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Summary: The sinner must repent before they receive salvation. Those who are saved must practice repentance if they are to enjoy unbroken fellowship with God. Repentance is both negative and positive – turning away from sin – turning to God.

THE REWARDS OF REPENTANCE

Matthew 3:1-3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

One of the greatest gifts God has given man is the ability and opportunity to repent. Without repentance we could never change to become the person God created us to be. Without repentance we would never be able to do life with God because we are fallen humans who are in continual need of forgiveness and life change. Repentance always leads to a better state and always precedes a greater measure of the Presence of God.

What is Repentance? Repentance means to turn around. It means to go 180* not 360*, to turn to God from whatever is taking His place or distracting us from Him.

That statement opens up a whole number of issues, it goes beyond obvious sin. It includes all of the man-made substitutes for God – anything that captures our attention and affection, getting a hold on us.

Webster’s Dictionary says repentance should produce something – CHANGE.

Acts 17:30 NIV “He [God] commands all people everywhere to repent”

How important is repentance in the Bible?

1. John the Baptist’s message – Mt 3:1-2

2. Jesus’ first sermon – Mt 4:17

3. Peter’s first message on the Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:38, 3:19

4. Paul preached repentance – Acts 20:21

5. Repentance is part of the Gospel - Mk 1:14,15

The sinner must repent before they receive salvation. Those who are saved must practice repentance if they are to enjoy unbroken fellowship with God.

Repentance is both negative and positive – turning away – turning to.

THREE REWARDS THAT COME FROM REPENTANCE

1. Repentance Refreshes our spirits

Acts 3:19 (Amp) “So repent – change your mind and purpose; turn around and turn to God, so that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean) that times of refreshing – of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air – may come from the presence of the Lord”

The picture that we have here is of a person overcome with heat gasping for air, without air the physical body dies, without the breath of the Spirit (the life of God) we begin to suffocate spiritually. Repentance allows times of refreshing to come into our lives. Refreshing is the Greek medical term meaning “to heal as a result of being exposed to air”. How many of us know that when we are suffering illness or pain when that is removed it is like being in another world.

2. Repentance Restores our lives

Matthew 17:11, 13 NASB “Elijah is coming and will restore all things. Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist”

Luke 1:17 John the Baptist came in “the Spirit and power of Elijah”

The Spirit of repentance brings restoration, this word in the Greek means “to recover, renew, to bring back to a better state”. It speaks about something broken, not right, defective.

The dictionary definition of repentance – “To bring back to the original state”

The biblical definition of repentance – “To make better than the original”

Acts 8:17-24 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19 and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." 24 Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."

-Peter indicated that Simon could be forgiven and restored to God’s favor if he truly repented, allowing God to change his heart and his way of thinking.

-Repentance is all about change but one important step is owning up to our own offenses. Prussian king Frederick the Great was once touring a Berlin prison. The prisoners fell on their knees before him to proclaim their innocence—except for one man, who remained silent. Frederick called to him, “Why are you here?”

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