Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Vision (4.3.14): What is repentance unto life?

Note:  In our Sunday afternoon catechism series I preached last Sunday on Question 70:  What is repentance unto life?  Below are seven points from the sermon, along with the closing quote from John Colquhoun:

“I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies” (Psalm 119:59).

“When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18).

1.  Repentance is a Biblical necessity in the order of salvation:

2.  Repentance is a saving grace.

3.  Repentance is not merely the sorrow of the world that works death but godly sorrow that works life (2 Corinthians 7:9-11).

4.  Repentance requires having a true sense of sin.

5.  Repentance involves the apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ.

6.  Repentance involves having grief and hatred of sin.

7.  Repentance involves two turnings:  (1) turning away from sin and forsaking it and (2) turning toward God to strive after new obedience.

In his work on "Evangelical Repentance," Scottish preacher John Colquhoun (1748-1827) recommended the following questions for self-examination:

Survey minutely your inclinations and thoughts, your words and actions, even from your earliest years. Put to yourself seriously questions such as these: What have I been intending and pursuing all my days? What has been the rule of my conduct? The maxims of men or the Word of God? The customs of the world, or the example of Christ? What has the supreme love of my heart been fixed on? Have I given to Christ, or to the world, my strongest desires and warmest attachments? Has it been my habitual intention to please God, or to please myself? Has it been His glory that I have aimed at in every pursuit, or my own gratification, wealth or honor? Is it in heaven or upon earth that I have been chiefly aiming, to lay up treasures for myself? Has God in Christ been the delightful subject of my frequent meditation and conversation? Or have I regarded religious thoughts and converse as insipid and wearisome? Have I been out of my element when employed in the delightful work of prayer and praise, of reading and hearing the glorious Gospel? And have I found more pleasure in licentious mirth and trifling conversation? Have I kept the Sabbath, and with holy reverence frequented the sanctuary of the Lord? Or have I profaned His Sabbath, and poured contempt on His ordinances? And have I relied for all my right to eternal life on the surety-righteousness of Jesus Christ, and trusted cordially in Him for all His salvation? Or have I relied for a title to life partly on my own works, and trusted in Him for a part only of His salvation? Propose with impartiality these questions to yourself, and suffer conscience to return a faithful answer, in order that you may so discern your self-deformity, as to abhor yourself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Source: John Colquhoun, True Repentance (Choteau, MT: Old Paths Gospel Press, n.d.): 23-24.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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