Repentance and Faith

(REPENT!)

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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 ...," Hebrews 6'1-3.

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“... repentance toward God,"

Acts 20'21.

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One thing about repentance from dead works and faith towards God is that they are joined together. In practise they are one two-fold principle that is intertwined.

They form the experience of everyone who has ever received Christ after hearing the Good News.

Having said that, beside them the greatest things involved in a sinner receiving the Lord is the mercy of God and the grace of God. They make repentance and faith available in the first place.

They form a mercy-grace relationship which enables sinners to repent, believe and be saved.

Titus 3'5 says that it's "according to His mercy He saved us" and Ephesians 2'8 says: "For by grace you have been saved".

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This was emphasised when Jews heard that Gentiles had received the Good News (Acts 10 and 11). At the end of considering this unexpected phenomena, Acts 11'1 says:

"Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God".

Peter had preached to Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his household, so he had to explain what had happened to them. Which he did.

"When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, 'Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life'," Acts 11'18.

Repentance was granted. God's mercy-and-grace gift of repentance and faith is offered to all who hear will hear the word of Christ.

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The call is: "repent!". On the Day of Pentecost all those who had gathered for the Feast heard it from Peter:

"Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?'

Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call'," Acts 2'37-39.


"CHANGE YOUR MIND!"

Repent means "change of mind", according to Strong's NT Concordance rendering of the Greek word metanoea.

In this case it is a change of mind about one's own self in relationship to God.

It's about unbelievers realising their separation from Him by the Holy Spirit convicting them of sin.

Jesus said that the Spirit will ...

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

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It is about mindset or worldview. Repenting is the act of a change mind about a worldview and the intention to take up a new mindset: the way of Christ.

The evidence of that change is a desire to live according to the new-found heavenly Father's will.

Like Paul who asked, “Lord, what do You want me to do?,” Acts 9'6.


"BE CONVERTED"

Peter called his listeners to: “Repent ... and be converted," Acts 3'19. So what is conversion? According to Strong's Concordance the Greek word for "converted" means to be "turned about".

Conversion is the action aspect of repentance. It's the daily expression of the change of mind by changes in lifestyle.

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

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Repentance is very powerful in a Believer's life if the enemy should get a foothold and cause a lot of trouble and stress.

Whatever the reason is, a decisive change of mind in Jesus' name will bring about complete spiritual freedom.

When a person repents in Jesus' name it puts a stop to the workings of Satan and makes that person able to receive from the Holy Spirit.

By asking the Father for forgiveness and repenting and re-establishing oneself in Jesus name the enemy's deceitful power will be broken.

Satan has to yield to the power of God's word. (See Deliverance on the Menu).

Α-Ω

Prayer: Dear Father. Thank you for your powerful gift of repentance and 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

(FAITH TOWARD GOD)

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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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For many in what is generally called "Christianity", salvation is an uncertain thing. But not so with the Word of God. Jesus proclaims salvation and eternal life, and life in the Kingdom today.

Romans 10'8-10 says:

"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".

As has been said, God's mercy and grace are very evident in all things. But especially when He takes us from sinner to saint in our personal salvation experience.

One scripture immediately comes to mind:

"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.

And another is:

"... 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.

They are great verses to let dwell in your heart.


FAITH TO FAITH

In their repentance-conversion-faith encounter with God new Believers are given this marvellous understanding:

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

Paul's understanding was such that he put it out 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 that an unbeliever can be extracted from a life of ardent unbelief and disbelief into a lifestyle of worshipful faith toward God.

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

As they "walk" Believers can rejoice in this:

"... 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.


A BELIEVER'S ANCESTRY

Hebrews chapter 11 reveals that Believers today have had faith forebears down through the ages. An ancestry of men and women who believed God.

Just listen to one of them:

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19'25-27.

They found grace because they believed. Those who walk 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 Abraham stands out. 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.

Of course, righteousness was accounted to those who believed in earlier times too. But Paul points back to Abraham's example because he was the one who would produce the Seed:

"... what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness'," Romans 4'3.

Hearing and believing is still the faith disposition of Christ's people. As Romans 10'9 says, "with the heart one believes ...".

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

Over the centuries many have been taught that serving God is been about observing their "church" traditions and keeping religious occasions. It results in constant striving towards eventual acceptance. 

But serving in the New Covenant Kingdom is not about observing 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".

Jesus' people serve Him. That means serving Him with actions that are right before God and consequently pleasing to Him. And it means doing them with the peace and with the joy of the Lord. (See Kingdom of God Today on the Menu.)

It is possible to serve Jesus in everyday things when they are done in faith.

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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.