Sunday, June 17, 2012

Repentance, Part II

Repentance is a gift.
*From God.  Acts 11:18 says, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
I looked up the word grant and had to smile at what I found.  Grants are funds disbursed by ONE party...(the umm, GRANT MAKERS...that would be the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), to a recipient.  A nonprofit entity.  (That would be us.)  
God grants us the gift of repentance.  You can't have salvation or a clear walk with God without it.

*From Christ also.  Acts 5:31 says, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
When we give something to someone, we don't expect anything in return.  It is theirs with no compensation required.  Christ is our Savior and gives us repentance unto salvation.   

*From the Holy Spirit.  Zechariah 12:10 says, "And I will pour out my spirit upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
God will send His Holy Spirit to us to bring us to repentance.  We will mourn in our sin and be convicted to come to repentance.  This is a gift.  It's kind of funny to think of it that way, but what a wonderful gift that pushes us and helps us grow in our walk with the Lord!

There are three things that will lead us to repentance. 
*God's longsuffering.  2 Peter 3:9 is one of my favorite verses, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  God doesn't have to put up with us.  But He loves us so much that He will wait patiently on us to come to repentance.  This doesn't mean we should put off repentance.  We should repent as soon as the Spirit of conviction falls on us.  But God will not be accused of being too hasty when it comes to punishing us.  It is His love and longsuffering that brings us to our knees.

*God's goodness.  Romans 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"  To despise something is to to look down on with contempt.  To regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.  I have been in that place.  At the time, I did not think of myself regarding the riches of His goodness as worthless or distasteful.  But looking back now, my heart was seeking the riches of the world and what it could give me.  It wasn't until I realized His riches of goodness on my life that I came to repentance.

*Conviction of sin, Acts 2:37,38 "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then peter said unto them, REPENT, and be baptized every on of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  Conviction of sin will lead us to repentance.  The Holy Ghost always lets us know when we have sinned.  This is that pricking of the heart, mentioned in the first part of verse thirty-seven.  It is important to act up on that conviction and repent of whatever sin the Holy Spirit is dealing with us about.