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REPENTANCE -Turning Back to God

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  • Christina
    REPENTANCE -Turning Back to God REPENTANCE is a feeling of regret, a changing of the mind, or a turning from sin to God. The Hebrew word for repent means
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2005
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      REPENTANCE -Turning Back to God

      REPENTANCE is a feeling of regret, a changing of the mind, or a
      turning from sin to God. The Hebrew word for "repent" means
      literally, "turn back to God". Most occurrences of the term in the
      Bible do not indicate mere regret or a change of mind; they mean a
      re-orientation of the sinner to God, and a change of actions which
      make the change of heart visible to those around you.

      Old Testament

      Isa 1:15-20 (KJV)
      And when ye spread forth your hands,
      I will hide mine eyes from you: yea,
      when ye make many prayers, I will not hear:
      your hands are full of blood.
      {16} Wash you, make you clean;
      put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes;
      cease to do evil;
      {17} Learn to do well;
      seek judgment, relieve the oppressed,
      judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
      {18} Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
      though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
      though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      {19} If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the
      land:
      {20} But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the
      sword:
      for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

      In ancient Israel repentance was first expressed corporately. When
      national calamities such as famine, drought, defeat, or a plague of
      locusts arose, the people became aware through the prophets that the
      incidents were caused by the guilt of the nation. All shared the
      responsibility and, consequently, the call to national repentance
      was given. Fasting, the wearing of sackcloth (the traditionally worn
      in times of mourning), the scattering of ashes (Is. 58:5; Neh. 9:1;
      Dan. 9:3), and the recitation of prayers and psalms in a penitential
      liturgy characterized this collective experience of contrition and
      worship.

      With the practice of such outward and collective expressions of
      repentance, however, the danger of insincere pretense and
      only "going through the motions" also arose on the part of some of
      the people. Ritual not accompanied by a genuine attitude of
      repentance was empty. What was needed was not ritual alone, but the
      active involvement of the individual in making a radical change
      within the heart (Ezek. 18:30-32) and in seeking a new direction for
      one's life.

      Ezek 18:30-32 (KJV)
      Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel,
      every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD.
      Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions;
      so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
      {31} Cast away from you all your transgressions,
      whereby ye have transgressed;
      and make you a new heart and a new spirit:
      for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
      {32} For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith
      the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

      What was demanded was a turning from sin and at the same time a
      turning to God. For the prophets, such a turning or conversion was
      not just simply an inner change of the heart; they pointed out that
      this change of heart should be openly manifested in heart-felt acts
      of justice, kindness, and humility (Mic. 6:8; Amos 5:24; Hos. 2:19-
      20).

      Micah 6:8 (KJV)
      He hath showed thee, O man, what is good;
      and what doth the LORD require of thee,
      but to do justly, and to love mercy,
      and to walk humbly with thy God?

      Hosea 2:19-20 (KJV)
      And I will betroth{Heb=marry} thee unto me for ever;
      yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness,
      and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
      {20} I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness:
      and thou shalt know the LORD.

      New Testament

      A direct connection between the prophets and the New Testament is
      found in John the Baptist. Appearing in the wilderness, he, like
      they, issued the call to his own generation for this radical kind of
      turning back to God. He baptized those who by confessing their sins
      responded to his invitation (Mark 1:4-5).

      Mark 1:4-5 (KJV)
      John did baptize in the wilderness,
      and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
      {5} And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of
      Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan,
      confessing their sins.

      Later, the Apostle John explains a little more deeply the
      implications of true repentance.

      1 John 1:3-10 (KJV)
      That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
      that ye also may have fellowship with us:
      and truly our fellowship is with the Father,
      and with his Son Jesus Christ.
      {4} And these things write we unto you,
      that your joy may be full.

      {5} This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare
      unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
      {6} If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in
      darkness,
      we lie, and do not the truth:
      {7} But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
      we have fellowship one with another,
      and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

      {8} If we say that we have no sin,
      we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
      {9} If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
      our sins,
      and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      {10} If we say that we have not sinned,
      we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

      {1 John 2:1}My little children, these things write I unto you, that
      ye sin not.
      And if any man sin,
      we have an advocate{Grk=intercessor} with the Father,
      Jesus Christ the righteous:
      {2} And he is the propitiation{Grk=atonement, payment} for our sins:
      and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
      {3} And hereby we do know that we know him,
      if we keep his commandments.
      {4} He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
      is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

      {5} But whoso keepeth his word,
      in him verily is the love of God perfected:
      hereby know we that we are in him.
      {6} He that saith he abideth in him
      ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

      Likewise, John expected that those who had made this commitment
      would demonstrate by their actions the change which they had made in
      their hearts.

