22 December 2012

A Man Impenitent Is a Man Unforgiven

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Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he 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 and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49)
Let us observe...what were the first truths which the Lord Jesus bade His disciples preach after he left the world. We read that "repentance and remission of sins" were to be preached inHis name among all nations.
"Repentance and remission of sins" are the first things which ought to be pressed on the attention of every man, woman and child throughout the world. All ought to be told the necessity of repentance. All are by nature desperately wicked. Without repentance and conversion, none can enter the kingdom of God. All ought to be told God's readiness to forgive every one who believes on Christ. All are by nature guilty and condemned. But anyone may obtain by faith in Jesus free, full and immediate pardon. All, not least, ought to be continually reminded that repentance and remission of sins are inseparably linked together. Not that our repentance can purchase our pardon. Pardon is the free gift of God to the believer in Christ. But still it remains true, that a man impenitent is a man unforgiven.  
He that desires to be a true Christian, must be experimentally acquainted with repentance and remission of sins. These are the principal things in saving religion....[A]re we converted? Are we justified? If not, we are dead before God. Happy is that Christian who keeps these two points continually before his eyes! Repentance and remission are not mere elementary truths and milk for babes. The highest standard of sanctity is nothing more than a continual growth in practical knowledge of these two points. The brightest saint is the man who has the most heart-searching sense of his own sinfulness, and the liveliest sense of his own complete acceptance in Christ.
– J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 2, Banner of Truth Trust: 1998, 518–519. 
Further Reading
So You Call Yourself a Christian
Familiar Names Rick Warren, James MacDonald & Others to Headline at Mark Driscoll's 2013 Resurgence Conference
Responding to an Invasion of Evil

1 comment:

  1. Would that repentance and remission of sins were faithfully proclaimed in every presentation of the Gospel. Sadly, they are not. The same holds true for regeneration, omitted from most libraries, pulpits and conversations.

    I liken repentance to a mother's birth pangs. For those saved early in life the pangs are not as severe as the ones for those of us saved after many years in rebellion. After decades of running away from God it was a gut-wrenching experience for me [one that I would not trade for anything]. The longsuffering of my Lord became crystal clear to me over the months following regeneration. His foregiveness and the Blood that bought it are most precious now. Today, the natural man still does not like having it's sins exposed. But, the indwelling Spirit is graciously relentless and turning from our sins becomes something that, in the end, is a welcomed experience.

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