THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 12-11-11
LESSON TITLE: “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED: REPENTANCE”
God has blessed us with another wondrous Lord ’s Day morning and how glorious it is that we can join together at this time in the things of Christ. Thank you so much for taking part this day in our worship to God and we welcome you to this time of service before our God!
As most of you know, we will have the privilege of praising God in a variety of ways this morning. We will join together in song, we will study from God’s matchless Word, and we will approach His almighty throne in prayer. I hope that we all will do our part to make every offering this day pleasing to God and acceptable in His sight. With this in mind, let’s bow before the Father’s throne in prayer!
I hope you are ready to sing, because it’s time to lift our voices up before God. So won’t you join together in the first song of the day? The name of the hymn, “Footprints of Jesus.”
Perseverance is sometimes a difficult thing for all of us; especially in the day and time in which we live. When there are so many opportunities around us to have things, we often fall victim to our own desires and forget to put God first. Every time we go to the mall or into a store we see something we like and want. It doesn’t matter that we already have something similar - we want the latest or the newest versions. Every time we drive down the road we see a car or a house we like better than what we have.
It is because of all of these earthly things that I say we have a difficult time today always persevering and accomplishing what we need to for God. How easy it must be for the Devil to put stumbling blocks in our way, when so many things are made today to appeal to our fleshly desires.
Perseverance is a Biblical topic. In fact, in 2 Peter 1:5-7, we see that Peter includes perseverance among the Christian virtues one must have to be pleasing to God. How can we then know that perseverance is something we are commanded to do? Let’s look at what Peter goes on to say in verses 8 and 9 of the same passage, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” Paul also confirms the need for perseverance when he said, “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope,” Romans 5:3-4.
Furthermore, in James 5:11, we are again reminded of our discussion this morning, as we read of an example which James used to help in understanding perseverance. The verse says, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord; that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Who had greater perseverance than Job? He was a greatly blessed servant of God who lost everything at the hands of the devil. However, Job was able to persevere and remain faithful through the entire ordeal. Are we able to do the same? Or, when things start getting tuff do we just give in and fall away. When temptations seem to attractive to us, do we accept them and worry about the consequences later? We need to be more like Christ, learning to endure, and persevere no matter what may come.
Finally, in the book of Revelation chapter 2, and verse 10 we see our concluding thought on perseverance this morning. There John says, “…Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” What greater picture of perseverance do we have than this? If we will remain faithful to the Work of the Lord which is before us, then we will receive the crown which we all long for. The faithfulness which John describes here is a daily walk, until our time of death. God expects nothing more and nothing less, if we are to be found faithful in His sight. Will you persevere in your service to the Lord? Will you persevere in that service until your last breathe? If we will take it one day at a time, with God by our side we can do all things.
Our lesson of the day will again focus on series entitled, “What Must I Do to Be Saved.” The specific topic of the day is, “Repentance!” So I encourage you to stay with us this morning, and in just a few minutes I will be leading our thoughts together in this study from God’s Word.
But for now, let’s return to our songs of praise as we join together in the second hymn of the day. The name of the song, “Give Me The Bible.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re so glad you’ve continued with us this morning as we now go to God’s Word and consider another very important lesson on our topic that is found in Acts chapter 16. You might recall there the story of the Philippian jailor as we were introduced to last week and the question that he asked when he saw the power of God demonstrated through God’s apostle. The question was, “What must I do to be saved?” And last week we began to see those required items in salvation that are a part of what any individual on this earth must do if they are to step toward salvation or if they are to equal the equation or the answer to the equation of salvation. In other words God says we must be saved and can be saved and we find out how in His Word and so there are things to do in order to equal salvation.
