"The Vital Place of Repentance"
by Pastor K.B. Murray,
Millington Street Baptist Church, Winfield, KS
Download the ASCII text version of this sermon
Text: Luke 13:1-5; Mark 6:12; Act 3:19
In the grand scheme of eternal things, Almighty God designed a way in which mere mortals walking and living here upon this sin-cursed earth could be prepared for divine redemption and Heaven.
As the religious world becomes more and more accommodating to that which is politically correct as viewed by this world's standards, they become less than honest with Truth, even stooping to the place of passing it off as archaic, old-fashioned, or irrelevant, no longer necessary.
Open season has been declared upon the Word of God, upon those sacred doctrines, upon those that holds its truth's as precious in their lives and upon those poor souls who follow that old Hell-fire and Damnation preaching.
It is from just such a scenario that the Spirit of God seeks to speak and arrest minds from the swamp holes of this world's cesspools.
I am declaring unto you that I am much more interested in pleasing God than I am in being a man pleaser or in being politically correct or well thought of by the religious crowd.
I am seeking to be guided by that great principle stated in Gal.1:10.
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
I. WE MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT
SCRIPTURAL REPENTANCE MEANS.
When Almighty God calls for repentance, it is imperative that everybody knows what the term means and what is entailed upon them in the matter of repentance.
When you consider that Christ said, "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish" Lk.13:3, it becomes personally imperative that you both know what the word means and that you carry out that which it requires.
A. Repentance is defined as compunction for guilt; a reversal of one's direction.
1. Compunction is:
a. A strong uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt, or,
b. A sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by wrongdoing or the prospect of wrongdoing.
2. Repentance has been described as an about face, that is, it is a total and complete turn around.
B. Repentance deals with a turn around in at least three significant areas which are:
1. Sin - I had denied, now I confess.
2. Self - I was good enough, now I am lost.
3. Savior - I did not need him, now I cannot live without him.
C. Examine these Scriptural examples.
1. Repentance is described as a turning.
And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord. (Acts 9:35)
2. Repentance leaves wickedness and follows godliness, seeking God's forgiveness.
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. (Acts 8:22)
3. Repentance deals with conversion to, a becoming like, and, in agreement with God.
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; (Acts 3:19)
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. (Acts 15:3)
II. THE SCRIPTURES REVEAL THREE THINGS ATTEMPT TO BRING MEN TO REPENTANCE.
A. First: Conviction brought upon our spirit by the Holy Spirit's application of the Word of God.
1. The Word of God has the power to confront a sinner and bring him to humility.
2. The Word of God, aptly applied by the Holy Spirit, brings sinners to see themselves as Almighty God sees them.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
B. Second: The goodness of God as one realizes every good thing cometh from God above.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Rom 2:4)
1. It is God's intent that with every blessing he bestows upon our lives that we be humbled and loving toward him.
2. Satan has succeeded, in most cases, to cause men to believe that such goodness was by their own prowess, shrewdness or smartness, thus trying to avert the ministry of blessings.
C. Third: God's longsuffering mercy.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet 3:9)
1. God keeps putting up with and allowing things to go on, all because of his longsuffering grace.
2. He has every right to pass judgment upon our wicked ways, but in his longsuffering grace, he waits against that day that we recognize it and respond to it properly.
D. Repentance is the results of divine workings for no man just decides to repent; such a action had it's origin in Heaven.
E. Just as surely as the Lord brings about that which effects repentance he effectively works in every living person to repent.
1. The Holy Spirit is massaging your heart and spirit with conviction right now because you need to be turned from what you are.
2. The Holy Spirit is reminding you of both God's goodness and his longsuffering toward you because he is calling you to repentance.
3. He is placing the sacrifice of Christ before your heart, trying to tender it with his love so that you might respond in repentance.
III. REPENTANCE HAS EVIDENCES REVEALING ITS WORK IS ACCOMPLISHED.
A. A life that is changed.
1. We have all heard the story of ole Jim who was a drunkard, beat his boy and cursed his wife until conviction brought repentance to his life and he was a changed man.
2. That change has literally been played out in tens of thousands of lives across time, as one after another, sinners came to repentance and God changed their personality and their practices.
B. A heart that is yielded and supple to spiritual things.
1. What a joy to behold that stubborn, selfish, self-centered sinner be transformed by repentance and wrought into a sweet, serving, caring saint.
2. The world cannot fathom what happens nor how the person was changed but they will have to testify that they are surely a different person.
a. And individual stopped me in town and remarked how a certain person was surely different, giving me the credit.
b. I had the privilege of informing them that such a change was wrought only by the power of God because that person had repentance and received Christ.
3. Perhaps the most classic illustration was Saul of Tarsus who was moved from a proud persecutor's heart to that of a supple servant's heart, giving his life that others might hear of Christ and the opportunity of repentance.
C. A life that sorrows over sin's curses upon others.
1. One of the first things that happens when repentance effects salvation is that that saved person becomes concerned over the spiritual condition of their loved ones.
2. That caring, that compassion, that desire to see others free of sin's condemnation is one of the strongest witnesses an unsaved person will ever experience.
3. Such caring however, is not limited just to relatives for every redeemed one wants to see others redeemed.
Saul was climbing the ecclesiastical ladder, persecuting Christians until he met the Lord in Acts 9.
His life was no longer for Paul but was now for his brethren, even to wishing that he could be accursed if it would turn them to Christ. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (Rom 9:3)
CONCLUSION: The Vital Place Of Repentance
1. Are you a benefactor of repentance?
2. Are you sure that you repented and have been changed by Christ, and,
3. That your life is revealing Christ to others?
4. Who are you living for? If self is your answer, I'd sure do some searching of my soul about the matter of whether I had repentance to my credit or not.
Return to Sermon Index