      Jesus, the Messiah came also preaching a message of repentance,
      stressing that all men needed to repent (Luke 13:1-3), Jesus
      summoned his followers to turn and become like innocent little
      children in their attitudes of the heart (Matt. 18:3). He defined
      His ministry in terms of calling sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).

      Luke 13:1-3 (KJV)
      There were present at that season some that told him of the
      Galilaeans,
      whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
      {2} And Jesus answering said unto them,
      Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the
      Galilaeans,
      because they suffered such things?
      {3} I tell you, Nay:
      but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

      Mat 18:3-4 (KJV)
      And said, Verily I say unto you,
      Except ye be converted, and become as little children,
      ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
      {4} Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child,
      the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

      Luke 5:31-32 (KJV)
      And Jesus answering said unto them,
      They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
      {32} I came not to call the righteous,
      but sinners to repentance.

      Moreover, Jesus illustrated His understanding of repentance in the
      parable of the prodigal son who returned to the father (Luke 15:11-
      32), espeially in these verses:

      Luke 15:17-20a (KJV)
      {17} And when he came to himself, he said,
      How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to
      spare,
      and I perish with hunger!
      I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him,
      Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
      {19} And am no more worthy to be called thy son:
      make me as one of thy hired servants.
      {20} And he arose, and came to his father.

      Jesus also insisted that the life that was changed became obvious by
      the "fruit" that it bore (Luke 6:20-45, The Sermon on the Mount). At
      the end of His clarification of the actions of a truly repentent and
      changed person, He concludes with these words:

      Luke 6:40, 43-46 (KJV)
      {40} The disciple is not above his master:
      but every one that is perfect shall be as his master....
      For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit;
      neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
      {44} For every tree is known by his own fruit.
      For of thorns men do not gather figs,
      nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
      {45} A good man out of the good treasure of his heart
      bringeth forth that which is good;
      and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart
      bringeth forth that which is evil:
      for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
      {46} And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
      and do not the things which I say?

      Jesus made it clear to Nicodemas that there is something more
      involved in repentance and a change of direction of one's life: that
      is being born-again as a spiritual change caused by the Holy Spirit
      in the life of a repentant sinner.
      John 3:5-6 (KJV)
      Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
      Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
      he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
      {6} That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
      and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

      Jesus again links repentance and the new birth in Revelation, as He
      reveals that He will come into a person's heart when we invite Him
      to do so. Jesus in this passage, also identifies Himself at one with
      the Holy Spirit when we link these two passages.

      Rev 3:19-21 (KJV)
      As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
      be zealous therefore, and repent.
      {20} Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
      if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
      I will come in to him,
      and will sup with him, and he with me.
      {21} To him that overcometh
      will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
      even as I also overcame,
      and am set down with my Father in his throne.

      Acts 2:36-38 (KJV)
      Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
      that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
      both Lord and Christ.
      {37} Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart,
      and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles,
      Men and brethren, what shall we do?
      {38} Then Peter said unto them,
      Repent, and be baptized every one of you
      in the name of Jesus Christ
      for the remission of sins,
      and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

      And repenting of your sins and rebellion against God is then related
      to your participation in forgiveness of your sins, and the
      possibility of your presence in Heaven and enjoyment of the eternal
      Blessings of the Kingdom of God.

      Acts 3:18-21 (KJV)
      But those things,
      which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets,
      that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
      {19} Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
      that your sins may be blotted out,
      when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the
      Lord; {20} And he shall send Jesus Christ,
      which before was preached unto you:
      {21} Whom the heaven must receive
      until the times of restitution of all things,
      which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets
      since the world began.

      Acts 17:29-31 (KJV)
      Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God,
      we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver,
      or stone, graven by art and man's device.
      {30} And the times of this ignorance God winked at{Grk=ignored} ;
      but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
      {31} Because he hath appointed a day,
      in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
      by that man whom he hath ordained;
      whereof he hath given assurance unto all men,
      in that he hath raised him from the dead.

      God Bless you as you ponder these things.
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