THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE

How important is it to repent?
How often should we repent?
When did repentance begin?

Malachi 2:16a; 3:1a  
For the LORD God…says…   
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.”

The Gospel According to Mark begins with John the Baptist fulfilling the prophecies:

Mark 1:1-8  
THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: [Notice the plurality Prophets.] “Behold I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” [Malachi] “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” [Isaiah 40:3] John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission [forgiveness] of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

The prophets Malachi and Isaiah were led by the Holy Spirit to prophesy that God would send the Lord’s messenger {John} to prepare the Lord’s way for people to come to him with a contrite, broken, ashamed, repentant heart—to apologize for offending God when they had been disobedient to His Commandments. In other words, John’s baptism was preparing the hearts for people to take the first step to being saved. When a baby is first conceived and then born, that child is innocent for never having broken any of the Commandments. So the child is accepted by God—justified to be viewed by God as having the righteousness of God—totally sinless. Therefore God welcomes the child to be with Him in His kingdom. However, when the child matures and, even unknowingly, breaks a Commandment—like even telling a falsehood—a lie, then, since God does not accept sin, God separates that person from Himself and keeps that separation until the person comes to admit he has sinned—that is to repent and asks to be forgiven—and to believe without any doubt that God is who He says He is and will, indeed take those sins away. At that moment, the sinner is brought back to no longer being separated from God—for all eternity future—freely given eternal life—totally redeemed, bought back with a tremendous price.  

How does this happen? When we say “God is who He says He is,” we read that He redeems us with His blood. That eternal life is in His Blood:

Leviticus 17:1, 11  
And the LORD spoke to Moses saying…
“‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’”

The blood that gives eternal life is the blood of the Savior.

To atone means to unite—to bring together—to satisfy whatever has been causing the separation—to reconcile—to make a person to be at one (atone) again with God.

When we believe that the Lord Jesus shed His blood on the altar—that is, the cross—to forgive us, then God is satisfied that we believe that He is who He says He is—our Creator—our Savior—Almighty God.

Acts 20:28b  
the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Hebrews 9:22  
And according to the law [Leviticus 17:11] almost all things are purified [cleansed] with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission [forgiveness].

Ephesians 1:7  
In Him [Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.           

Again, we see we’re brought back to God.

Going back to the Gospel of Mark, we see the 1st time Mark quotes Jesus words in v 15:

Mark 1:14-15  
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Luke 13:1-5  
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled [mixed; persecuted to death] with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Ezekiel 18:21-22  
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.”

The righteousness is accounted to him in today’s Church Age simply by his belief.

Ezekiel 18:23, 30-32  
“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”…
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity [sin] will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live.

Turn and live basically gives the definition of repentance: Repentance means an about-face, turning one’s back on sin—on going toward the world’s way, but turning & heading in the opposite direction—toward God’s way. When we repent, God’s Holy Spirit guides us the right direction.

Ezekiel 36:22b, 26-27   
“‘Thus says the Lord G0D;’”…
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

Psalm 23:3  
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Psalm 51:10  
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

John 3:3  
Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodēmus], “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again [with a new heart], he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Romans 12:2  
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God would have destroyed the evil ones in Nineveh, but did not do it.

Jonah 3:8-10  
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

The Ninevites had responded in faith to Jonah’s message about God’s truth, and then did the good works.

James 2:17  
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

We do not do good works to save ourselves. We do good works because we are saved.

Ephesians 2:10  
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Where’s the proof for the hope of eternal life? After all, indeed, Jesus died.

John 19:20b, 33a-34, 41-42a  
the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead…
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out…
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus…

And then:

Luke 24:6-7  
“He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

1 Corinthians 6:14  
And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

2 Corinthians 4:14  
knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

Romans 8:11  
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Where is there more proof of our hope?

Deuteronomy 19:15b  
“by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

1 John 1:2-3  
the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:5-6a  
and that He was seen by Cēphas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,

Here is our proof for eternal life. All these people saw Him alive & we believe by faith.

John 3:15-16  
“whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Our eternal life has already begun. We are in it now. Nothing can change it. Our God & Savior wanted us to repent and believe so He could have our companionship and fellowship for all eternity.

Matthew 9:13  
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Jeremiah 9:23a, 24  
Thus says the LORD:
“But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

Hosea 4:1a, 6:6  
Hear the word of the LORD…
“For I desire mercy [faithfulness or loyalty to Him] and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

Remember that old secular love song by the Teddy Bears, “To know, know, know Him is to love, love, love Him? God wants us to know Him—to know that Almighty God is three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to know Him, to love Him, and to express our love by obeying Him.

John 14:15-17  
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [the Holy Spirit], that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world [unbelievers] cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Once we’ve repented, are we finished with repenting?

1 Corinthians 11:27-29  
Therefore who ever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

We need to repent often—daily if necessary and before every first day of the week. We need to come to the emblems—the bread and the cup—with a clear conscience and a clean heart to have atonement and therefore fellowship.

Luke 15:6b-10  
“‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just [upright] persons who need no repentance. Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 1Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Lord Jesus wants us to remember Him, love Him and rejoice with Him.


What’s your thought on Repentance?
We would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Scripture quoted from the New King James Version by Thomas Nelson

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 13 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

3 thoughts on “THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE”

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