A study of repentance (3)

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New King James Version

LAST time, we closed by stating that sense knowledge cannot understand spiritual things, and this sense knowledge man ruled by the senses, governed by the senses, is spiritually blinded.

Let’s unpack a bit more. Ephesians 4:17, Amplified, reads: “So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.”

A woman/man may be the head of a university, but if she/he isn’t born again, she/he is lost, without God and without hope. Now let us go back and look at repentance again. The preacher is demanding that this natural man “change his mind and purpose,” or “change his principles and practice” “change his mode of conduct” give up his old habits; give up his rebellion against Divine authority.” The question is, can he do it? Will crying and weeping and praying change his nature?

Please understand, he is by nature a child of wrath. He can’t change his own nature. He may change his mind for a moment, but it will come back again to default settings. What he must have is a New Nature, and this must come from God. How can he get this New Nature? Turn with me to John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus states further in John 3:17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

What is it that the natural man needs? It is eternal life, the nature of God, and he/she can’t get this by their own effort. He/she cannot change his nature. He/she may give up some of the habits that he has learned, but that does not save him.

Let us go back and notice it once more. He/she has no approach to God. He/she is an eternal being, but a hopeless one. His/her nature is enmity toward God. Satan has blinded his/her mind. His/her senseless heart is darkened. Satan has ruled him through his senses. Love has given Jesus to him.

Love has done more than that. We read in Romans 4:4-5, New King James Version: “[4] Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but as debt. [5] But to him who does not work, but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,” What does he mean here? He means one who does not attempt to make himself better or who tries to give up his old habits and his old life, but accepts the gift God has given to him without money and without price, receives Eternal Life. His old habits stop being and new habits take their place.

Romans 4:25, speaking of Jesus, says: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

What does that mean? It means that Jesus actually suffered until every claim of justice was satisfied as far as the sinner was concerned. And the second thing, when the claims of Justice were met, He was raised to prove that He had paid the penalty of our trespasses, and now man has justification, righteousness and Eternal Life awaiting him.

Being, therefore, justified by Faith, or being, therefore, declared righteous on the ground of pure grace, God says to the sinner: “Take Jesus as your Saviour, confess Him as Your Lord, and I will give you Eternal Life and make you a New Creation.” You see this is all of Grace. When a preacher tells the unsaved man that he/she must have godly sorrow and repentance, I don’t know what she/he is talking about.

The Father’s work in Christ is finished. When Jesus sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, it was because He had finished the work of Redemption.

There was no more work to be done. Redemption was a settled and fixed thing. Now I accept it and come into the benefits of the finished work of my Lord.

You see, Jesus belongs to the unsaved man. The unsaved man has Jesus on his hands. He died for him. He put sin away for him. He has made the New Birth a possibility for him, but the unsaved man must accept Him.

Do not tell him he needs to repent for that will confuse him. If he accepts Christ as his Saviour and confesses Him as his Lord, that is repentance. That is all God requires.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge