πŸ’‘πŸ‘‘ Repentance or Grace for Us?

When the sinner is convicted by the Holy Spirit of the seriousness of sin and of judgment to come, and cries to the Lord to save him, he has, of course, repented, orΒ changed his mind, as the Greek word signifies. Many of God’s servants, however, considering only the fact that sinners need such a change of mind, conclude that the way to produce the greatest results in their ministry is to stress repentance.

Such should take note of theΒ response to the three great calls to repentance by which the dispensation of the Law was brought to a close: John the Baptist called Israel to repentance but was beheaded as a result (Matt. 3:1-12; 14:3-10). The Lord Jesus took up the cry where John had left off (Matt. 4:17), but was crucified for it. After the resurrection He sent His disciples to preach β€œrepentance and remission of sin…in His name” (Luke 24:47) but JerusalemΒ refused to repent and it was not long before blood again flowed, as Stephen was stoned to death and a great persecution followed (Acts 8:3).

The guilt of Israel’s impenitence increased too, as the call to repentance was intensified, for while John’s murder wasΒ permittedΒ by the people, Christ’s wasΒ demandedΒ by them, and Stephen’s was actuallyΒ committed by them. Thus the so-called β€œGreat Commission” was bogged down at the very start, for ifΒ JerusalemΒ and theΒ covenant peopleΒ refused to repent, what hope was there that theΒ β€œnations” (Luke 24:47) would do so?

β€œBut where sin abounded, GRACE did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20,21).

After calls to repentance had failed, the ascended Lord stooped down to save Saul, the chief of sinners, on the road to Damascus, in anything but a repentant mood. Not by threatening or dealing with him in judgment, but by speaking to him in the tenderest tones He showed himΒ the glory of His grace. This β€œtrophy of grace” was then sent forth to proclaimΒ β€œthe gospel of grace”, and theΒ meritsΒ of his crucified, glorified Lord.

This is whyΒ repentanceΒ was emphasized, indeed was the theme of God’s message, from John until Paul, whileΒ grace, proclaimed through the cross and received by faith, gradually displaced it as the theme of God’s message for β€œthis present evil age” (Acts 20:24). source

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In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. — Psalm 56:4

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