Posts Tagged ‘repentance’

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The Good News

We bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus…. – Acts 13:32-33

“Are You Saved?” Have you heard this message but not know what it means? What are you being saved from? From whom are you being saved?

1. Confess that you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23). This means that even though you try to do your best, you still fall short because you are a sinner. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation is the gift of God to you. That’s the way He planned it.

2. Repent of and confess your sin to God.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-39)

2. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, He is the Son of God, and that He alone can save you.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given at its proper time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Isaiah 53:6 says that “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus took our sins upon Himself when He died on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sins so that we would not have to. He was raised from the dead, showing that He has victory of sin and death. Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

3. Acknowledge that salvation will be yours if you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Ephesians 2:8 says that “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” This clearly indicates that God gives the gift of faith first. Then you take the faith He has given you and place it in Christ you will be saved by faith alone–there is nothing more for you to do.

4. Pray and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord from this day forward, and forever.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says that “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This is what is known as “new life in Christ,” or as John 3:3 puts it, being “born again.”

Receiving Christ is the beginning. As we learn in Colossians 2:6-7, “Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

After receiving Him, be obedient by following Him in baptism and by uniting with the church. When you do, you will find that life truly does have new purpose and meaning.

Learn more about your new relationship with God here and click on Q1 (Question 1) to begin!

God bless you!

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“Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.” ~ Joel 2:12-13

The Call for Repentance

Joel opens his book by reflecting on God’s judgment in a plague of locusts in ancient Judah and how it anticipated the final day of the Lord, when He would judge even Jerusalem for its evil (Joel 1:1–2:11). This part of his work offers little hope to the people, but that changes in 2:12. Our Creator’s mercy is emphasized, as the Lord calls His people not to sit idle and wait for His wrath, but to repent. The repentance God demands here is not a superficial rending of clothing but rather a true soul conversion—the heart circumcision that the Lord has always demanded (Deut. 10:12–22). This circumcision is finally the gift of God for His elect people (Ezek. 36:22–38; John 3:1–8).

Those who have been gifted with circumcised hearts repent when the Lord, through His prophets and Apostles, calls them to turn from their sin. But the call must go out, for God ordinarily works through the preaching of His Word; thus, Joel calls for deep and thorough repentance in Joel 2:13–17. He grounds this call to repent in God’s revelation of His mercy and willingness to relent over the disasters He has announced (see Ex. 34:6–7; Jer. 18:5–8). At the same time, Joel’s call to repentance lacks any hint of presumption. Although God’s people can always be confident that He will forgive them when they turn to Him in heartfelt repentance (2 Chron. 7:14; Luke 15:11–32), even the healing that He promises does not always mean that we will escape the earthly consequences that flow from our sin. Joel 2:14 reflects this point, as the prophet leaves it up in the air as to whether God’s forgiveness might include other undeserved blessings.

Nothing less than full national repentance would do when Joel called Judah to repent. War was not important enough to conscript new husbands for battle (Deut. 20:1–7). Likewise, women with young children could apparently delay paying their vows or meeting other worship requirements until their little ones were weaned (1 Sam. 1:21–24). But Joel exempts neither group from repentance. The need to avert the coming judgment was so urgent that even newlyweds and young mothers had to participate in national repentance if there were to be any hope of staving off disaster (Joel 2:15–17).

God responds in Joel 2:18–27 to the call to repentance of verses 12–17, pledging to bless His people lavishly upon true and full repentance. Tomorrow we will look at this lavish blessing in greater detail.

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True repentance is confidently grounded in what God says about Himself in His Word, but it expresses itself in humility toward Him. We come before our Creator with confidence that He is faithful and just to forgive our sins (1 John 1:8–9), but we come humbly, refusing to believe or affirm that He owes us forgiveness. Every act of divine forgiveness is an instance of the Lord keeping His promises to pardon His people, but it is at the same time a forgiveness we never deserve.

From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: http://www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343

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The Truth About Jesus

There is a 2,000 year old truth about Jesus that may still need to be discovered in your life. The Bible informs us that we tragically exchange the truth of God for all kinds of substitutes (Romans 1:25). And yet, marvelously, the truth can win us over. It’s the truth about why Jesus came and why he died.

Jesus’ Bold Claim and How He Proved It

Jesus made a bold claim during his days on earth. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV).

