Summary: Ones attitude of heart and mind make a vital difference as to whether or not a person truly gets saved.

The Mindset Of True Repentance

Text: Luke 18: 13-14

Intro: Mental attitude is important in almost anything. This is true because, in most cases, outlook determines outcome. This is the reason that employers often seek positive-minded people to fill responsible positions. People with a positive mental attitude tend toward greater productivity.

It is important not only to have a positive mental attitude, but also to have a proper mental approach as well. For instance, a person could have a positive mental attitude about flying an airplane. But if their mental concepts about flying a plane are wrong, due to faulty information, the result is likely to be disastrous.

This is much the idea found in our text today. One’s attitude of heart and mind makes a vital difference as to whether or not a person truly gets saved. The Lord Himself said, “…Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6: 37b). It goes without saying however, that a person must come to Christ with the right attitude and motive before they can be saved.

In this parable told by Jesus, we will see a definite contrast between the mindset of a sincere seeker and that of a sanctimonious sinner. The former experienced a new relationship toward God, while the latter went away as he’d come—religious but lost.

Theme: As we consider the mindset of true repentance, notice:


A. It Was Directed At Those Depending On Righteousness Of Their Own.

Luke 18: 9a “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous…”

1. Trusting in ones own righteousness is futile.

Rom.3: 10b “…There is none righteous, no, not one:”

2. To approach God on the basis of personal righteousness is to use the wrong standard.

Rom.3: 23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Isa.64: 6a “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”

II Cor.10: 12b “…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

NOTE: [1] Almost anyone can look good when the standard is lowered to their own level. God’s standard for judging righteousness is His Son; and not even the best that man can offer could ever equal His impeccability.

[2] Folk’s ideas about what constitutes righteousness are often vastly different from God’s, as the following would indicate:

A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”

“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in Boston and keep them.”

Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word, September, 1991, p. 32.

3. The only reliable standard is Jesus.

Rom.10: 4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

Titus 3: 5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;”

I John 2: 2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

NOTE: [1] The New Living Translation renders Rom.10: 4 as follows:

For Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in him are made right with God (Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 1145).

[2] According to Wiersbe, the word “propitiation” in First John 2: 2 means, “the satisfying of God’s holy law” (Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Real, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 36). God’s law pronounced judgment upon the sinner when it said, “…The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek.18: 4c). Jesus satisfied the Law’s demands.

[3] Folks, there’s only one standard for righteousness in God’s book; that’s Jesus. “You know what Mason said to Dixon? ‘You’ve got to draw the line somewhere’” (Our Saviour, God, J.M. Boice, p. 40). Jesus is where you draw the line.

B. It Was Directed At Those Who Despised Others.

Luke 18: 9b “…and despised others:”

NOTE: [1] The word “despised,” as used here, means, “to make of no account…to regard as nothing” (W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words, Vol. I, published by Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey; pg. 300).

[2] The idea here is what we often refer to today as a “holier than thou” attitude. Speaking of the Jews of his day, Isaiah described their attitude with the following words: “…Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou…” (Isa.65: 5a).

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