Errors Regarding Repentance (Part 1)


“Repent-ology” might be another name for this show. Since repentance is so important, it should not be surprising that there are so many misconceptions about it. Let’s agree to to repent of our wrong ideas of repentance. 


Errors Regarding Repentance (Part 2)

Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry. My name is Mike Abendroth and you can probably hear
I'm not as stuffy as normal on Duplex Gratia Radio DGR.
So far the leukemia medicine has stopped my sinus problem to some degree.
At least I can breathe out of my nose a little. I listened to a show a while ago because Spencer was trying to figure out which show we needed to download and I uploaded two shows instead of the right one and I listened to myself some.
The crazy letter one. Listening to myself laugh. I thought man that's a one stuffy man.
Anyway slowly getting better. My bones don't hurt as much. The lymphoma stuff on my arms is gone.
Nasal passages are better and my ear lobe cysts are gone.
Look at that. That's after 18 days of treatment. Feel tired. Feel sometimes lethargic but on we go.
Up we go. Doing No Compromise Radio shows. Meeting with people. Preaching in I think about eight weeks.
I start the second round of this drug plus another drug and so we'll see how I feel with that.
All that to say Mike Avendroth No Compromise Radio Ministry. You can write me Mike at NoCompromiseRadio .com.
I think I do have the duplex great duplexgratia .com. We've got that too. We own that. We're not doing anything with it.
It's just worth like we're just saving it. $20 a year isn't too bad. I was reading a
Leland Reichen no not Philip Reichen commentary on Luke. There's different versions of this account but this is the one that he had written and he was talking about the
Methodist preacher Peter Cartwright 1800s and he preached to President Andrew Jackson but before the sermon he was warned don't say anything that could upset the president.
Stay in line. Do what you're told etc. He got up to preach.
Here's what Cartwright said. I understand Andrew Jackson is here. I've been requested to be guarded in my remarks.
Andrew Jackson will go to hell if he doesn't repent. Welcome to No Compromise Radio Ministry by Methodist preacher
Peter Cartwright. Afterward the president allegedly shook
Cartwright's hand and said sir if I had a regiment of men like you I could whip the world.
Kind of sounds like Andrew Jackson. Whippin? Regiments? And when
I heard that I thought that kind of sounds like John the Baptist. That's John the
Baptist preaching. Preaching repentance. Preaching what
God requires. Proclaiming repentance. Heralding repentance. And it got me thinking about repentance.
Duh you just said repentance a bunch of times. And I thought you know let's kind of have some shows about repentance.
I get lots of questions about repentance and the way I'll set it up so it makes it easy to learn is we are going to talk about errors that people make when it comes to repentance.
So that you recognize them and you don't make them. How's that sound? Does that sound does that sound pretty good to you?
Sounds good to me. I'm with you. Christian Harris that's for you brother. I want to pray for my friend
Christian Harris. Pastor Christian Harris. We go way back 30 some years and I think he just had his ninth and tenth melanoma and is going to have to have those things dealt with.
He said to me the other day which one of us is going to see glory first? I guess our bodies are both falling apart.
Well for the sake of us both Christian let's just hope the Lord returns first. We need the
King to come back and then make things wonderful and we just it'll happen to both of us at the same time.
Errors when it comes to repentance. Avoiding common errors about repentance.
Now the reason why I'm thinking about this is not just the quote by Peter Cartwright when he was preaching to Andrew Jackson but John the
Baptist the forerunner Baptist Baptist Baptist Baptist.
I just talked to somebody today and they say Baptist. I think it's Baptist. Baptizo. Babtizo. As prophesied in Isaiah 40 and discussed in Malachi there's going to be a forerunner the spirit of Elijah when it comes to the
King's return. Preparation for the King to return. And it's set in the middle of Luke 3 1 and 2 where you've got a bunch of rogues politically and a bunch of rogues religiously.
And now the prophet from God comes to say the King is coming get ready.
And with something that they would all understand very easily. If a
King comes you want to make sure it's easy for the King to get there. You clean everything up. You pick up the trash etc. So now spiritually you want to make your hearts prepared for the
King's return. And it says in chapter 3 of Luke verse 3 and he
John the Baptist went into all the region of the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John's unique baptism which was part of his office as a prophet.
Be ready for the King to come. Recognize that the King is going to come.
Recognize that the King is going to show up. And you ought to be prepared.
Paul Acts 19. John baptized with the baptism of repentance telling the people to believe in the one who is to come after him that is
Jesus. Get ready. Acknowledge your sins. Look for the Messiah. He's on his way.
You can't get saved on your own. A simple religion is not going to save you.
You need to be ready. And he talks about repentance explicitly in verse 3. And then as I said earlier figuratively in verses 4, 5, with valleys filled and mountains and hills made low crooked becomes straight.
Figurative language for repentance. This is what should happen in your heart. You should have the rough places of your heart become level ways.
Errors when it comes to repentance. First error today is ignoring repentance.
People just ignore it. They never preach it. They never talk about it. They never mention it.
They don't say much about repentance. I read about a French man who was a reformer in the 1600s.
And in the south of France at the church that he pastored, he preached 50 sermons in a row on two words, repent ye.
And according to accounts, one of those sermons lasted four and a half hours. And now
Jean Lebeau, he did not ignore repentance. But I think maybe he went a little too far.
There was a day when I thought I wanted to be a John the Baptist kind of preacher too. Baptist preacher too.
Here we have John the Baptist preaching repentance. And you're going to find it in the scriptures with Peter preaching repentance,
Jesus preaching repentance, Paul preaching repentance, even with the bookends of Luke's gospel, talking about repentance here early on.
And then in chapter 24, the Lord Jesus opened their minds to understand the scriptures and said to them, thus it is written that the
Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance for the forgiveness of sin should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem.
Let's not ignore repentance. Charles Hodge, the great Princetonian said, there is no duty which is either more obvious in itself or more frequently asserted in the word of God than that of repentance.
And repentance, of course, is assuming people are sinful and it assumes that God is holy.
Spurgeon said, repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it.
It is in fact, a change of mind of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what he once hated and hate what he once loved.
And even when the word repent is not used in scripture, the idea is found with all kinds of language.
Joshua 24, incline your heart unto the Lord, your God. Jeremiah 4, circumcise yourselves to the
Lord. Wash your heart from wickedness, Jeremiah 4. Break up your fallow ground,
Hosea 10. Turn from the wicked way, Jonah 3. And when the
Lord is teaching that great parable in Luke 15, the prodigal son, our prodigal son's parable,
Luke 15, 17, but when he came to his senses, that's a good little snapshot of repentance, even though the word repent isn't used.
Luke 15 goes on to say, the son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.
I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. I wonder how he would define repentance.
Well, the London Baptist Confession, Baptist, Baptist Confession says this saving repentance is an evangelical grace whereby a person being by the
Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin does by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self -abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace with a purpose and endeavor by supplies of the spirit to walk before God unto all well -placing in all things.
Paul didn't ignore repentance. He's preaching as he's standing in the midst of the Areopagus, and he talks about, you know, men of Athens, you're religious, and God made everything.
And he said in verse 30 of Acts 17, the times of ignorance
God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to what? Repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
And it's interesting. This is just a telegraph of something. He, Paul, preached repentance, and then after people heard about this, some mocked, some said, we'll hear about this again, but other men joined him and believed.
So, we're going to talk about how repentance and faith go together, but Paul preaches repentance and they believe.
Sometimes belief is preached and they repent, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's not ignore repentance. That would be a mistake. Mistake number two, error number two when it comes to repentance is people turn repentance into a work.
Ignore repentance, turn repentance into a work. So, ignore now and turn.
Let me give you another definition of repentance by Michael Horton. The Greek word translated repentance, metanoia, denotes change of mind.
It is not only modifying a few convictions here and there, but realizing that your whole interpretation of reality,
God yourself, your relation to God and the world is misguided. It is not finding your way back to the straight and narrow after wandering off the beaten path a bit, but acknowledging before God that you are not and never have been even in the right vicinity.
Now, lots of times people think about repentance in two ways, and I'd like you to think about repentance in two ways or from two aspects, the order of how it's taught and the order of salvation theologically.
How is repentance taught? Well, you say repent and believe, and when
I say repent, I think you should think of faith, and when I say faith, you should think of repentance.
Sinclair Ferguson said either term implies the presence of the other. In grammatical terms,
Ferguson said then the words repent and believe both function as a synecdoche, s -y -n -e -c -d -o -c -h -e, synecdoche.
It's a good band name. Don't you think it'd be fun, some kind of band name? You belong in the circus,
Spock, right next to the dog -faced boy.
Thank you. I was happy in my life. Let's see, the Star Trek enemy, not
Trek, Star Trek, Baptist, Milk, the Star Trekker in me,
I got to see either up close or from far away, but in person,
William Shatner, James Tiberius Kirk, Leonard Nimoy, Spock, Chekhov, Walter Cohen, I saw him, and I think
DeForest Kelly, that's Bones, and Nicole Uhuru, I can't remember her name,
Nicole, what's her name? Somebody will email me, but by the time you email me, this show's played three weeks from now,
I won't remember what you're talking about. Nicole Williams, Nicole Smith, Nicole, I don't know, someone.
