Summary: Repentance From Dead Works The 2nd sermon in a series of 7 on Christian maturity and how to get there.

Basic Christianity 101

Basic Christianity

#2 in a series of 7

#2 Repentance from dead works

Reverend David Doherty

First Baptist Church

Pie Town, NM

April 2007

Hebrews 6

1. Therefore, leaving behind the elementary teachings about Christ, let us continue to be carried along to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, faith toward God,

2. instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

3. And this we will do, if God permits.

Acts 17:30

"Truly these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent."

Repentance from dead works means to realise that works without the faith, life and love of God in them are wrong, and to turn away from them from the heart. It involves renouncing all religious pride, all independence from God and all unclean or dishonest practises. It involves a change of heart and a change of lifestyle. It is done by putting total faith in Christ - who He is and what His Word tells us. Repentance happens as we yield to the conviction of the Spirit of God.



1. To Repent--"to Pant," "to Sigh"

2. To Repent--"to Turn" or "Return"


1. Repent--"to Care," "Be Concerned"

2. Repent--"to Change the Mind"

3. Repent--"to Turn Over," "to Turn Upon," "to Turn Unto"

Greek- Repentance

Strong’s Number: 3341

Transliterated: metanoia

Phonetic: met-an’-oy-ah

Text: from 3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): --repentance.


Strong’s Number: 3498

Transliterated: nekros

Phonetic: nek-ros’

Text: from an apparently primary nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun): --dead.


Strong’s Number: 2041

Transliterated: ergon

Phonetic: er’-gon

Text: from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act: --deed, doing, labour, work.

Hebrews 10

26. For if we choose to go on sinning after we have received the full knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

27. but only a terrifying prospect of judgment and a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God

28. Anyone who violates the law of Moses dies without mercy "on the testimony of two or three witnesses."

29. How much more severe a punishment do you think that person deserves who tramples on God’s Son, treats as common the blood of the covenant by which it was sanctified, and insults the Spirit of grace?

30. For we know the one who said, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will pay them back," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."

31. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

32. But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

33. At times you were made a public spectacle through insults and persecutions, while at other times you associated with people who were treated this way.

34. For you sympathized with the prisoners and cheerfully submitted to the violent seizure of your property, because you know that you have a better and more permanent possession.

Dead Works

Lusts of the Flesh

Galatians 5

19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20. idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,

21. envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1

28. And, according as they did not approve of having God in knowledge, God gave them up to a disapproved mind, to do the things not seemly; 29. having been filled with all unrighteousness, whoredom, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil dispositions; whisperers,

30. evil-speakers, God-haters, insulting, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31. unintelligent, faithless, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful;

32. who the righteous judgment of God having known - that those practicing such things are worthy of death - not only do them, but also have delight with those practicing them.

· Fornication – harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry: --fornication.

· Uncleanness – impurity (the quality), physically or morally: --uncleanness.

· Lasciviousness - from a compound of 1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed selges (of uncertain derivation, but apparently meaning continent); licentiousness (sometimes including other vices): --filthy, lasciviousness, wantonness. Lust for things we don’t have.

· Idolatry - image-worship (literally or figuratively): --idolatry.

· Sorcery - medication ("pharmacy"), i.e. (by extension) magic (literally or figuratively): --sorcery, witchcraft.

· Enmities - hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition: --enmity, hatred.

· Strife - of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling: --contention, debate, strife, and variance.

· Jealousies - properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) "zeal" (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively, of God], or an enemy, malice): --emulation, envy(-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, and zeal.

· Wraths - passion (as if breathing hard): -- fierceness, indignation, and wrath.

· Factions – properly, let it be, i.e. (as interjection) aha!: --let alone.

· Divisions - disunion, i.e. (figuratively) dissension: --division, sedition.

· Parties - properly, a choice, i.e. (specially) a party or (abstractly) disunion: --heresy [which is the Greek word itself], sect.

· Envying - ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite): --envy.

· Drunkenness – intoxication. Strangely from the Greek root, “meth” apparently a primary word; an intoxicant, i.e. (by implication) intoxication: --drunkenness.

· Revellings - a carousal (as if letting loose): -- revelling, rioting.

· Reprobate mind - unapproved, i.e. rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally): --castaway, rejected, reprobate.

· Unrighteousness - (legal) injustice (properly, the quality, by implication, the act); morally, wrongfulness (of character, life or act): --iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.

· Sexual sin - harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively, idolatry: --fornication.

· Iniquity - depravity, i.e. (specifically) malice; plural (concretely) plots, sins: --iniquity, wickedness.

· Covetousness – avarice, i.e. (by implication) fraudulency, extortion: --covetous(-ness) practices, greediness.