I remember one example that I heard in Africa a time ago where a man said the best example he had ever heard, and I tended to agree in such a simple way, was he said, “Well, if you take the first four numbers, 1+2+3+4, that equals 10. If you leave any of those first four numbers out, you don’t get 10.” You get something else. So you’ve got to have each one to equal 10 in that equation. Isn’t that the truth? Certainly! Well salvation is the same. There are certain things that work toward or equal unto salvation that we are required to do and participate in in order to be saved. So last week we saw the idea of hearing the Word of God that we might believe and we saw what the Bible says that if we do not believe, we will die in our sins. If we do not believe and act on that belief, we cannot be saved. In fact, Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16)
Today we want to look at the next concept that Jesus begins to deal with in Luke 13:3 and we know how important it is because what He says is, “Repent or perish.”
When we begin to think about repentance it is really a neat idea because repentance is really that aspect of not only hearing unto belief but understanding why we need to know God, believe and to follow Him. Because there is sin in our lives and without God we are hopeless and cannot be forgiven of sin. So when we know that sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59) and we know the only thing that is going to bring us back to God is the blood of Jesus, we need to find out how we can be saved, answering that question: What must I do to be saved? Repentance is really an important aspect and action that is required unto salvation. In fact, as we think about the idea of sin, we see that many in the days of old had sins that came upon them and some would try to justify them. Some would try to cover them up and others would try to even deny their sins and hide from God. But ultimately those that were positive responses by God were those who came before Him in a penitent way.
What about Luke 15 and the prodigal son? He came back after living riotously and disobeying the father and he repented of those things. He said, “I have sinned.”
What about Jonah dealing with the city of Ninevah? And do you remember how that it said that all of the Ninevites repented and turned to God?
What about the example of Zaccheus in Luke 19? Again a man who understood that he needed to repent of his sin in order to follow Jesus?
Well repentance is a requirement of God. So it is important then as being a requirement of God unto salvation and as we see it within the commandments of God unto salvation, again specifically the idea we will look at in just a moment in Acts chapter 2, we need to know what it really means. So the best place I believe to begin is in the words of Paul by the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians chapter 7. You might recall there that he is speaking about the fact that he had written a letter and certainly he is referring to the first Corinthian letter and as he is writing that letter there in verse 8 he says, “I really regret that I made you sorry,” in the letter. The next thing he says is interesting though. He says, “I regretted it though only for a little while,” or I was sorry in the fact that you were sorry only for a little while. In other words, he wrote things that challenged them, that challenged them to know that they should get right with God and what they were practicing was wrong and therefore he says, “I regret that I had to write you about these things, and in the fact that you repented it was a great thing. But in the fact that you only repented for a little while,” he says basically, “I am sorrowed myself or I regret the things that you are involved in.”
Now in verse 9 of 2 Corinthians chapter 7. He goes on to say, “I rejoice not only that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.” I want you to think right there for a moment about this concept. He says their sorrow or the fact that they were made sorry, acknowledging sin and the fact that they could not be right with God in sin; their sorrow motivated them to do what? Repent! What does that tell us about repentance? It’s an action. It caused them to do something.
Look back in Acts chapter 2. Do you remember what the sermon was about that Peter and others were preaching? He was saying, “You have just killed the very Son of God, the very One that the Lord has exalted to be the Christ.” Do you remember what it says there in that text in verse 37? It says, “They were cut to the heart and they cried out, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’” You see they learned that they had sinned against God, a grave sin because now they have killed the very Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ and they just put Him on the cross and He is now dead. Now they are telling them He has risen. “What shall we do?” they say. Notice what the next thing he says is. He says, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized.” Isn’t that interesting that he again uses this idea of repentance. He says, “Your sorrow should move you to repent.”
So what does repentance mean? Repentance means an acknowledgment through sorrow of the sin in my life and that I am engaged in and a what? A turning away from it. Because I know when I am in Christ I am in the light. There’s no darkness in the light, as we read in 1 John chapter 1. If I am going to try to be a Christian, darkness, the old man, is left behind and I live as the new man in the light of God. So how could I continue in sin or retain sin and still be in the light? Well you see I can’t. So repentance is that act of not only acknowledging my sin and motivating to repent because of a godly sorrow but to turn away from it to focus on Christ or the cross that I might be found acceptable in His sight.