Did you get that? Jesus says that you can only know God the father through belief in him. That’s a pretty radical statement! But he backed it up by going to the cross, dying in our place, and rising again on the third day. The Bible says that we should have been punished for breaking God’s law, but he took the punishment in our place. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth to reveal a marvelous message that our offenses can be forgiven and we may become reconciled to God, and have eternal life.

How You Can Know the Truth

Are you wandering, not sure about truth, lost in your search for identity? Do you know yourself to be guilty of unfaithfulness to God? Do you know you need to be saved from moral compromise? Well then, there’s very good news for you. Jesus appeals to you to come to him, to ask him to forgive you and make you a child of God.

For you see, anyone who receives him has the right to become a child of God (John 1:12). This is the message Jesus taught that Peter and Mary believed. Jesus calls you to know the truth so you can be set free (John 8:32).

How You Can Receive the Truth

If you’d like to know the God of truth, lift up the empty hands of faith and trust Him for your salvation. Come to Him on your knees and pray this prayer:

O Lord, I am lost without You. My life is empty without Your truth and your love. I commit my life to You. I turn away from my sinful behaviors and I turn toward You. Forgive me for all my offenses and give me the power to do good. Reconcile me with Yourself. Look at me only through the work of Jesus, and enable me to live for Him. Thank You that You care for someone like me. Thank You that You welcome me into heaven, because Your love knows no bounds. Help me to grow in grace and guide me in all my ways. In Christ’s name, Amen.

How You Can Continue in the Truth

Now that you have committed your life to the Lord, it is important that you identify yourself to a leader from a Bible-believing church in your area. You have begun an amazing journey. The church is there to ensure that you grow and enjoy the Lord in fellowship, and not alone. The church will help you understand more about all of these things, and will guide you into the life of worship and the celebration of the sacraments.

I can help you. Call 888.492.0285 or Send an email and I will pray with you and/or for you!

God bless you all!

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Salvation is the grace gift of God to man, received by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16). No one ever earns or deserves anything from God. But in His infinite love and grace, God freely provides everything for us to have an eternal relationship with Him.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9)

God’s plan of “grace and truth is realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), the uniquely born Son of God. Jesus Christ became true humanity to be our substitute and pay the penalty for our sins. When our Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross, He was judged for the sins of the world. Every sin that has ever been committed in the history of the human race was imputed to Him on the cross and judged.

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross. (1 Peter 2:24a)

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf [as our substitute], that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Because of the work of Jesus Christ, salvation is available to everyone.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten [uniquely born] Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus says, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

And Peter said again, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out…” Acts 3:19

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.” (Acts 16:31a)

Believing in Christ means you receive as true the fact that He died as your personal substitute. In the moment you believe, God gives you eternal life and guarantees your salvation. Instantly, you are brought into an eternal relationship with God forever.

Your heart attitude toward Jesus Christ determines your eternal future. You can either believe in Christ for eternal life or reject Him for eternal condemnation.

Repent, believe, and be baptized. Turn from sin to God. Turn 180 degrees around to God. Trust in, rely upon, believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Savior, Who died on the Cross for your sins, Who is risen from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the Father in glory. Follow the example of Jesus Christ, as an answer of a clear conscience toward God by the declaration of your faith, be baptized.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey [believe] the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)

God bless you all!

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“If you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. “Nothing venture, nothing win,” is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in Him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The Ninevites said, “Who can tell?” Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord’s mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek Him He will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto Him. You shall not perish if you trust Him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria’s deserted camp. May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King’s household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.”  ~ C. H. Spurgeon

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READ “THE STORY”

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Those who were headed for the Upper Room loved Jesus dearly. They were compassionate, self-sacrificing, soul-loving. But they were not yet qualified to be His witnesses. It takes more than a love for Jesus and a compassion for souls to qualify you as His witness.

They had been taught in the school of Christ. They had healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed miracles. They had seen Jesus clothed in His eternal glory on the Mount.

They had been nearby when He sweat drops of blood as He prayed and then they had seen Him hanging on the cross. They had seen Him resurrected, viewed the empty tomb, eaten with Him, and talked with Him in His glorified body. They had even seen Him ascend into heaven! Yet they still were not ready to witness of Him.

Why couldn´t Peter go to those milling crowds in Jerusalem and immediately testify to His resurrection? Hadn´t he witnessed that event firsthand? It seems he could have preached, “Jesus is alive! He ascended into heaven! Repent!”

Peter makes a powerful statement to the chief priests: “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit,whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32).