· Malice - badness, i.e. (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble: --evil, malice(-iousness), naughtiness, wickedness.

· Full of envy – ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite): --envy.

· Murder – from an obsolete primary pheno (to slay); murder: --murder, + be slain with, slaughter.

· Quarrels – of uncertain affinity; a quarrel, i.e. (by implication) wrangling: --contention, debate, strife, and variance.

· Deceit – from an obsolete primary verb, dello (probably meant to decoy; compare 1185); a trick (bait), i.e. (figuratively) wile: --craft, deceit, guile, subtlety.

· Evil habits – bad character, i.e. (specially) mischievousness: --malignity.

· Whisperers – a secret calumniator: --whisperer.

· Slanderers – talkative against, i.e. a slanderer: --backbiter.

· God-haters – hateful to God, i.e. impious: --hater of God.

· Insolent – an insulter, i.e. maltreater: --despiteful, injurious.

· Proud – appearing above others (conspicuous), i.e. (figuratively) haughty: --proud.

· Braggarts – from ale (vagrancy); braggart: --boaster.

· Devisers of evil things - a discoverer, i.e. contriver: --inventor of evil things.

· Disobedient to parents – unpersuadable by parents, i.e. contumacious: --disobedient.

· Undiscerning – unintelligent; by implication, wicked: --foolish, without understanding.

· Disloyal – properly, not agreed, i.e. treacherous to compacts: -- covenant-breaker.

· Without affection – (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of stergo (to cherish affectionately); hard-hearted towards kindred: --without natural affection.

· Implacable – literally, without libation (which usually accompanied a treaty), i.e. (by implication) truceless: --implacable, truce-breaker.

· Unmerciful – merciless: --unmerciful. Without feelings of mercy.

Good Works

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5

22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.

25. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

· Love - affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast: --(feast of) charity([-ably]), dear, love.

· Joy - cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight: -- gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy(-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

· Peace - probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity: --one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again

· Long-suffering - longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude: -- longsuffering, patience.

· Gentleness - moral excellence (in character or demeanor): --gentleness, good(-ness), kindness.

· Goodness – goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence: --goodness.

· Faith – persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: --assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

· Meekness - gentleness, by implication, humility: --meekness

· Temperance - self-control (especially continence): --temperance.

Fear of God

What motivation do we have to keep us in check?

Job 28

28. Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.

Proverbs 1

27. When your fear cometh as a storm, And your calamity cometh on as a whirlwind; When distress and anguish come upon you.

28. Then will they call upon me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me:

29. For that they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of Jehovah:

30. They would none of my counsel; They despised all my reproof.

31. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own devices.

32. For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, And the careless ease of fools shall destroy them.

33. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell securely, And shall be quiet without fear of evil.

· Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil:

· The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, And the perverse mouth, do I hate.

· The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

· He that walketh in his uprightness feareth Jehovah; But he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

· The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

· A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil; But the fool beareth himself insolently, and is confident.

· In the fear of Jehovah is strong confidence; And his children shall have a place of refuge.

· The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life, That one may depart from the snares of death.

· Better is little, with the fear of Jehovah, Than great treasure and trouble therewith.

· The fear of Jehovah is the instruction of wisdom; And before honor goeth humility.

· By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for; And by the fear of Jehovah men depart from evil.

· The fear of Jehovah tendeth to life; And he that hath it shall abide satisfied; He shall not be visited with evil.

· The reward of humility and the fear of Jehovah Is riches, and honor, and life.

· Let not thy heart envy sinners; But be thou in the fear of Jehovah all the day long:

Repentance is not merely feeling sorry that you sinned or did wrong. It is not an emotion. Emotion and sorrow for sin normally accompanies repentance, but it is possible to feel sorry, remorseful and even weep without truly repenting. Emagine a stop sign in the middle of a desert. No roads and no other direction other than STOP, DON’T GO ANY FURTHER! DANGER! If you keep on down that path it can lead to something unthinkable, or even to death. Turn from the direction you are going and do what God wants of you. Stop, and change your evil ways.

Armor of God

10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength.

11. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the devil’s strategies.

12. For our struggle is not against a human opponent, but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers in the darkness around us, against evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.

13. For this reason, take up the whole armor of God so that you may be able to take a stand in that evil day. And when you have done everything you could, you will be able to stand firm.

14. Stand firm, therefore, having fastened the belt of truth around your waist, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15. and having put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

16. In addition to all of these, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one,

17. also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Is 55:6-7

Eze 18:30-32

Zec 12:10

Mt 3:2

Mt 4:17

Mt 21:29

Mt 21:32

Mr 6:12

Ac 2:38

Ac 3:19

Ac 11:18

Ac 17:30

Ac 20:21

Ac 26:20

2Co 7:10

2Ti 2:25-26