Text:. Mathew 3:1-10
1. To help us understand the meaning of repentance
2. To teach us the importance of repentance
3. To show to us that repentance is necessary for salvation.
Repentance simply means a change of mind. It is regretting sin and turning away from it. Repentance is recognizing what you have thought in the past as wrong and choosing to think right henceforth.
While in the world there is a particular way you used to think and act. Now that you hear the Gospel and repents of your sins you don’t just regret your past (have godly sorrow) but also resolve to never live the same way you used to live in the past.
WHAT TRUE REPENTANCE CONSISTS OF
True repentance consists of believing the truth, having godly sorrow, a change of mind and a change of actions.
Hearing the Gospel makes you to believe the Word, which then produces faith.
Godly sorrow: Realizing your sins produces sorrow – godly sorrow – which leads to true repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
A Change of mind: Godly sorrow leads to a change of mind, which is repentance. During repentance you change your mind from what you already believed to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
IS REPENTANCE WORK?
Repentance is not work because we do not work for salvation. Repentance is a response to the offer of the free gift of salvation (eternal life). It is not different from stretching your hands to receive a free give that is being presented to you. You cannot say that you worked for it because you simply stretched your hands to collect it.
The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8; Acts 3:19).
Salvation results in works because faith without work is dead (James 2:26):
“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, AND DO WORKS MEET FOR REPENTANCE.” (Acts 26:20).
Until one bears the fruit of repentance, repentance is not complete.
WHY REPENTANCE IS NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
Receiving salvation is more than receiving forgiveness of sins and being declared righteous. It also involves the total work of the Holy Spirit of giving birth to us so that we can become true children of God.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Repentance is a change of mind from rejecting God to receiving Him. Receiving Him is granting Him the legal right to transform us into His likeness. Repentance is also submitting ourselves to Him that has the power to make us God’s children.
John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Salvation is deliverance from eternal death. Deliverance from eternal death is also deliverance from the power of sin. When you repent you have a change of mind. This change of mind moves you to forsake your life of sin and live in the light.
Those who are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God must renounce the devil and his works, and also agree to live by the commandments of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ says:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21).
The repentant sinner who just received the truth must take a step of faith and resolve keep God’s commandments. If a sinner is boastful and prideful of his sinfulness God cannot accept him into His Kingdom.
Repentance is very necessary for salvation. True repentance is having a change of mind about your sin, that you will no longer toy with it; it is something to be forsaken as we “flee from the coming wrath” (Matthew 3:7). It is also changing your mind about Jesus Christ—no longer is He to be mocked, discounted, or ignored; He is the Savior to be clung to; He is the Lord to be worshiped and adored.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. What is repentance? Luke 19:5-10
2. Why is repentance necessary for salvation? John 3:3
3. Should one who claims to be saved live in sin? Discuss.
Just as it is difficult to change someone that is not ready to change, so also it is for God to change a sinner that is unwilling to repent. Jesus knocks daily on the door of the hearts of unbelievers, but He does not break in by force. He relies on our permission to allow Him into our hearts (Rev. 3:20). Repentance is opening for Him to come in to give you the free gift of salvation.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”