I could always find out, couldn't I? Siri, who was
Uhuru in Star Trek? Oh, that's interesting.
It says in Wikipedia, that's what pulls up, Nyota Uhuru, I didn't know that,
N -Y -O -T -A Uhuru, I did not know. She was portrayed by Nichelle Nichols, not even
Michelle, but Nichelle, Nichelle Nichols. Okay, there you go. What did
I say? Anyway, and then there's someone else, somebody else on the bridge
I got to meet, I can't remember who. Back to the point, Mike Abenroth, No Compromise Radio, errors when it comes to repentance.
I think I got off track when I saw synecdoche, because then I thought about punk rock bands or some
Star Trek phaser. Repent and believe both function as a synecdoche, Ferguson said, the figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole.
Thus repentance implies faith and faith implies repentance. One cannot exist without the other.
So, your faith is a repenting faith, a repentant faith, and your repentance is a believing repentance, what
John Murray would say that. So, in order of teaching and in grammar, in order of teaching rather, using the grammatical word synecdoche, we say one, like tails of a coin, and then we also talk about the other faith.
And so, if I say repent, I mean repent and believe. If I say faith, I mean repent and believe.
We say one, we mean both. Now, theologically speaking, the order of salvation, not the order of how it's preached, because it can be preached, repent and believe.
We have to look through, okay, theologically, which one comes first? This is kind of like the argument when you say what comes first, regeneration or faith.
It happens at the same time. You can't have an unrepentant, you can't have an unbelieving regenerate, you can't have an unregenerate believer.
But theologically speaking, and if you think of sola fide, faith alone, faith has to precede repentance in the order of nature.
William T. Shedd said, W. G. T. Shedd said, though faith and repentance are inseparable and simultaneous, yet in the order of nature, faith precedes repentance.
And what he wants to say is the ground, the motivating power of repentance lies in faith's grasp of the mercy of God.
If repentance, Ferguson writes, were to precede faith, both repentance and faith would be legal in character and they would be prerequisites for grace.
That's why we're talking about a, it's a saving grace. It is a sense of sin with the apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ.
The Shorter Catechism Westminster would talk about repent the sinner grasped by faith, what sin is and God's mercy.
And that leads him or her to repentance. Sinclair also writes, sinners must always come empty handed.
But this is precisely the point. By nature, my hands are full of sin, self, and my own good deeds.
However, hands that are full cannot hold on to Christ in faith. Instead, as they take hold of him, they are emptied.
That which has prevented us from trusting him inevitably falls to the ground. The old way of life cannot be retained in hands that are taking hold of the
Savior. True faith produces repentance.
True faith produces, I want to say no to sin and yes to righteousness. True faith produces what we say, holy living, our sanctification, mortification, and vivification.
That was a big truck. Wow. Scott Clark says, it accords with true repentance.
It matches it. It illustrates it. He's talking about the fruits worthy of repentance. True repentance does not feign spiritual interest.
It does not pretend to be sorry for sin. It does not go through the motions. True faith, which produces true repentance, sees sin for what it is,
God's law for what it is, one's need for what it is, and Christ for who he is, the
Savior, and for what he has done, saved his people from their sins.
So, if you think about it in time, you should probably say to yourself, well, faith, we believe in sola fide, and faith has a fruit, and that fruit is repentance.
One happens at the same time, in terms of, if you were thinking time, if you're thinking theologically or logically, true faith produces repentance.
Belgic Confession, Article 24, we believe that this true faith produced in man by the hearing of God's word and by the work of the
Holy Spirit regenerates him and makes him a new man, causing him to live the new life and freeing him from slavery of sin.
Far from making people cold toward living in a pious and holy way, this justifying faith, quite to the contrary, so works within them that apart from it they will never do a thing out of love of God, but only for a love of themselves and fear of being condemned.
Basically, what we're talking about when we talk about this issue of repentance and faith, and which one's first, how do we think about this theologically and the order, order salutas, historia salutas?
Probably the easiest way to think about it is the whole Christ book by Sinclair Ferguson that talked about the marital controversy and the octa -arta creed.
Some people thinking that repentance was the legal condition of the covenant of grace, and if that doesn't seem to make sense to you, well,
I'm sure this does. Those that wanted to teach the octa -arta creed, that is to say, you don't have to forsake sin in order to come to Christ.
Basically, they're saying you don't repent in order to come to Christ. It is not sound and orthodox to teach that we must forsake sin in order to come to Christ.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland said that was unsound and detestable, and these people were called the merrow men, and they're wanting to say, these merrow men, that only union with Christ can give people the power to forsake sin.
