Written 2009

Hebrews 6:1-2 – Six Foundations:

  1. Repentance from dead works
  2. Faith toward God
  3. Doctrine of baptisms
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection of the dead
  6. Eternal Judgment

“…the foundation of repentance from dead works” (Hebrews 6:1) – REPENTANCE

What Value Does God Place on Repentance?

  • 1st foundation listed in Hebrews 6:1-2
  • Isaiah 40:1-3; Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:1-5; Acts 19:4 – Jesus’ way was prepared through repentance
  • Luke 3:7-14 – true repentance
  • Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15 – Jesus emphasized repentance, then faith, at the beginning of his ministry
  • Luke 24:46-47 – Jesus emphasized repentance soon after He resurrected
  • Acts 2:38 – Peter emphasizes repentance as first action needed for new life
  • Acts 20:20-21 – Paul emphasized the primacy of repentance with faith

What is Repentance?

  • Repentance is not remorse
  • Matt. 27:3-5 – Judas was remorseful, but it led to death
  • Hebrews 12:16-17 – Esau shed tears, but found no place for repentance
  • 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 – remorse can lead to repentance
  • Godly sorrow –> repentance –> life
  • Godly sorrow seems to represent the sorrow that we have when God’s desires haven’t been met
  • Worldly sorrow –> death
  • Worldly sorrow may refer to the sorrow that people have when their own desires haven’t been met
  • repentance = inner change of mind, outward change of action
  • Greek: metanoein – to change one’s mind
  • Hebrew word for repentance: “to turn,” “to return,” “to turn back.”  
  • Luke 15:11-32 – Prodigal son
  • “I will arise and go to my father…And he arose, and came to his father” (vv.18-20)

What is the Repentance God Desires?

  • True repentance is turning away from dead works and facing toward God
  • Hebrews 6:1 – “repentance [away] from dead works”
  • Luke 13:1-3 – God may desire repentance even in the midst of “religious” works
  • “Religious” works could be works of religion serving false gods (Exodus 20:3)
  • “Religious” works could be works of religion that profess to serve the true God in a way or attitude that He never prescribed (Exodus 20:4-5; Romans 14:23)
  • Acts 20:21 – “repentance toward God”
  • Example: Luke 15:18-20 – Prodigal son
  • Turned away from his sinfulness and toward his father
  • Luke 3:8-14 – true repentance will produce fruit

How Do We Truly Repent?

  • John 6:44; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25-26 – Our repentance is initiated by God
  • Psalm 139:23; John 16:8 – God reveals our sinfulness to us
  • Philippians 2:13 – God works in us the willingness and the doing of repentance
  • Matt. 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27; Philippians 2:12 – we must choose how we respond to God’s call toward repentance
  • Song of Songs 1:4; Hosea 12:6; Luke 15:20 – as we purpose in our minds, hearts, and actions to turn to God, He, in his mercy, meets us and draws us back to Himself by his strength, even if we are “still a great way off” (Luke 15:20).
  • “In his own unregenerate, sinful condition, every man that was ever born has turned his back on God, his Father, and on heaven, his home.  Each step he takes is a step away from God and from heaven.  As he walks this way, the light is behind him, and the shadows are before him.  The farther he goes, the longer and darker the shadows become.  Each step he takes is one step nearer the end – one step nearer the grave, nearer hell, nearer the endless darkness of a lost eternity…For every man who takes this course, there is one essential act he must make.  He must stop, change his mind, change his direction, face the opposite way, turn his back to the shadows and face toward the light.” (Prince 101) 

Who Needs to Repent?

  • Acts 17:30; Luke 13:1-5 – All men are commanded to repent
  • Hebrews 6:1; Revelation 2:5,16,22; 3:3,19 – Even Christians are called to repent

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