Matthew 3:1-3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, (2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (3) For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
3:2 REPENT. The basic meaning of repentance (Gk. metanoeo) is 'to turn around.' It is a turning from evil ways and a turning to Christ, and through Him to God —
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
1Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
(1) The decision to turn from sin and to salvation in Christ involves accepting Christ not only as Savior from the penalty of sin, but also as Lord of one's life. Thus, repentance involves a change of lords —
a. from the lordship of Satan — Eph. 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
b. to the Lordship of Christ and His Word – Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
(2) Repentance is a free decision on the part of the sinner, made possible by the enabling grace given to him as he hears and believes the gospel — Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
(3) The definition of saving faith as mere 'trust' in Christ as Savior is wholly inadequate in the light of Christ's demand for repentance.
(4) To define saving faith in a way which does not necessarily involve a radical break with sin is to dangerously distort the Biblical view of redemption. Faith which includes repentance is ever a condition for salvation — (Acts 11:21).
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Acts 2:38 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.
Acts 3:19 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;
(5) Repentance was a basic message in the preaching of —
a. 0.T. prophets — Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
b. John the Baptist — (Mat. 3:2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
c. Jesus Christ —
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 18:3 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.
Luke 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
d. N.T. Christians — Acts 2:38; 8:22; 11:18; 2Pet. 3:9 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.
(6) The preaching of repentance must always accompany the gospel message — Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
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