Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Repent!"-- part 1: turning TO Christ

The Word for today:
Revelation 3:1-6
mark these:
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5)
Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. (Revelation 2:16)
Remember, then, what you received and heard.  Keep it, and repent. (Revelation 3:3)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)
If we could choose one word to summarize Jesus' letters to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the choice would be obvious:
That surprises a lot of people, because these are letters to the churches, to the saved. Most of us associate repentance with some unsaved derelict sinner more than we associate repentance with the church. But the Bible sees things differently.
The Bible student must understand that repentance means to turn around, to change your mind.
To the unsaved, repentance means to turn from false faith (in self, money, false gods, etc.) to what we refer to as saving faith--faith in the true God:
(The Thessalonians) turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
The Thessalonians repented, and their repentance had nothing to do with turning from something! It had everything to do with turning to something--to Christ.
Turning to Christ must always precede turning from sin. Then, having turned to Christ, the now-saved person turns from sin. Turning from sin is not required for salvation, but comes as a consequence of being saved by faith.
The unsaved man cannot repent from sin, because he has no power over sin. Until, through faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers us, we are slaves to sin, mastered by it. (Romans 6:17-18)
(To be continued tomorrow.)

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