That’s exactly what our passage in 2 Corinthians 7 goes on to say. If you’ll back up there again in verse 9 he says, he again says that, “Your sorrow led to repentance for you were made sorry in a godly manner that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.” But hear verse 10. “For godly sorrow produces repentance,” and notice what he next says, “leading to salvation.” What? You mean godly sorrow produces repentance, acknowledgment of sin and turning away from sin and that leads to salvation? Yes it leads to it. It doesn’t make me to be saved. It doesn’t accomplish salvation. Certainly we have God’s grace and mercy and other things that actually save us, but that doesn’t negate the need that I have to still in my responsibilities as a follower of God or someone who loves God, to by sorrow to be motivated to repent and continuously turn away from sin. What was Peter telling them in Acts 2? He was saying, “Acknowledge the sin you have committed and turn away from that sin and live righteously for God.” That’s exactly the emphasis that we again learn concerning repentance.
There are a few other examples that I find significant. One is found back in Acts 26 telling us that repentance is an action because some people think it is just something we do in feeling or in our heart. But do you know what it says there in Acts 26 and verse 20? There as we find this challenge concerning repentance, it says, “But declare first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea and then to the Gentiles that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” You see, acknowledge sin, strive to follow God, and continue to strive to follow God remaining dead to the sin. That’s the very idea that we find again over in the book of Thessalonians in the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 and verses 9 and 10. He actually gives a great example there of those who had been exhorted throughout certain regions to do what? Verse 9, “For they themselves declared concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turn to God from idols.” What did they do? They turned to God from serving idols. Then he goes on to say that, “You might serve the Living God.” Then he says in the next verse, 10, “That is how they were delivered.”
No wonder in Colossians chapter 1 verse 13 we read that, “We have been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the dear Son of His love,” because through the blood of Jesus we wash away our sins, dying to the old man that we have repented of and we turn a new direction facing Almighty God who is holy, righteous, pure and sinless.
So we again begin to beg the question to ourselves and we begin to consider: Have we truly repented? Have we truly done what it is that our God requires of us that we might be those who are considered as having repentance?
Well I think that’s exactly again a thing we find an example in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 where there were those here who had been engaged in all sorts of sins and therefore were not worthy of the kingdom of God as it says. Some of them were involved in fornication, idolatry, adultery, and so on and so forth, but then in verse 11 the Bible says, “And such were some of you, but you were washed in the blood. You were sanctified in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Brethren, that’s exactly what the Bible challenges us with today as Jesus said to us, “Repent or perish.” As the very first gospel sermon after the death of Christ on the Day of Pentecost declares to us, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” They said, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized.” Why? He goes on to say, “For the remission of sins and that you might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Well how do we get remission of sins? Well one way to get it is repentance. That’s not the only way. We certainly have seen the significance of being able to hear and we know that we are required to believe and we know that it’s impossible to please God without faith that comes from belief, but we also now know that repentance is required unto salvation.
Over the next weeks we’re going to continue to learn ideas such as in Romans chapter 10:9-10 that we also must confess with the mouth. Guess what the verse says, “Unto salvation.” Then we’re also going to back up to verses like in Mark 16 and Acts 2 that we’ve talked about today where it not only says to believe or to repent, but also to be baptized if we want to be saved.
So the question that we ask today is two-fold. Do you want to be saved? If you do, you’ve got to do it God’s way. The second question we ask is: What must I do to be saved? What I must do is what God commands and that is to hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized. By doing these you have obeyed God and He will add you to His church.
(SONG # 3 - “He Leadeth Me!”)
What a blessed opportunity we have shared in this morning by focusing on the things of God. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Lord ’s Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves in this offering to God!
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Have you truly repented as God commands? Furthermore, are you doing the works of repentance as required by God. Remember, our Lord Himself said, “Repent or perish!”