Bible Truths – Biblical Repentance

Repentance in Biblical terms is not what most people think it means. Most think it means only to try to stop sinning and ask God for forgiveness and then feel guilty, sorrowful, regret and condemning ourselves. First of all the only one to ever not sin was Jesus Christ. So to stop sinning is impossible without excepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Second, God knew we cannot obey the Law so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take the punishment for our sins on the cross. Third, He then sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to guide us away from sin. Now the only way to biblical repentance is to believe and accept that Jesus Christ is Lord and savior.

Hello, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences and Bible Truths. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

Bible Truths is a tool to explain in both English and Thai ( in video) Languages the Truth in what is available to the believer in Christ Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God the Father. We will talk about real daily situations we all face that can lead to bondage in our lives and how to escape and enjoy true Freedom.

The video lessons are in English and Thai by Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand. Pastor Nathan Gonmei will speak a sentence in English then his wife Pastor Salila will say the sentence in Thai. Now this is a spirit filled church. This is the church I belong to today.

Here we will use scripture to show the true meaning of Repentance.

Mark 1:15,NIV: “The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”

Mark’s first direct quote of Jesus is the announcement that God’s kingdom has arrived. The gospel message includes a sense of urgency, especially with Jesus live and in-person among those He taught. They are no longer to look forward to a future fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies; Jesus is now on the scene fulfilling God’s words among God’s people (Galatians 4:4). Scholars number hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming of Israel’s savior. Despite this, the Jews had a very inaccurate idea of what the Kingdom of God was and what the Messiah would do for them. They believed the Messiah would lead them into political independence, civil peace, and personal prosperity. Instead of a military champion, Jesus came as meek as a lamb (John 1:29), not to remove the barrier between the Jews and prosperity, but to remove the barrier between all of humanity and God Himself.

John the Baptist’s message was to repent and believe that salvation was coming. Jesus’ message is to repent and believe in the salvation that is now here. To repent, from the Greek metanoeo, is to change one’s mind and agree that one’s sins are abhorrent. It is not only remorse for sin but also a changed attitude that chooses to live for God. To believe, from the Greek pisteuo, means to be fully convinced. To “believe” and to “repent” go hand in hand. It is impossible to fully believe in Jesus’ message of salvation and not turn away from our sins (1 John 3:4–6). Christians will never be perfect on this earth, but our inclination to live a sinful life changes into a desire to live for God.

Psalm 103:10, NIV: “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

This verse contains a strong admission of Israel’s sin and guilt as well as a tribute to God’s forgiveness. If God punished every sinner as that sinner deserves to be punished, no sinner would be allowed to enter heaven. Even worse, the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Humanity getting what we deserve would mean every single one of us being separated from God, forever.

The Old Testament prophet Ezra understood that God does not punish us to the extent we deserve. He said, “And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved” (Ezra 9:13). Contrary to punishing us as we deserve, God loved us and gave His Son for us (John 3:16–17).

Jesus took the full punishment for our sins by dying in our place on the cross. Romans 5:6 announces: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:8 says “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Those who accept this are saved (John 3:16–18), but those who reject it are not (John 3:36).

Romans 8:11, NIV: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

No matter what you are going through in life, you can be confident in the Lord because he has made you sweet and precious promises through his word. As Christians it is important to understand the spiritual truths of God. What he says about you, what he has provided you, how he loves you… so you can understand what is yours by birthright in God’s family through Jesus Christ. Did you know that you are so much more than flesh and blood if the Spirit of God lives inside of you? Your natural existence is secondary to your spiritual existence. Jesus said in John, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” ( John 6:63 ).The spirit inside of you is life, understanding how this operates will give you the victory that Christ purchased for you.

Paul wrote that Christians are spiritually alive, because of God’s Spirit with us, but that our physical bodies are dying and will die because of sin (Romans 5:12).

Now, though, Paul assures his Christian readers that their physical bodies will be resurrected, as Christ’s was (1 Thessalonians 4:16). More specifically, he says that “if”—which in this context means “since”—God’s Spirit is in you, that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies (1 John 3:2).

Paul is clear: Resurrection is a work of the Holy Spirit of God. That’s one of the things He does. He raised Jesus from the dead, and He will do the same for all who are in Christ when the time comes. This continues the theme from this passage: that those who are saved, in Christ, are absolutely and totally free from any threat of condemnation. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love.

