Sermon No: 156523-True Repentance - Part 2



SERMON TOPIC: True Repentance - Part 2

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 15 May 2022

Topic Groups: REPENTANCE, SALVATION

Sermon synopsis: True repentance is a gift of God. Acts 5:31.
Repentance follows Godly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.
Humility accompanies true repentance. Job 42:1-6.
A hatred of sin accompanies true repentance. Ezekiel 36:26-31.
Shame accompanies true repentance. Jeremiah 31:19.
True repentance necessitates a verbal confession. Hosea 14:1-2.
True repentance leads to action. Acts 26:20
A Clear Understanding of the Gospel is needed for repentance.

The purpose of the Church.

People have all kinds of ideas about churches and why they should exist. If we were to survey people in churches and ask them, "What is the main purpose of the church, or why does the church exist?" we will get a number of answers. People start churches for all kinds of reasons that miss the biblical point.

Many would suggest, for example, that the purpose of the church is fellowship. It's a place to make friends, to provide activity for the family, to enjoy friendships, to enjoy spiritual activities together, recreation, cultivate relationships, to work together in families, and raising children, etc. And sort of hang out together until death or the rapture.

Characteristics of true repentance.

True repentance is a gift of God. Acts 5:31.

Repentance follows Godly sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.

Humility accompanies true repentance. Job 42:1-6.

A hatred of sin accompanies true repentance. Ezekiel 36:26-31.

 

Characteristics of true repentance.

Shame accompanies true repentance. Jeremiah 31:19.

True repentance necessitates a verbal confession. Hosea 14:1-2.

True repentance leads to action. Acts 26:20

A Clear Understanding of the Gospel is needed for repentance.

1.True repentance is a gift of God.

2 Timothy 2:24-26.

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

2. Repentance follows Godly sorrow.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10.

Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.

For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

The Heart of True Repentance.

It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes victory over some sin tarries because God desires to teach us how to truly repent of that sin.

God desires his people to know not only how-to walk-in holiness, but also to obey his command to rend our hearts when we fall short of his glory (Joel 2:13).

Yes, sin in our life is a problem, but so is a life where we haven’t learned how to truly repent of sin.

Torn Hearts

We’ve all probably seen a pastor illustrate the concept of repentance during a Sunday morning sermon. He walks across the stage on “the path of sin” and tells us that repenting is not merely stopping as we walk down the path but turning to walk back in the direction of God.

This is absolutely right; repentance involves both turning away from sin and turning back to the Father.

However, the illustration fails to provide the posture of our heart as we come back to God. This is no incidental point but gets to the very core of what true repentance is all about.

In Joel 2:12–13, the Lord calls to Israel, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.”

In the Old Testament, people commonly expressed great grief and anguish by tearing their cloaks.

But more than caring about the proper “signs” of being upset about their sin, God cared that they actually grieved over them in their hearts — grieved to the point of weeping and mourning.

In his famous psalm of repentance, David reminds us that God does not delight so much in the outward signs of repentance (which included making a sacrifice), but “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

We’re not talking about the shame and condemnation the enemy wants to heap on us, but a godly grief.

We can be in the habit of going through the motions when it comes to repenting, but these passages show that the most important thing is the condition of our heart.

Does your repentance look like a heart that has been rent like a garment, broken and contrite as it beats before God?

This attitude is missing from most repentance, and it’s the very thing God is trying to teach us!

How do we go about getting a broken heart?

First, we simply need to ask for it. True repentance, like all good things, is a gift of God (2 Timothy 2:25). If we want to obey the command to rend our hearts, we must ask God to grant us true repentance.

We must also be aware of one of the biggest hindrances to obtaining a broken heart: our neglect of the relational aspect of sinning. By this, I mean that we can view sin as a failure of performance rather than a failure of intimacy.

The only grief we experience is disappointment in our inability to do what is right, and not that we have “despised” the living God (2 Samuel 12:9).

How do we go about getting a broken heart?

When we sin, we play the part of an adulterer who looks for satisfaction in another, rather than the only One who can satisfy.

That is why David said to the Lord, “against you, you only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4).

David rightly saw his failures in terms of relationship, and as a result his heart was grieved as it can be only when we have sinned against the One, we love so much.

Behold His Glory.

Finally, true repentance comes not merely by understanding the relational aspect of sin, but by understanding the nature of the One with whom we are in relationship. In other words, the more we see God as glorious and holy, the more we will see sin as something to weep over.

