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Chapter 16


To whom is repentance to be preached?
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47.

Who are called to repentance?
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32.

How is one o know he is a sinner?
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20.

Is this a universal rule?
"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin." Romans 3:9.

To what is the transgressor of the law subject?
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Ephesians 5:6.

What is it that awakens the soul to a knowledge of its condition before the law?
"And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" John 16:8.

What will be the inquiry of those who are thus convicted?
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37.

What reply should be returned to this inquiry?
"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 2:38.
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31.

How will the convicted sinner be constrained to act?
"For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Psalms 38:18.

What will godly sorrow work?
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Corinthians 7:10.
NOTE: Repentance is the effect of godly sorrow, not the cause.

What will any other kind of sorrow do?
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Corinthians 7:10.
NOTE: The sorrow of the world is the result of carnal considerations, and the sinner regrets more that the sin is exposed, than that the evil was committed.

What does true repentance involve?
"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 18:31.

After repentance, how should one live?
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1, 2.

Whose servant is he that committeth sin?
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John 3:8.

How does God regard the truly penitent?
"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Isaiah 66:2.

What promise is made to those who confess their sins?
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
NOTE: Every known sin must be confessed to Christ, in order to secure the blessing of a full salvation.

By what are we cleansed from sin?
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

Toward whom are we to repent?
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21.

Toward whom must we exercise faith?
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21.
NOTE: Repentance should be exercised "toward God," because men have sinned against God by transgressing His holy law (1 John 3:4; 7:7-12). Faith should be exercised "toward our Lord Jesus Christ," because it is to that divine and ever-blessed Being that the sinner should look for salvation (Acts 4:12).

It is when the sinner, with the eye of faith, views Jesus, through infinite love, and at an infinite sacrifice, opening up for him the way of salvation, that his heart is touched with the thought of how criminal a thing sin is, and that (if he yields to the strivings and entreaties of the Holy Spirit, exercising faith in the crucified) he is enabled to repent of his sins, and to apply to himself the merits of "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Man needs grace and power superhuman and divine to repent unto salvation. And how is this grace and this power secured? By faith in Him who says, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 10:5). Saving faith must therefore be exercised in true repentance. Indeed, it is through saving faith that genuine repentance is effected. Consequently when the Holy Spirit, by means of the conjunction "and" adds "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" to "repentance toward God," we are not to understand that men must wait until they have repented before exercising saving faith in Christ, never to be converted, and to be lost at last.

If we keep faith ahead and in lively exercise, whe shall know by blessed experience what are genuine repentance and genuine conversion, and shall "bring forth fruits meet for repentance" (Matt. 3:8); but if we shut ourselves up to our own efforts and to our own works, faith, repentance, and conversion will be lacking, and instead of bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, we shall bring forth fruits from a heart that has not received the touch and mold of converting grace -- fruits that will bear the marks of rebellion against God, and against His righteous ways. While it is true that those who do not repent of their sins cannot, scripturally, expect to be saved by faith in Christ, it is also true that it is by the same faith by which men repent that they claim and receive pardon, deliverance from sin, justification, the spirit of adoption, and cherish the hope of final salvation.

How will one show that he has truly repented?
"Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: [margin, answerable to amendment of life]." Matthew 3:8.

Copyright © 1988 Research Institute for Better Reading, Inc., used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 07/14/02 Updated: 12/14/04