The Gospel Implications of Repentance
It's probably been this way since time began. There seems to be an ever-widening gap amongst professing Christians on what is right and what is wrong. Utilizing the same inerrant, inspired, infallible Scriptures, people (even those in the same local church) come to drastically different conclusions on what is allowable. Maybe it's a generational thing. I've been told more than once that my now over-50 sensibilities are a bit, shall we say, old-fashioned? Or at least tinged with some carryover legalism. I'd be the first to admit I'm more bent away from licentiousness. My drug of choice is to make sure we stay within the boundaries rather than push them.
At the same time all true believers are in dwelt by the same Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would lead us into all the truth and convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The same Spirit we are instructed not to grieve. The one that seals us for the day of redemption.
Into this mix comes a tricky little thing called repentance. Some seem to be allergic to it. Others are so dialed in they make us feel guilty. Both the seemingly hard-hearted and the refreshingly tender-hearted are expected to display its fruit.
Repentance, we are told, is not optional. It's expected from those identifying as belonging with Christ (Acts 20:21). It is a gift of God granted by God. It is also a distinguishing mark of all true believers. We receive it and we are to do it. Kind of puzzling I know. Repentance is a U-turn towards God and away from sin. It is a change of mind about God, ourselves and our sin. It is a gift we can't give ourselves. God grants it and we run with it depending on God every step of the way. Remember, apart from Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5).
What are the Gospel Implications of Repentance?
1. If it's absent from your life your soul is in jeopardy. It's a sign of life. Jesus wills it for you (2 Peter 3:9).
2. It's a good thing not a bad thing. It restores life. Like choosing to refinish that old antique instead of chucking it. Jesus enables and expects you to do it. (Rev. 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:3, 19)
3. It's never too late for the breathing to repent. Beating heart? Hope for you. It leads to life (Acts 11:18). There is a way that seems right to a man but it leads to death (Prov. 14:12, 16:25). There is the way of God which is a pathway to life. Jesus leads you to it (Rom. 2:4).
The gospel of the grace of God in Christ is drenched in mercifully provided repentance that not only restores vitality of faith but health in Christ's body the Church. It is something for which we must pray and rejoice when it comes. It is needed like air, on a moment by moment basis. For the flourishing of Christ's Bride and for the nations to be made glad in God (Acts 5:31; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).
All praise to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, for God's glory alone. Jesus loves you!