Our mortal bodies are simply a tent in which to house our immortal spirit and eternal soul, and as part of the old creation in Adam, they remain subject to death because of the sin of Adam. But the glorious truth in this verse is that we have hope in Christ – for the same Spirit which raised Him from the dead will also raise us up – spirit, soul, and body. We are a new creation in Christ, such that His death becomes our death and His Resurrection becomes our resurrection – for we are united with Him eternally, and have become one in Spirit with Him.

Jeremiah 29:11, ESV: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

When understood in context, we discover that the words of Jeremiah 29:11 were spoken to people in the midst of hardship and suffering; people who were likely desiring an immediate rescue. But God’s response is not to provide immediate escape from the difficult situation. Rather, God promises that He has a plan to prosper them in the midst of their current situation.

Christians facing difficult situations today can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 knowing that it is not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship or suffering, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, He can work through it to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. Furthermore, Christians can take comfort in knowing that God promises to be there for us in these situations. For in the verses immediately following Jeremiah 29:11, God proclaims through Jeremiah that when you “call on me and come and pray to me… I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 19:12-13).

The Lord desires the best for His children even though we may stray far from Him. His plan for His children is to give us a future and a hope. He knows that only as we sever our reliance on the world’s destructive securities and rest our trust entirely on Christ Jesus our Lord, will we break free from the yoke of this world’s slavery.

Romans 12:2, NIV: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Paul is urging Christians to respond to God’s mercy, His forgiveness of our sin, and His inclusion of us in His family. The appropriate reaction would be offering to Him our entire lives as a form of living, breathing sacrifice.

Next, Paul writes that we must no longer be conformed to the world. The word “world” is often used in the New Testament to refer to the “world system,” or the way that every human being lives by default. John described this worldly way of living as “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” (1 John 2:16). By instinct, all of us chase those things in pursuit of happiness and meaning.

Paul tells us to abandon the chase for pleasure, possessions, and status—to stop living like everyone else. Instead, he urges us to be transformed from the inside out. Specifically, he writes that we must be changed in how we think, to have our minds renewed so that we can begin to understand God’s will for our lives.

God may continue to provide us with pleasure, possessions, and status in various forms, but he urges us to learn how to look at life with a new question: What does God want for me? What is truly a good, acceptable, and perfect use of my life for His purposes and not just for my own?

”How should we respond to God’s great mercy to us?” The answer is to become living, breathing sacrifices, using our lives up in service to God as an ongoing act of worship. That’s what makes sense. This is not a means to earn salvation, but the natural response we should have to being saved. To do this, we will need to break free from the me-first pattern of the world and have our minds changed in order to be able understand what God wants. Then we will know how to live.

James 2:17, NIV: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

The teaching of Christianity was revolutionary, and it still is. The emphasis of the gospel is on grace, through faith, and not by the good deeds—works—which we do. Instead of demanding sinless perfection and sacrifice, or some subjective judgment, God was offering forgiveness of sins and an eternal home with Him for all who believe in Christ. That leads to an all-important question: “What does it mean to have a saving belief in Christ?” This is the issue James is tackling in this part of Scripture.

Reading James in context with the rest of the New Testament helps us to answer that question. In this particular case, James is making a crucial point about the gospel: simple mental agreement is not enough. “Knowledge” is not “trust.” Salvation does not come when a person agrees to the facts of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Accepting Christ is not like agreeing that the city of Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska. Such a “belief” requires no response, no action. In verses 15 and 16, James also pointed out that merely claiming something does not make the claim true. A person who says “I believe,” but does nothing to support such a belief, does not actually believe what they have claimed.

James makes clear that saving faith in Christ is active and transformative. Salvation is about placing our trust in Christ; this necessarily transforms us in such a way that we begin to make new and different choices. Living faith in Christ changes the direction of a person’s life. It always results in the believer beginning to participate in good works. Where there are no works, there is only a dead “words only” faith—the kind James refers to in the first part of verse 14.

It’s important to note here what James is not saying. He is not in any sense claiming that salvation requires good works. He’s not talking about following the law or being perfectly sinless. He’s talking about doing good works that are consistent with loving other Christians and obeying the Father. That’s what those who trust in Christ begin to do.

In other words, we are saved only by faith, and this faith which saves will produce good works. According to James, those who lack works are not saved—not because they lack works, but because their lack of works proves that they lack saving faith.

Romans 6:13, NIV: “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”

We have not, however, lost our desire to sin. We still want to sin, at times, even knowing how destructive our sin is. Paul has commanded us not to volunteer to sin, not to let it take control of our bodies. Now he puts an even finer point on his command. We must not present our members, any part of our bodies, for sin to use to do unrighteous things.

Notice something about that command: It insists that we have control over what we do with our own bodies. Christ’s death and the power of God’s spirit gives us that control. Those who are saved can only sin by choosing to do so.