Do you have to forsake sins in order to come to Christ? Thomas Boston, that it is impossible for any to forsake their sins until the
Spirit had determined him to come to Christ as Prince and Savior, exalted to give him repentance and remission of sins.
Faith, repentance, grace precedes those things.
Repentance is not a cause of grace or a condition of grace, but a consequence of grace.
Mike Ebenroth here, No Compromise Radio Ministry. John Cahoon, pronounced
K -A -H -O -O -N, but it's spelled C -O -L -Q -U -H -O -U -N, said legal repentance is a feeling of regret produced by a legalist by the fear that his violations of the divine law, and especially his gross sins, do expose him to eternal punishment.
And yet the dominion of his legal temper, he presumes to expect that such repentance as this will in some measure atone for all his crimes against the infinite majesty of heaven.
On the other hand, what theologians call evangelical repentance, Cahoon writes, evangelical repentance is a gracious principle and habit implanted in the soul by the
Spirit of Christ, in the exercise of which a regenerate and believing sinner, deeply sensible of the exceeding sinfulness and just merit, or demerit rather, of his innumerable sins, is truly humbled and grieved before the
Lord. This godly sorrow for sin, and this holy abhorrence of it, arise from spiritual discovery of pardoning mercy with God in Christ and from the exercise of trusting in his mercy.
Well, what we are trying to say, what we are saying is this, Hebrews 8 .1, when you think of repentance and faith, if you think of one, you think of the other.
If you think of the other, you think of the other, think of the other, you think of the other. I know,
Charlton Heston. What a movie that was.
Remember seeing that movie, The Ending? I heard The Ending of Planet of the Apes was written by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone.
I hired him to help with the script some, and he came up with the ending. I mean, maybe that's like Peter Cartwright's story.
Maybe it's made up, but it's sure a good story, isn't it? Because this is story land on No Compromise Radio Ministry.
Legal repentance, evangelical repentance. The book called
The Marrow of Modern Divinity was helpful as we're thinking through this, because you can tell this is getting, it kind of gets a little difficult, a little dicey.
We have to try to say the right things. We don't want to mess up. Here's the discourse between legalist and evangelista.
So, you've got the evangelical pastor, the preaching pastor, good news pastor, and you've got a legalist thinking about this.
Legalist, why, I conceive that repentance consists in a man humbling himself before God and sorrowing and grieving for offending him by sins and then turning from them all to the
Lord. A sinner turns from all of their sins. Evangelista, and would you have a man do all this truly before he comes to Christ by believing?
Legalist, yes, indeed. I think it is very meat and fitting he should. Evangelista, why then
I truly tell you, you would have him do that which is impossible.
First of all, Godly humiliation and true penitence proceeds from the love of God, their good father, and so from the hatred of that sin, which has displeased him.
And this cannot be without faith. Secondly, sorrow and grief for displeasing
God necessarily argue the love of God. And it is impossible we should ever love God till by faith we know ourselves loved by God.
Thirdly, no man can turn to God except he be first turned of God. And after he is turned, he repents.
The truth is a repentant sinner first believes that God will do what he promises, namely pardon his sin and take away his iniquity.
Then he rests in the hope of it. And from that and for it, he leaves sin and forsakes and will forsake his old course because it is displeasing to God and will do that which is pleasing and acceptable to him.
So that first of all, God's favor is apprehended and remission of sins believed. Then upon that come alteration of life and conversion.
In other words, sola fide, faith alone, but that faith won't be alone.
And part of that not alone faith in the sanctification category is repentance.
Acts 1121, and the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the
Lord. You can't divide faith and repentance chronologically as Spurgeon said, they're like Siamese twins, but in the order of nature, repentance can't precede faith.
John Calvin writes a lot about that. Well, what did Calvin say?
It ought to be fact beyond controversy that repentance not only constantly follows faith, but is born of faith.
For since pardon and forgiveness are offered through the preaching of the gospel in order that the sinner freed from the tyranny of Satan, the yoke of sin, and the miserable bondage of vices may cross over into the kingdom of God.
Surely no one can embrace the grace of the gospel without betaking himself then from the errors of his past life in the right way and apply his whole effort to the practice of repentance.
There are some, however, who suppose that repentance precedes faith rather than flows from it or is produced by it as a fruit from a tree.
Such persons have never known the power of repentance and are moved to feel this way by an unduly slight argument.
Mike Abendroth, No Compromise Radio. We're talking about errors of repentance. I'll leave you with this quote by Robert Trail.
Shall we warn people that they should not believe on Christ too soon? It is impossible that they should do it too soon.
Can a man obey the great gospel command, believe too soon? God saves sinners.