Summary: For a person to come to Christ they must repent of their sins. This message encourages people to repent.
WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
1. Repentance is more than ‘sorrow for sin’. If I were caught for speeding and given a heavy fine, I would be very sorry, but that would not prove my repentance. I might just be sorry I got caught!
2. Repentance, instead, would mean sorrow for a good and wise law that I had broken, not just a resolve to keep a sharper look out for the traffic cameras!
3. Repentance is not simply remorse or regret.
a. Judas confessed with deep remorse: “I have sinned by betraying an innocent man to death” (Matt 27:4).
b. He’s pride had been wounded; he realised he made an error in judgement.
c. Yet, instead of repenting and turning to God, he turned on himself, and committed suicide.
d. That was not true repentance. (2 Cor. 7:10)
4. Repentance means to “change one’s mind”. But this is not simply reforming one’s behaviour and trying to do better.
5. Repentance involves:
a. Responsibility. We have to take responsibility for your actions.
b. Recognising sin for what it is: rebellion against a holy God.
When a man repents, he agrees with God (Luke 13:3; 18:9-14).
• It is not that he is able to break the chains of sin – that is God’s work.
• But God will only do this when a man’s attitude towards his sin has changed.
c. Realising that God alone can forgive sins (Ps 130:4).
d. Receiving His mercy, grace and forgiveness through Christ’s shed blood.
g. Resisting satan’s temptations to sin and rebel against God’s Word (2 Cor. 5:15; Jas 4:4-7; Heb. 3:8; Matt 4:1-11).
In summary, repentance will always lead to:
1. Confession (Prov. 28:13)
a. We must first confess to God, for all sin is primarily against Him (Ps 51:4).
b. Sometimes this may involve confession to other believers (Jas 5:16).
c. Where we have sinned against someone else we must confess to them too, and where necessary make restitution – that is, do all in our power to make good the damage done. For example, money or goods stolen must be restored with interest (Lev 6:5; Luke 19:8).
a. True repentance will cause us to confess and forsake our sins (Prov. 28:13)
b. A change of mind will result in a change of course, or direction in life (Matt 21: 28-29).
The Necessity of Faith
1. For a true conversion experience, repentance must be accompanied by faith.
2. Man finds a strong temptation to trust his own good deeds for acceptance with God instead of Christ alone. This boosts his ego. But God out-rightly rejects and condemns such pride of heart.
3. Salvation is God’s gift by grace through faith. (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9)
What is Faith?
1. Faith that saves is much more than assent to mental facts about Jesus.
a. For example, we may believe about someone – that they exist and did the things we are told they did.
• But we don’t necessarily believe in that person.
• That is, we don’t necessarily put all our hope and trust in that person.
b. “The demons also believe – and tremble (James 2:19). But their faith doesn’t save them.
2. To believe in someone means to trust yourself to that person.
a. For example, if a person needs a heart transplant, he will be willing to undergo surgery by a particular heart surgeon – if he really believes in that surgeon.
b. Believing in Christ as Saviour means trusting in Him for salvation.
c. Believing in Him as Lord means submitting to His control (Luke 6:46).
Do not postpone your salvation.
1. Often someone earnestly seeking salvation is tempted to postpone their moment of decision.
2. But God has only one time for people to answer His call, and that is NOW. (2 Cor. 6:2)
3. God makes no promises about tomorrow. (Prov. 27:1; James 4:13-17)
Turning to Christ can be done through a simple prayer of faith. Ro.10:13
1. Find a quiet place. Kneel down if this will help you to humble yourself before God.
2. Then from your heart make confession to God that you have sinned and have need of a Saviour.
3. Call on Christ to save you.
It is not the phraseology that you use that counts, but the fact that your prayer, however stammering, really comes from the heart, and is a real expression of faith, however weak.
4. If God is speaking to you, don’t delay. Call on Him at once.
Salvation includes confession with the mouth and believing in the heart (Ro10:9-10).
1. If you prayed a prayer of surrender and salvation as you turned to Christ, and if you sense God working in your heart, then tell someone that Jesus is now your Lord and Saviour.