January 28, 2008

The Nature of Repentance

I thought I would pass along a recent article written by a fellow believer and preacher - Mike Desario. I have featured Mike on my blog in my video section, whereby I promote several of Mike's video sermons - of which I highly recommend. Mike recently sent this out to emphasize the importance of understanding the true nature of repentance. I agree with Mike here that this is one of the biggest misconceptions in most churches today. It would seem many pastors today are misleading their congregants that repentance has more to do with confession and has nothing to do with forsaking your sins and having a changed heart. I think Mike makes a valid point with the examples he uses here to explain the Nature of Repentance. I hope this blesses you as it did me.

The Nature of Repentance

The present day preachers & teachers have no concept of Biblical Repentance and Faith. You only have to ask ONE simple question to find out where they stand on this issue. (Provided you, yourself understand repentance and faith, having come to Salvation in the proper manner.) It’s important to recognize at this point that you are being lead by the Spirit of Truth, NOT the spirit of error in these matters. Otherwise you will never be able to discern the difference between True and False Repentance and Dead Faith.

Ask the Following Question, in the EXACT Terminology, with NO further explanation: “Does a person have to stop sinning to receive Jesus?”

If the person you are asking immediately presumes that you are asking: “Does a person have to stop sinning and then get saved!” They have NO CONCEPT of Biblical Repentance! And here’s Why:

1) What Happens in Repentance? They have NO IDEA! So they immediately assume you are saying that a person has to become perfect BEFORE they are saved. But this is NOT the issue at all! A PROCESS MUST be taking place in the Salvation experience that involves a STOPPING of sin!

2) Therefore the FOREGONE conclusion in their mind is not STOPPING sin, but CONFESSING it. Because NO ONE can stop BEFORE they are saved! And they can only struggle with it afterward. So a person is saved, ‘In their sins!’ (which is a wrong assumption from the start).

3) Asking another or different question makes no difference either, but only gives them the opportunity to mold words and make it sound as though they are agreeing that sin must be forsaken. Remember: When they speak of forsaking sin, they mean ‘over time’, ‘Gradually’or as you allow God to Change your desires. The design is that this happens in repentance.
The Biblical Characteristics of True Repentance: (as taught by early church and Apostles) 2Cor7:10-11 “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

For True Repentance to have Taken Place the following MUST have Occurred:

1) Season of Deep felt Godly Sorrow for sin. (Invoked by Spirit of Truth working, John 16:8)
2) A Crisis of Conviction that Cuts to the heart! (Sin already being forsaken!)
3) A Zeal to CLEAR oneself of all Wrong Doing against God. (make restitution if necessary)
4) Indignation and Fear that leads to Vehement Desire to STOP Sinning!
5) Vindication and Finally PURITY of heart!

Every incident of repentance in scripture follows this process. (DON’T Let anyone tell you it doesn’t, and they will MOST certainly try!) The Sin STOPS HERE, The Old Man DIES here, The Flesh is Crucified HERE! NOT Afterwards. The desires and conduct are CHANGED here. (Or never will be!)

OBEDIENCE to God follows in NEWNESS of Life and all things new! (Rom6:4-6, 2Cor5:17) If you have NOT Experienced this and have NO IDEA what it means, you are NOT BORN of the SPIRIT!!! You may indeed have ‘RECEIVED’ Christ, and ‘Believed’ on His Name (repeated some words) BUT the Devils ALSO Believe! (James2:19) If a Person is SAVED by What he DOES and NOT by Faith Alone! (as James affirms, JS 2:24) The what he DOES PART, STARTS with This REPENTANCE!

I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds! Acts26:20

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