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:

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