Repentance is less about feeling bad over behavior, and more about feeling awe and delight towards God. The more glimpses we have of the glory of God, the more we mourn for scorning that glory.

In the end, God’s plan for us is that we will be holy as he is holy (1 Peter 1:16). He will surely do it! In the meantime, he desires a brokenhearted people who have learned to mourn over their sin.

How great is your God?

It is not so much the enormity of your sin that is a factor when it comes to repentance, but the enormity of God. Have we sensed the presence of God in any degree, if so, how can we take sin lightly.

Habakkuk 1:13. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

However, God does not have a relationship with the wicked, we who have glimpsed His Glory are held to a higher standard.

When we begin to understand this, we can see why Ananias and Saphira were struck down dead for telling a lie and pretending to have given all the proceeds of the sale of their property to the Apostles while they had kept back a portion for themselves

Acts 5:1-11. Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge, he kept back part of the money for himself but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 

Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God. When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. 

And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.  

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land? Yes, she said, that is the price.  

Peter said to her, How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.  

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

3. Humility is the foundation of repentance.

James 4:8-10.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 

Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

4. A hatred of sin accompanies true repentance.

Ezekiel 36:26-32.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness.

4. A hatred of sin accompanies true repentance.

Ezekiel 36:26-32.

I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.  

Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.  

I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!

Do you hate sin?

Some people don't want to resist temptation in case it doesn't come around again.

Temptation.

“Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.”

Billy Sunday

“Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So, when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it , just hang up!”

Rick Warren

“Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.” John Piper

“Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

All the great temptations appear first in the region of the mind and can be fought and conquered there. We have been given the power to close the door of the mind.

We can lose this power through disuse or increase it by use, by the daily discipline of the inner man in things which seem small and by reliance upon the word of the Spirit of truth.

It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is as though He said, Learn to live in your will, not in your feelings.

Amy Carmichael

“When Christians find themselves exposed to temptation, they should pray to God to uphold them, and when they are tempted, they should not be discouraged. It is not a sin to be tempted; the sin is to fall into temptation.”

D.L. Moody

“[We must] pray constantly for His enabling grace to say no to temptation, of choosing to take all practical steps to avoid known areas of temptation and flee from those that surprise us.”

Jerry Bridges

Flee don’t fight.

2 Timothy 2:22.

Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Providing for the flesh.

The word for “provision” in the original language carries the idea of “thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening.” If we think about pleasing our flesh, we furnish the fuel to make it happen. It’s as though our thoughts gather the necessary provisions to move forward and act upon our lustful desires.

Thus, “make no provision for the flesh” could be translated “do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (NIV), “don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires” (NLT), or “forget about satisfying the desires of your sinful nature” (GW).

Providing for the flesh.

To make provision for the flesh is to expect to fail. It’s like an alcoholic who’s trying to stay sober but who tucks away a little liquor in a secret stash, “just in case.” He’s making provision for the flesh and will likely fail to remain sober. In a similar way, those who seek to live godly lives must identify their stumbling blocks and remove them.

Romans 8:12–13.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

5. Shame accompanies true repentance.

Jeremiah 31:19.

After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand,  I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.

5. Shame accompanies true repentance.

Well-placed shame can be very healthy and redemptive. Paul said to the Thessalonians, “If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

This means that shame is a proper and redemptive step in conversion, and even in a believer’s repentance from a season of spiritual coldness and sin. Shame is not something to be avoided at all costs. There is a place for it in God’s good dealings with his people.

A repentant sinner is appalled at sin.

Horrified by what they’ve done, they’ll humble themselves, grieve the pain they’ve caused, and be cut to the heart in their conviction.

We see this in Isaiah the prophet.

Isaiah 6:5.

Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.

6. True repentance necessitates a verbal confession.

Hosea 14:1-2.

Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

Proverbs 28:13.

He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Confess your sins.

Psalm 32:1-5.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Confess your sins.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

4 Vital lesson from the dying thief on the cross.

He realized that he was a sinner?

He took responsibility for his sin?

He realized who Jesus is?

He confessed his faith in Him openly?

1. The thief on the cross realised that he was a sinner.

Luke 23:39-43.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us! But the other criminal rebuked him.

Don’t you fear God, he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.

But this man has done nothing wrong. Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.

Realizing our sin.

I know of people who are offended that someone like this could go to heaven and that good upstanding citizens who haven’t accepted and confessed Jesus as Lord and Saviour could go to hell.

Do you know that you are a sinner and that you deserve to suffer the consequences of your sin?

David realized his sin.

Job realized his sin.

Isaiah realized his sin.

