TITUS 2:1 WITH ACTS 26:19,20
INTRO:Can people really change? Do people really change? Should people change? These are questions relating to repentance. I cannot help but wonder if repentance is not the critical step in establishing or correcting our relationship with God ... and with others. Saying all of the right words is an empty gesture if repentance from the heart has not changed the course of ones life. Seeking forgiveness while refusing to release the past cannot bring the forgiveness sought or the peace forgiveness promises. What can we say of sound doctrine about repentance?
I. THE REPENTANCE OF JUDAS
A. Note Mt 27:3-5
1. all sorts of speculation has been written about what Judas intended by his betrayal of Christ
2. but this is certain ... Judas betrayed the innocent blood... - and knew it
B. Scripture says that he...repented himself
1. what happened? did Judas change? no!!
2. he hanged himself - remorse, but no change of life (not NT repentance)
II. CONSIDER 2 COR 7:9-11
A. To be sorry is not all there is to repentance
1. it seems that Judas was sorry for what he had done
2. but gloom, despair, remorse, regret are not the nature of repentance
B. There was sorrow to repentance
1. there is a specific note made here of the direction of their sorrow
2. it was not sorrow toward themselves
3. it was sorrow toward God - ..godly sorrow..
4. consider Ps 51:3,4 - the psalmist had broken Gods heart!
C. Their repentance resulted in changed behavior!
1. ..what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves..
2. v. 11 is filled with the power of repentance - true repentance - in peoples lives
3. note Ps 119:59 - here is the aim and nature of true repentance
4. this is the facet of penitence which may not have made its impact on us
D. And true repentance brings permanent change
1. ..not to be repented of..
2. repentance which leads to change toward God is not to be regretted!
3. yes, there are so many momentary changes in peoples behavior ... but if the behavior needed to be modified in keeping with Gods pattern, it needed to be more than a momentary thing
4. Jno 5:14 & 8:11 - ..sin no more.. - Jesus sought permanent change!
III. REPENTANCE: A GREAT NEW TESTAMENT MESSAGE
A. John the Baptist preached this subject
1. Mt 3:2 - Repent ye..
2. apparently, however, many people who heard him only gave lip service to his message as far as their lives were concerned
3. so, Mt 3:8 - he knew that true repentance require the fruits of repentance
4. if there is no change of life, there has been no penitence!
B. Jesus certainly proclaimed the necessity of penitence
1. Lk 13:1-5 - perish is a very strong word - but He used it
2. Jesus did not come so that people could listen, give some sort of half hearted lip service to Him and go on living as they had always lived
3. He came to change peoples lives - and that change required repentance
4. Lk 24:46,47 - this potent message is vital to the world wide commission
C. Were the apostles true to the message?
1. Acts 2:37,38 - preaching Christ had resulted belief and in godly sorrow ... what should they do? repent and be baptized
2. change their hearts toward God and be cleansed in the obedience of baptism
3. Acts 20:21 - and this message continued
4. Acts 26:20 - note that here, again, is the do works meet for repentance - and this word do is critical here ... it means to practice habitually!
CLOSE: Is there a need for a change in you? A change in your relationship with God? Change your heart ... change your life ... change your destiny. Will you give heed to the testimonies of God and turn your life to Him this morning?
Cecil A. Hutson
29 June 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)