| The 3 Repentance of God |
| Transcript |
The 3 Kinds of Repentance
- I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21)
Faith and repentance are supposed to be one word in a church or disciple’s life.
But compromising Christians and churches have separated the two and will be doomed on Judgement Day for such adulteration of the true gospel call.
That said, let us look at the different types of repentance that are of faith in Jesus and concern matters of a saving salvation.
Before I break down the three different types of repentance into general sections, please remember not to be deceived by this Bible study.
As James declared:
- Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
When God speaks of repentance that sin might be overcome in our lives, He is referring to the degree of suffering in our bodies against sin to the point where we die to those sins.
These are the true saints of God that overcome their sins.
- He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:11)
God is not providing you with a nice audio file that breaks down the styles of repentance, but is offering you an opportunity to suffer against and overcome your sins.
Any Christian who does not suffer against their sins is not picking up their cross and following Jesus.
Peter the Apostle understood this well when he wrote:
- Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1–2)
Let us then look at the three general types of repentance God wants to work in your life.
The three types of repentance God has arranged are:
- John the Baptist repentance
- Preachers of Jesus repentance
- Holy Spirit repentance
Let us begin with John the Baptist repentance
No type of repentance from God can be rejected without nullifying the other.
You cannot skip the first one, John’s repentance, because you do not like his tone, toughness or demands.
If you skip John’s repentance, God will not allow you to receive the working grace of Jesus.
Indeed, one sees many sins in the church today because churches and individuals seek to bounce around, picking and choosing the repentance they want at that moment.
It is sinful rebellion to pick and choose a type of repentance we like.
In fact, such church-styled-repentance makes repentance into an idol shaped by the hand of religious man.
Nor can anyone pick when and to what measure they will allow godly sorrow and repentance to put them on the cross with Jesus to suffer against the sins in their lives.
Once a person becomes stiff-necked toward a godly arranged repentance, great sinning will occur.
We see this specifically spelled out by God in the book of Luke.
Because the churchgoers that believed themselves saved had rejected the repentance of John the Baptist they were not able to accept the repentance of Jesus.
Indeed, God would not give them the soft heart to respond to the message of Jesus and in the end, they fiercely opposed Jesus and nailed Him upon the cross.
Always remember that it was the religious who enlisted the help of the government to oppose Jesus.
- But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John. (Luke 7:30)
So, what is the repentance of John?
The repentance of John the Baptist is a strong call for repentance with no exceptions – all who come after Jesus must first go to John the Baptist.
John was austere, eating only grasshoppers and wild honey.
John the Baptist is not easy to find or accessible. You have to go to him out in the desert.
There is no air conditioning there.
There are no food buffets or fun fellowship.
There are no comfortable pillowed pews where you will sit next to righteous and respectable individuals.
If you desire the first repentance of God, then you will have to be inconvenienced, plan ahead and endure some holy-heat and self-deprivation.
The beginning life of denying self to follow Jesus begins with the John the Baptist.
This first repentance is not according to your time schedule, your comfort zone or the style of preaching you prefer to hear.
In short, from top to bottom your life comes to a standstill and is completely upset and re-arranged.
John is John, and his message is God’s message, preached as God would have preached it, whether you accept it or not is your choice, But John’s message is basic, baby-step, cannot change this facts of a holy life.
John’s messages is a 2 + 2 = 4, first grade, kindergarten this is how it is message.
- The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ” (Luke 3:2-6)
Your valleys of self-pity must be filled in if you are to see the salvation of God
Your crooked paths of entertainment and fun must be straightened out.
Your arrogant mountains and prideful hills must be made low.
Your rough exterior, your grouchiness, your crude humor must be smooth-out.
In short, to go to church means you better clean up what you can clean up because Jesus will soon come your way.
Stop looking for a convenient, comfortable church and go out of your way to find a John the Baptist in the desert if you want to be saved from hell-fire.