Peter realized his sin.

What is your definition of a good man?

Perhaps it is someone who keeps the commandments.

Do not murder.

Do not commit adultery.

Do not give false testimony.

Do not steal.

Jesus spoke to a rich man who fitted into this category and he said that something was still lacking in his life.

Is anyone good in God’s eyes?

Mark 10:17.

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. Good teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

Why do you call me good? Jesus answered. No one is good, except God alone.

Is anyone good in God’s eyes?

You know the commandments: You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honour your father and mother. Teacher, he declared, all these I have kept since I was a boy.

Jesus was wanting to know on what basis this man was calling him good.

No-one is good except God.

When Jesus was called good teacher he asked why do you call me good.

It’s no wonder Jesus asked this question as we tend to call people good very often.

I myself have heard it at many of the funerals I have attended or conducted regardless of whether the person accepted Christ as Saviour and repented of sin.

He was a good man.

This is how God views mankind.

Romans 3:10-18.

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.

Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.

Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Jesus himself said this about us.

Matthew 7:11. If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Our idea as humans of what is good and what is evil is very different from what God says is good and what is evil. Modern psychology states that man is inherently good and that a person’s upbringing or environment is what is responsible for how they turn out, but God’s Word paints a very different picture of the state of humankind.

God can’t help people who think that they are good.

Mark 2:15-17 (NLT)

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, Why does he eat with such scum?

When Jesus heard this, he told them, Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.

2. The Thief on the cross took responsibility for his sin.

Luke 23:41.

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.

Genesis 3:13,14. And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

The man said, The woman you put here with me she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Then the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

All too often people will lay the blame for their actions at someone else’s door.

Blaming others.

Adam blamed Eve and blamed God.

Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat? It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit.

Eve blamed the serpent.

Then the Lord God asked the woman, What have you done? The serpent deceived me.

3. He acknowledged who Jesus is.

Luke 23:42.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Jesus never looked like a King, in fact He was bloodied and naked, but God opened the eyes of the thief, just as we saw in the case of Peter who we have just looked at, and he realised who Jesus was.

3. He acknowledged who Jesus is.

Jesus isn't a way, He is the way.

Acts 5:12.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.

Galatians 2:21.

I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

4. He confessed Jesus openly.

Luke 23:42-43.

Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.

We Must “Confess Jesus openly”.

John 12:42-43.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.

But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

We Must “Confess Jesus openly”.

Romans 10:9-13.

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. 

For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 

For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We Must “Confess Jesus openly”.

Matthew 10:32-33.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 

But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9.

Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

Have you learned these 4 Vital lessons?

Have you realized that you are a sinner?

Have you taken responsibility for your sin?

Have you realized who Jesus is?

Have you confessed your faith in Him openly?

“Don’t be deceived into thinking that you can push God away until you are on your deathbed”.

FAMOUS ATHEISTS' LAST WORDS BEFORE DEATH.

CAESAR BORGIA—Italian nobleman, politician, and cardinal: "While I lived, I provided for everything but death; now I must die and am unprepared to die.“

THOMAS HOBBS—Political philosopher: "I say again, if I had the whole world at my disposal, I would give it to live one day. I am about to take a leap into the dark."

THOMAS PAYNE—The leading atheistic writer in American colonies: "Stay with me, for God's sake; I cannot bear to be left alone , O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter?

I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! No, don't leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.“

SIR THOMAS SCOTT—Thomas SCOTT, a privy councilor of James V. of Scotland, was a noted persecutor of the reformers.

Being taken suddenly ill, and finding himself dying, he cried out to the Roman priests who sought to comfort him : "Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty."

VOLTAIRE—famous anti-Christian deist: "I have swallowed nothing but smoke. I have intoxicated myself with the incense that turned my head.

I am abandoned by God and man.” He said to his physician, Dr. Fochin: “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life."

When he was told this was not possible, he said “Then I shall die and go to hell!“

His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.”

ROBERT INGERSOLL—American writer and orator during the Golden Age of Free Thought:

"O God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul!"

ANTON LEVEY—Author of the Satanic Bible and high priest of the religion dedicated to the worship of Satan. One of his famous quotes was: “There is a beast in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcised”.

His dying words were: "Oh my, oh my, what have I done, there is something very wrong. . . there is something very wrong.”

Compare the last words from those atheists' facing death without Christ with the following words from men of God concerning death:

THE APOSTLE PAUL: “O death, where is thy sting?”

KING DAVID: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no Evil.”

JESUS CHRIST said: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”




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