…YES!

Arthur W. Pink, and English Bible Teacher in the late 1800’s said this:

“Something more than believing is necessary to salvation.  A heart that is steeled in rebellion against God cannot savingly believe: it must first be broken…No one can receive Christ as his Savior while he rejects Him as Lord”

A broken heart will bear the sorrow for his sins and sorrow for having offended God.

 2 Corinthians 7:9

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorrowful in a godly way, that you might not suffer loss in any way through us.”

 Notice in this verse sorrow leads to repentance. In short repentance is necessary for salvation in the sense that we cannot be saved from God’s righteous judgement without changing our minds about sin without turning from it and seeking to honor God.

Acts 2:38

“Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 There are three stages of repentance:

Stage One: Agree with God that what you have done is wrong, that is that it is a sin. If you have a true change of heart regarding your sin you will feel compelled to confess in your mind and with your mouth that you have sinned.

1 John 1:9

 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 Stage Two: Stepping on the road to repentance is to actually turn from your sin. That means that you make a definite, solid decision to stop doing the sinful thing you have been doing and then follow through on your decision and stop doing it.

This is where the genuineness of your commitment to your decision is tested and proven; it’s the really hard part. Without turning, your confession is, at best, questionable and to no avail.

Your heart must be changed!  If your heart is not changed there can be no salvation.

 Isaiah 64:8

“But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.”

There’s a song by Roby Duke called “Change my heart oh God.”  The words are very appropriate here:

Change my heart Oh God, make it ever true.
Change my heart Oh God, may I be like You.
You are the potter, I am the clay,
Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.
Change my heart Oh God, make it ever true.
Change my heart Oh God, may I be like You.

Stage Three: This is the most rewarding stage on the road to repentance it’s perseverance. It is common experience to be tempted to return to some of our old, sinful ways after we have turned from them. Unfortunately, it is also common experience to give in to such temptations by choosing to do so. To really conquer sin means not only to confess and turn from it initially, but also to persevere in our repentance to the end.

James 1:13-14

“Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither does He tempt anyone. 14 But each man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.”

There are “Six Steps of Repentance to Forgiveness”

1 – Feel Godly Sorrow

2 – Confess to God

3 – Ask for Forgiveness

4 – Rectify Problems Caused by Sin

5 – Forsake Sin

6 – Receive Forgiveness.

Hebrews 8:12

“For I will be merciful toward their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

 Mankind has been hearing about repentance for over 2,000 years.  Jesus said He is coming back again, and He will, but first He is waiting so that more sinners will repent and turn to Him.

2 Peter 3:9

“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.”

We must not sit and wait for Him, but live in the realization that time is short and we have important work to do.  Be ready to meet Him any time, even today; yet live faithfully in His service as if he may not return for many years.

Habakkuk 2:1-4

“I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that read it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.





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