Instead, Paul writes, we must present our bodies to God to be used for righteousness. In fact, we should do it on purpose like people who have been brought from death to life. How do we do that? We start by continually reminding ourselves that we have actually and genuinely been brought from death to life. That is who we are now, and that’s the life we are destined to lead.

Paul has made abundantly clear that those of us in Christ must engage in a kind of battle with ourselves. We have been freed, through our spiritual death and resurrection with Christ, from the power of sin. Our old self has been crucified spiritually in the same way that Christ was crucified spiritually. The result is that sin no longer has any authority over us. We have been set free.

2 Timothy 1:9, NIV: “He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

In this verse, Paul transitions from the idea of suffering for the sake of gospel to the holy life to which Christians are called. Both Paul and Timothy had been saved and were given a calling to serve others in ministry. Salvation is not on the basis of great deeds, but only by the power of God (Ephesians 2:8–9). The same is true of a calling to serve others in ministry: it’s not the result of our own efforts. It is God’s purpose and grace which can be found behind the calling of every person who serves in ministry.

The last phrase in this verse speaks deeply regarding the sovereignty of God. The calling believers have to salvation and ministry has existed since before time began. This amazing truth should humble every believer, including the greatest ministry leaders. We should all recognize that our work is not based on our performance or gifts, but on the divine calling of God.

1 Timothy 1:15, NIV: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”

Paul continues his testimony, which began in verse 12. Here he uses a phrase unique to the Pastoral Epistles—1 and 2 Timothy and Titus—and used five times by Paul: “the saying is trustworthy.” He will also use the phrase in 1 Timothy 3:1 and 4:9, as well as 2 Timothy 2:11 and Titus 3:8. Each time, the phrase emphasizes a particular point or quote Paul wants Timothy or Titus to remember.

In this verse, the statement to remember is, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” This quote may have become well known within the early churches after Paul wrote this letter. Other scholars see Paul using an existing statement to reinforce his point. As Paul matured in his faith, his writings reflected a man who transitioned from proud, to a new believer, to a mature believer who saw himself in complete need of God’s grace. Like David, Paul saw himself as sinful from his mother’s womb (Psalm 51:5).

Paul proves his spiritual humility. He recognizes that his own sins were severe (Acts 8:1-3, Acts 22:4Acts 22:19; 26:10–11) and that he can only credit the grace of God for saving him. Paul’s change of life wasn’t due to his own efforts, but was the result of Christ’s miraculous work.

Galatians 1:23, NIV: “They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’”

Paul is making the case for why the Judaizers are wrong that he learned about Christ from the apostles. He has shown he wasn’t really even around the apostles for the first several years of his ministry.

In fact, he was gone from Jerusalem and Judea for so long that the Christians in that region only knew him by his two wildly different reputations: Paul—then called Saul—was originally a Pharisee who vehemently persecuted and tried to destroy the church back when he was in Jerusalem. Those who knew of his exploits would have been shocked to hear that the same man was reported to be out in Syria and Cilicia preaching that people could be saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ!

In fact, Paul learned about the gospel of God’s grace through Jesus from Jesus Himself. He was, truthfully, an apostle, and he wanted his Galatian readers to know they could trust his message about Jesus.

Galatians 1:24, NIV: “And they praised God because of me.”

Paul has just described how he had been known by the Christians in Jerusalem and Judea more by reputation than in person. The church in that region heard the stories of his radical transformation. Back when he was a Pharisee in Jerusalem, he had led the effort to destroy the church of God by chasing down and arresting Christians and even advocating for their execution. Every believer who knew of Paul—then called Saul—likely feared him for that reason.

Then suddenly, this persecutor was gone from the scene. As Paul has described, after God revealed to him the Son (Acts 9:1–22), and had commissioned him to preach to the Gentiles, Paul had gone off by himself for three years and then off to Syria and Cilicia to preach the gospel. Eventually, the Judean Christians heard about this Paul, as well. He now told people how to have their sins forgiven by God’s grace through faith in Christ.

How did the Christians in and around Jerusalem respond to the reported change? Paul reports that they praised or glorified God because of him. As his letters often express, bringing praise and glory to God is one of the ultimate goals of his life.

Paul is telling us through his testimony that anyone who repents can enjoy a rich life changing experiences because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Your sins are washed away forever if you just receive Him in your heart and believe. Then through His Grace you will enjoy a rich rewarding experiences now and forever.

Created by Randy Gaudet with contribution from Abundant Grace Church, Chiang Mai Thailand

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