To whom is repentance to be preached?
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations." Luke 24:47.
Who are called to repentance?
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32. How is one to know he is a sinner? "By the law is the knowledge of sin." Rom
Is this a universal rule?
"We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin." Rom.
To what is the transgressor of the law subject?
"Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." Eph. 5:6.
What is it that awakens the soul to a knowledge of its condition before the law?
"When He [the Comforter] is come, He will reprove the world of sin." John 16:8. What will be the inquiry of those who are thus convicted? "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37. What reply should be returned to this inquiry?
"Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Acts 2:38. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.
How will the convicted sinner be constrained to act?
"I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin." Ps. 38:18.
What will godly sorrow work?
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation." 2 Cor. 7:10.
NOTE.-Repentance is the effect of godly sorrow, not the cause.
What will any other kind of sorrow do?
"The sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Cor. 7:10.
NOTE.-The sorrow of the world is the result of carnal considerations, and the sinner regrets more that the sin is exposed, than that the evil was committed.
What does true repentance involve?
"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die?" Eze. 18:31.
After repentance, how should one live?
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Rom. 6:1, 2.
Whose servant is he that committeth sin?
"He that committeth sin is of the Devil." 1 John 3:8.
How does God regard the truly penitent?
"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word." Isa. 66:2.
What promise is made to those who confess their sins?
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
NOTE. Every known sin must be confessed to Christ, in order to secure the blessing of a full salvation.
By what are we cleansed from sin?
"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
Toward whom are we to repent?
"Repentance toward God." Acts 20:21.
Toward whom must we exercise faith?
"And faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21.
NOTE.-Repentance should be exercised "toward God," because men have sinned against God by transgressing His holy law (1 John 3:4; 7:7-12). Faith should be exercised "toward our Lord Jesus Christ," because it is to that divine and ever-blessed Being that the sinner should look for salvation (Acts 4:12). It is when the sinner, with the eye of faith, views Jesus, through infinite love, and at an infinite sacrifice, opening up for him the way of salvation, that his heart is touched with the thought of how criminal a thing sin is, and that (if he yields to the strivings and entreaties of the Holy Spirit, exercising faith in the crucified) he is enabled to repent of his sins, and to apply to himself the merits of "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Man needs grace and power superhuman and divine to repent unto salvation. And how is this grace and this power secured? By faith in Him who says, "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 10:5). Saving faith must therefore be exercised in true repentance. Indeed, it is through saving faith that genuine repentance is effected. Consequently when the Holy Spirit, by means of the conjunction "and," adds "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" to "repentance toward God, we are not to understand that men must wait until they have repented before exercising saving faith in Christ, never to be converted, and to be lost at last. If we keep faith ahead and in lively exercise, we shall know by blessed experience what are genuine repentance and genuine conversion, and shall "bring forth fruits meet for repentance (Matt. 3:8); but if we shut ourselves up to our own efforts and to our own works, faith, repentance, and conversion will be lacking, and instead of bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, we shall bring forth fruits from a heart that has not received the touch and mold of converting grace-fruits that will bear the marks of rebellion against God, and against His righteous ways. While it is true that those who do not repent of their sins cannot, scripturally, expect to be saved by faith in Christ, it is also true that it is by the same faith by which men repent that they claim and receive pardon, deliverance from sin, justification, the spirit of adoption, and cherish the hope of final salvation.
How will one show that he has truly repented?
"Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance [margin, answerable to amendment of life]." Matt. 3:8.
Is there a promise for those who confess their sins?
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful andjust to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.
To whom besides the Lord should one confess his sins?
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16.
NOTE. All sins should be confessed to God, because the very smallest is a grievance to Him; but only those sins should be confessed to a fellow-man that have directly injured him. A sin that is against God only, should be confessed only to Him, and man has no claim to a confession in such cases.
If one tries to cover up a sin, and will not properly confess it, what effect will such a course have on the delinquent?
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Prov. 28:13.
NOTE.-He may outwardly appear to prosper, but spiritually he will not.
Is it possible to hide a sin from God?
"Be sure your sin will find you out." Num. 32:23. "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance." Ps. 90:8.
How did David feel before he confessed his sins?
"When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long, For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer." Ps. 32:3, 4.
What came to him after confession?
"I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin." Ps. 32:5.
Who is the advocate of the sinner?
"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. " 1 John 2:1.
NOTE.-It follows that if one is an advocate for another, the advocate must know all the case of the one for whom he is to plead. If any omission is made in stating the case in all its details, how can the advocate plead for such?
How fully did Israel confess to Samuel when they wished him to intercede before God in their behalf?
"And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king." 1 Sam. 12:19.
NOTE. -Probably Samuel knew before that they had committed that particular wrong; but he wanted them to feel it before he could really intercede in their behalf. Even so the Lord wishes all now to specify their wrongs, that He may know they have a genuine sorrow for each one committed.
What are we to expect when we confess our sins?
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving- kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions." Ps. 51:1.
Will there be a time when every one will confess to God?
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom. 14:11, 12.
NOTE.-The confessions here spoken of are those which will be made in the judgment. If any one has refused to acknowledge his sins before, affirming that he could not see them, he will then see them just as the record has them marked. He will confess his sins when it is too late to obtain forgiveness for them. It is far better to acknowledge our faults now, and with the help of God put them away, while there is hope of salvation.
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