Repentance and Faith

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Repentance

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"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ,

let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation

of repentance from dead works

and of faith toward God,

of the teaching of immersions,

of laying on of hands,

of resurrection of the dead

and of eternal judgment.

And this we will do if God permits," Hebrews 6'1-3.

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“...
repentance toward God,"

Acts 20'21.

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The first thing to notice about these first two elementary principles of Repentance from Dead Works and Faith towards God is that they are linked together.

This pattern follows Jesus' proclamation: "Repent and believe in the good news," Mark 1'14-15.

During His time the Kingdom of God was at hand, today it's here. And His two-fold call is the same.

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When considering the things of Christ and the Kingdom it has to be kept in mind that two things are always present: the mercy of God and the grace of God.

Their presence is shown right at the start of these principles in the interaction of repentance and faith. It is by His mercy and grace that the Holy Spirit enables unbelievers to repent by faith.

Acts 11'18 relates Peter telling the apostles and brethren in Judea what had happened when he preached Christ to the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his household.

"When they heard these things

they became silent; and they glorified God, saying,

'Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life'" .

This was a historical moment. The apostles and brethren realised from what Peter had reported, that Gentiles had been given exactly the same gift from God they had received.

The Holy Spirit's mercy-grace gift of repentance by faith is offered to all who will hear the word of Christ.


CHANGE YOUR MIND

A look at Strong's NT Concordance for Greek word for repent (metanoea) shows it means "to change one's mind". This is a fundamental change of mind about God and/or Jesus.

It's a directional change, away from and toward-to and it happens during the time in which the Holy Spirit is convicting an unbeliever of sin.

As Jesus said:

“... the Helper will ... convict the world of sin ... of sin, because they do not believe in Me," John 16'7-11.

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Every unbelieving adult has a mindset, a worldview. Repenting is an intentional change, away from looking at everything in one way toward-to looking at everything in a new way.

A prime example of a repentant person's change is wanting to do the will of the Lord. Saul's response was, “Lord, what do You want me to do?,” Acts 9'6.

This foundational act of repentance is done once only.


BE CONVERTED

Coupled with their change of mind an unbeliever is called to be converted. Repentance from an ungodly worldview to Christ's worldview is to be coupled with a 180-degree lifestyle turnaround.

According to Strong's Concordance the Greek word for "converted" means to be "turned about".

Peter called:

“Repent therefore and be converted," Acts 3'19.

A new Believer's repentance-faith-conversion lifestyle becomes evident in their godly words and actions.

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During the life of a Believer repentance in Jesus' name is very powerful. If the enemy somehow gets a foothold in a Believer's life, by whatever means, repentance can facilitate complete spiritual freedom.

If a Believer should sin, asking the Father for forgiveness and repenting will break the enemy's deceitful power. Satan has to yield to the power of God's word.

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Prayer: Dear God. Thank you for the Good News of Jesus Christ and your Kingdom.

Thank you, too, for your gift of repentance, forgiveness of sins and the power of the Holy Spirit to turn away from the old life and live anew.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

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Repentance and Faith

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Faith

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"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ,

let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation

of repentance from dead works

and of faith toward God,

of the teaching of immersions,

of laying on of hands,

of resurrection of the dead

and of eternal judgment.

And this we will do if God permits," Hebrews 6'1-3.

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"... your faith toward God,"

1 Thessalonians 1'8.

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The word of God proclaims the certainty of salvation by faith:

"The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," Romans 10'8-10.

During their momentous personal salvation experienc,e God's mercy and grace are very much available as the Holy Spirit's moves in the unbeliever's life:

"... not by works of righteousness which we have done,

but according to His mercy He saved us,

through the washing of regeneration

and renewing of the Holy Spirit," Titus 3'5.

And:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith,

and that not of yourselves;

it is the gift of God,

not of works,

lest anyone should boast," Ephesians 2'8-9.

These are great verses to learn off by heart.


FAITH TO FAITH

Through their repentance-faith encounter with God the new Believer is given a marvellous understanding:

"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God," Romans 8'16.  

Paul's remarkable encounter was the beginning of his Kingdom life of faith. His understanding of it and his disposition towards it is out there for all to hear:

"I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith," Romans 1'16-17.

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The miracle is, an unbeliever can be delivered from continual ardent unbelief-disbelief into a lifestyle of continual worshipful faith toward God.

Daily, Believers "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5'7) and this faith "comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God," Romans 10'17.

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"Therefore, having been justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom also we have access by faith into this grace

in which we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God,"

Romans 5'1-2.


PEOPLE OF FAITH

Hebrews chapter 11 reveals that Believers today have faith forefathers. They believed God even though their Redeemer was yet to come.

Those who walk and live by faith please God:

"... For by it the elders obtained a good testimony," Hebrews 11'1-2.

The lineage of these faith people goes right back to Abel. In that line one man stands out, Abraham. When he heard God's word something astounding happened:

"... he believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness," Genesis 15'6.

In Romans 4'3 Paul points back to Abraham's example:

"... what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness'".

Hearing and believing is still the disposition of faith people today. Remember Romans 10'9, "with the heart one believes unto righteousness? 

Romans 4'16 says:

"Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace,

so that the promise might be sure to all the seed,

not only to those who are of the law,

but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham,

who is the father of us all".

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"And if you are Christ’s,

then you are Abraham’s seed

and heirs according to the promise,"

Galatians 3'29.


KINGDOM FAITH LIVING

For the Father's sons and daughters joyous daily living is all about serving the Lord in Kingdom faith.

Over many centuries many have been taught that serving God is been about performing "church" traditions and religious deeds - striving towards eventual acceptance. 

But serving in the New Covenant Kingdom is not about men's traditions, or striving, or eventual acceptance.

Romans 14'17-18 17 says:

"... the kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
"... he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God".

Possessing Christ's His peace and joy, Believers can minister them where they are needed. It is possible to serve the Lord in everyday things by faith.

Knowing the word of Christ in the Holy Spirit we know our heavenly Father's will. His children can do things that are right before Him.

Kingdom righteousness means to serve Christ with acts of righteousness.

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Life is a new "walk". As 2 Corinthians 5'7 says: "... we walk by faith, not by sight".

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"... kept by the power of God through faith ..." 1 Peter 1'5.

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Prayer. Heavenly Father, thank you for all the wonderful things of Christ and the Kingdom and the strong foundation that the first principles of your oracles provide.

In Jesus' name. Amen.