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Sunday, June 28, 2015 pm                                Perfection Index

 

GOING ON TO PERFECTION (22)
The Christian and Sin (4)
Forgiveness and Repentance

 

As we continue our study of the Christian and sin, today we want to address the subject of forgiveness and repentance.

 I.                    Forgiveness

a.        Why we need forgiveness – last week in dealing with sin, we noted the first step is receiving forgiveness.   Why?

                                                   i.      Because sin is about our relationship with God.  When one sins, he is separated from God (Isaiah 59:2).  Genesis 3:17 – the sin of Adam and Eve resulted in death.  Gen. 3:24 tells us they were driven out of the garden.
Genesis 39:9 – Joseph said, “How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”
Psalm 51:4, David said to the LORD as he asks for forgiveness for his sins, “against You and You only have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight.”

                                                  ii.      If we do not take care of our sins, we face eternal condemnation. 
Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is death. 
2 Thess. 1:8-9 – vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel.
Even as Christians, we can sin so as to be lost – (1 John 5:16-17, 2 Peter 2:20-22, etc.)

                                                iii.      There are also other factors such as the consequences of specific sins need to be taken care of – sometimes sins affect our relationship with others, they can affect our feelings about ourselves (self-respect, guilt, as well as loss of joy and hope, etc.).

b.       What God has done – He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him - John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:1-9, etc.
He provides the way out of eternal death – Rom. 6:23 – the gift of God is eternal life
His word gives direction that can restore broken and damaged relationships, our guilt and self-respect, and hopelessness, etc.

c.        What we must do

                                                   i.      In summary we have to obey Him!  Heb. 5:9, 1 Peter 1:22 (purified your souls in obeying the truth); Romans 6:17, (having obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine…)

                                                  ii.      Forgiveness involves coming in contact with His blood – Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14.

                                                iii.      Obeying the gospel means through faith we repent of our sins, confess Jesus as Lord and Christ (Matt. 10:32, Rom. 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) for the remission of our sins (Acts 22:16, 2:38, 1 Peter 3:20-21)

                                                iv.      As a child of God we need to repent of our sins (Acts 8:22, 2 Cor. 7:9-11), confess and pray (1 John 1:9) to God for forgiveness.

d.       God’s forgiveness and our forgiveness – a point of emphasis in scripture is that God’s forgiveness of us is contingent upon our forgiveness of others.  This is emphatically emphasized! 
Matt. 6:14-15 – the only part of the model prayer of Jesus that He emphasized (“forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”, vs. 12)
Ephesians 4:32, forgive, even as God forgave you.
James 2:13, judgment is without mercy to him who shows no mercy.
The depth of our forgiveness of others is seen in the teachings of Jesus – Matt. 18:21-22 (70x7), etc.

 II.                  Repentance

a.        In addressing sin it is imperative that we understand repentance.  There is misunderstanding as to what true repentance actually is and its need in dealing with sins.   I am convinced that one reason many fall away from the truth is because of their failure to understand repentance.   Many obey the gospel without fully understanding the need to change their lives.  It is simply not emphasized.
BUT, as we have already seen, forgiveness requires repentance – whether it be one first obeying the gospel, or a child of God seeking forgiveness for his sins.

b.       What is repentance?

                                                   i.      It is NOT – 1) simply saying, “I’m sorry”; 2) simply ceasing to engage in some behavior (your motives may be different); 3) remorse for doing wrong; 4) confession of sins (both total and conditional); 5) being convicted that you have done wrong.  While true repentance might involve each of these, they can be accomplished without being repentant!

                                                  ii.      Defined in English dictionaries as contrition or regret for past wrongs (some address how generally it involves a commitment to change). 
Dictionary.com (Random House) defines the word as, “deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for past sin, wrongdoing or the like. 2. Regret for past action.”[1]
I mention these because they show what people THINK repentance means.  Our purpose here is to understand the word from a Biblical standpoint.

                                                iii.      The Greek word in the Bible for repentance means “a change of mind” (BDAG).  Repentance is the change of mind that results in a transformed life.   It is a change that must begin in the heart – a deep seated and properly motivated resolve to correct sinful practices in our lives.

c.        We need repentance

                                                   i.      Both John and Jesus taught, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2, 4:17)

                                                  ii.      Jesus came to call sinners to repentance (Matt. 9:13).  He said on another occasion there is more joy in heaven over 1 sinner who repents than 99 sinners that need no repentance (Luke 15:7)

                                                iii.      It is necessary to become a Christian – Acts 2:38, 3:19, 17:30-31

                                                iv.      It is necessary for Christians to take care of their sins – Acts 8:22

                                                  v.      Luke 13:3, 5 – He said, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

                                                vi.      To 5 of the 7 churches of Asia that had sinful problems, they were told to repent (Rev. 2:5, 16, 21-22, 3:3, 3:19)

                                               vii.      Finally, we are reminded in 2 Peter 3:9 that God is longsuffering because He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

d.       Fruit worthy of repentance

                                                   i.      Matt. 3:8, John the Baptist taught his audience they needed to “bear fruit worthy of repentance.”  John was teaching that our lives need to be changed, and that would be evident by our conduct.

                                                  ii.      The message of the Bible is one of changed lives.  We find instructions of what to do and what to stop doing.  Every command from God that is being disobeyed calls for repentance, even when the word is not being used.

                                                iii.      The process of repentance begins when one realizes a need for change.
Luke 15:17 – when the prodigal son “came to himself” the process of repentance began.
Paul on the road to Damascus realized his need to change and began the process that would lead to his repentance and obedience of the gospel (Acts 9:6, cf. 22:16)
David, by the time he is exposed by Nathan the prophet for his sin with Bathsheba, begins the process of repentance.  His genuine remorse and correction is demonstrated in Psalm 51, etc. 

                                                iv.      2 Corinthians 7:10-11 a passage that describes the result of true repentance.   There are several qualities that show one is making every effort to prove himself clear in the matter of sinful conduct.

1.       Diligence – great effort

2.       Clearing of yourself – doing what you can to right your wrongs (sometimes you cannot completely right everything you have done, but you do all that you can)

3.       Indignation – despising your former sinful conduct

4.       Fear  - realization of what you faced if you had not repented

5.       Vehement (strong) desire – craving to be right

6.       Zeal – the fervor with which you work in the matter

7.       Vindication – proving that you have change.

8.       In all things you proved yourself clear in this matter.

 

In dealing with sin, we have to repent, and pursue God’s forgiveness with great fervor.  It is crucial that we understand this and seek to apply it if we are to go on to maturity as God desires.  Having repented and been forgiven, then let us live for Him applying some of the things we have learned this month.  What about you?  Are you going on to perfection?



[1] "repentance." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 26 Jun. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/repentance>.