John the Baptist is a rough-and-ready preacher who does not wear soft comfortable clothes, but camel’s hair and a leather belt.
Most churches would never hire John the Baptist to preach from their pulpits or come to their conventions and religious retreats.
A John the Baptist repentance is a solid, stop-what-you-are-doing and clean-up-your-life repentance where you put down your current life and get ready for the demands of Jesus.
It is a radical break from your normal life that all can see and observe.
Imagine you are attending a church where I am preaching, and I begin my discourse by asking:
“Why are you here? Who told you to come to church today?”
I even begin by name calling:
“Vipers, unless you are ready to produce real fruit by hating your own life, picking up your cross, and following Jesus, go home. God does not want you here today! Now, I will give everyone who wants to leave five minutes to go.”
Most churches would not hire a preacher like this, and today even fewer would have the desire to invite such a preacher to proclaim the good news from their pulpits or at their seminars on “God’s Love and Mercy”.
Let us read the book of Luke, where John the Baptist calls the crowd that is coming out for a church service “vipers.”
John’s message is God’s opening invitation to get saved.
That is correct. John calls the crowd a group of snakes.
Slithering, disgusting, slimy vipers is how he described those who were there at God’s site:
- John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. (Luke 3:7–10)
Please note that John’s preaching caused the people to ask, “What should we do then?”, and it is the same question Peter’s preaching drove the people to ask in the book of Acts as we shall see.
Reading about John’s repentance brings us to the second type of repentance, the preachers of Jesus repentance.
If you think John the Baptist is unbending, harsh, direct, and has a tone, then just wait until Jesus starts to demand His repentance in your heart and life.
- John the Baptist answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Luke 3:16–17)
The gospel call of Jesus has been so watered down by a cold church that when Scripture declares, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near,’” it is re-interpreted to be a kind of smiling misrepresentation of Jesus mixed with an irreverent get-a-nice-life message. (See Matthew 4:17)
What I term a Smiling-Jack gospel verses a Saving-Jesus cross carrying gospel.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth, as Jesus builds a hotter fire than the preaching of John the Baptist.
Jesus’ fire and sword cut through the very thoughts and attitudes of your mind and heart.
While Hebrews is often quoted from the pulpit, few know the power of those cuts and the fine precision with which God deals with sin.
One recognizes how few know this power by the carefree “amens” they utter.
- For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
John the Baptist’s repentance only clean up one’s outside life whereas Jesus cuts to the bone.
A Jesus repentance builds upon John’s message refining unto complete holiness, purifying body, soul, mind and heart unto a holy love for the Living God.
Preachers of Jesus repentance know the purifying holy fire, have beheld the winnowing fork and the dangers of becoming mere chaff.
Such preachers thus proclaim the offensive message of the cross with complete seriousness and authority given by the Holy Spirit.
Remember when John the Baptist drove the people to cry out with godly sorrow, “What must we do?”
We now return to the first sermon preached after the resurrection of Jesus when Peter’s preaching soundly caused the crowd to wail with the same cry.
- When the people heard Peter, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)
Peter’s preaching of the repentance of Jesus cut to the heart even more than John’s, and the people cried out in deep repentant pain for guidance on what they must do to be completely saved.
Generally speaking, Jesus repentance may take some time depending on the softness or hardness of a disciple’s heart.
As Jesus instructed, there is much to learn when becoming born again through water baptism, and Jesus demands that everything be taught.
- Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
In a very real sense, all three are the repentance of Jesus for they are of and by Him.
However, for the sake of clarity, I have divided them into three areas to demonstrate the maturing of a Christian as they walk through life striving for His holiness.
In reality, God instills varying degrees of demanding repentance according to His love and the condition of your heart.
There can be differing repentance levels going on in the heart and life of a disciple of Jesus depending on what the Word of God is dealing with.
In short, sometimes the fire is hotter than others.
While we look generally at the third repentance, God may instill any and all of these repentances at varying depths and degrees as is befitting to His good and perfect will for your life.