Through the words of the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter, the priests “were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them” (Acts 5:33). The Holy Spirit also had spoken through Peter on the day of Pentecost, and all who heard “were pricked in their heart” (Acts 2:37).

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached to the religious leaders: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. . . . When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth” (Acts 7:51, 54).

When you emerge from seeking God, full of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to stand with boldness before fellow workers, family, anyone, and your witness will provoke one of two reactions. They will either cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” or they will want to kill you! You will speak a word that cuts to the heart. The difference is found in the power of the Holy Spirit.

~ David Wilkerson

© 2013 World Challenge – a registered trademark of David Wilkerson

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“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness ofour God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble…” ~ 2 Peter 1:1-10

If your spiritual life is concentrated only on external practices and traditions, but does nothing to bring about real change, you have gained nothing. Too many people think as long as they keep the fasting rules, do their prayers, and attend the services, they are “good” Christians. Yet if there is no love, no charity, and forgiveness of others, and your life is filled with gossip and judgement, your Christian faith is worth nothing.

Christ condemned the Pharisees not because they kept the law and attended to the traditions of the Jewish faith, but because they did so while filled with pride and arrogance. Without sincere repentance and holiness of life, their encounter with God led to an emptiness of heart.

Because our Christian faith, regardless of it’s expression, is one of tradition and liturgical structure, it is easy to fall into the trap of being nothing more than a Pharisee. Being strict in one’s observance of your “Christian” practices can easily lead to pride and arrogance. If you find yourself feeling better than others and proud of your piety, you have gained absolutely nothing. The external practice of the Christian faith without love, heartfelt humility and repentance leads down the road of spiritual ruin.

The Church is the hospital of the soul, but healing can only come if we can recognize our own need for healing. If your doctor prescribes a medication for your condition but you fail to follow your doctor’s orders, you will not get well. Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross has provided all that you need for spiritual transformation, but healing only comes if you repent of your sins, and place your faith and trust in Him. This begins the healing process.

The goal is holiness (the righteousness of God in Christ) and is the direct result of our having submitted in all humility to a life of repentance. When you do this Christ changes you through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you simply go through the motions of your Christian faith, you are no better off than the Pharisees whom Christ condemned.

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No one but Jesus can give deliverance to captives. Real liberty comes from Him only. It is a liberty righteously bestowed; for the Son, who is Heir of all things, has the right to make men free. We saints of God, honor the justice of God, which now secures our salvation. Your liberty is dearly purchased. Christ speaks it by His power, but He bought it by His blood. He makes you free, but it is by His own bonds. You go clear, because He bore your burden for you: you are set at liberty, because He has suffered in your place.

Nevertheless, though dearly purchased, He freely gives it. Jesus asks nothing of us as a preparation for this liberty. He finds us sitting in sackcloth and ashes, and bids us to put on the beautiful array of freedom; He saves us just as we are, and all without our help or merit. When Jesus sets us free, that liberty is forever; no chains can bind again.

Let the Master say to me, “Captive, I have delivered you,” and it is done; forever. Satan may plot to enslave you, but if the Lord is on your side, whom shall you fear? The world, with its temptations, may seek to ensnare you, but mightier is He who is for you than all they who bet against you. The machinations of our own deceitful hearts may harass and annoy us, but He who hath begun the good work in us will carry it on and perfect it to the end.

The foes of God and the enemies of man may gather their hosts together, and come with concentrated fury against us, but if God forgives us, who is he that can condemn us? How free is the eagle that mounts to his rocky mountain ledge, and afterwards soars above the clouds, than the soul that Christ has delivered? If we are no more under the law, but free from its curse, let our liberty be practically exhibited in our serving God with gratitude and delight.

“I am Your servant, and the son of Your handmaid: You have loosed my bonds.” “Lord, what will You have me to do?”

The Story is a beautiful, powerful, yet simple explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ using 4 major themes found in the Bible: Creation. The Fall. The Rescue. The Restoration. The Christian worldview is clearly communicated to those who are interested in what Christians believe and also provides an understanding of how to become a Christian through faith in the Gospel.

So, how does The Story answer worldview questions?

1) Creation answers, “How did everything begin?”
2) The Fall (of Mankind) answers, “What went wrong?”
3) The Rescue (of Mankind) answers, “Is there any hope?”
4) The Restoration answers, “What will the future hold?”

Enjoy!

CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO READ “THE STORY.”

GOD BLESS YOU ALL!