So I wouldn’t bother taking notes because such are waste of time once the baptisms of repentance begin.
Sadly, your sins or refusal to repent years ago may have thoroughly ruined your walk, and God may have to take you back to the first repentance before moving forward.
As Paul wrote to the Galatians, sometimes it is required that a church or Christian start all over again:
- My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4:19)
The third repentance is Holy Spirit repentance.
The Holy Spirit is referred to as gentle winds, tongues of fire that cause praise, and oil that heals.
Once someone begins to mature, if they have persevered through John the Baptist repentance and the preachers of Jesus repentance, they arrive at Holy Spirit repentance, or put in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “Repentance and rest.”
This is repentance for those going on to maturity in Jesus.
As a disciple matures, the offensive message of the cross and the painful discipline of God becomes a thing of joy.
When this happens, the mature Christian becomes overly eager to progress and may refuse to rest and allow God time to renew and refresh them for future repentance unto holiness.
In short, a maturing Christian becomes too eager to be holy.
- This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15)
The temptation is to not rest when God directs His sheep to rest.
This is one reason why there are so many, far too many, self-help Christian books, seminars, retreats, studies, and spiritual workshops.
Learning to sit quietly before the Lord trusting Him is a godly fruit given to those who have followed Jesus in this matter of repentance.
As Paul writes:
- Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Alas, most individuals enjoy their work, family life or hobbies far too much to get quiet before a holy God.
A steady walk with God is repentance, then rest in His grace but only as He wills and in His timing.
You cannot pick and choose when you want to rest or tell God you have had enough repentance. Be warned such sinful rebellion could cost you dearly.
Repent, then rest as God wills is the only hope that such rest will make you holy.
Repent as He guides, then rest when He commands and your obedience with joy to Jesus will always be increasing.
Rest for as long as He commands and soon you will enter eternal rest with God.
Trust me, there is as much suffering in Jesus when people are repenting or resting if you are following the Holy Spirit.
As Paul instructs at all times a true disciple experiences both the death of Jesus and the life of Jesus at the same time.
- We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:10)
The only people who find resting natural are sluggards and foolish virgins, which are chaff in the church so I am not talking about them.
Whether resting or working each requires a full surrender to the purifying will of God.
For this reason, David sang that God had to make him lay down in Psalm 23:
- He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. (Psalm 23:2)
Before moving on a word of caution concerning church fellowship that is alive by the purifying repentance that is of Jesus.
It is crucial that you and others in your fellowship learn to love by the power of the Holy Spirit and according to God’s will.
- Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
Great harm can be done to others when we want others to deal with their sins too quickly.
There will be many times when God instructs that a person is to be left alone and we should be content to pray for them about their sin
- If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. (1 John 5:16)
Long before the 12 Apostles were ready for maturity, God was patient, letting time run its course for them to make many a mistake and believe many more misconceptions.
It is easy to let young disciples of Jesus get overly busy, and a church needs to be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit regarding when they should rest.
When I pastored a church, many times the Holy Spirit led that the entire church body was to stay home from worship services and simply rest in Him.
This happened because attending such a church where God is working and willing full surrender often requires moments where members must catch their breath.
This is not to be confused with a vacation or weekend project day as I am talking about those being weakened while carrying their cross as Jesus leds.
This is a following of Jesus to the place of rest He has chosen not a week-end off from denying self.
- Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. (Mark 6:31–32)
In conclusion, God will seek to instill in the disciple and church the three types of repentance as they walk with Jesus.
Daily this attitude of proving repentance is an all-persuasive and all-encompassing demeanor, a basic and constant event—or it is not the gospel of Jesus.
- First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20)
Are you ready to prove your repentance by your deeds?
If you are, gird yourself for the varying levels of repentance that accompany a walk with a holy God.
This short lesson is from www.luke1425.org, because Jesus commanded all to sit down and count the costs before following Him.