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Repentance From Dead Works

Repentance is the first step in building a successful foundation in the life of a believer. We have no choice or option concerning repentance, for God commands it (Acts 17:30--"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now comandeth all men everywhere to repent").

  1. WHAT DOES THE WORD "REPENTANCE MEAN?"
    It means a"change of mind", or a change of heart and attitude. It means "to have a radical change in one's attitude toward sin and God". There is the implication of conscious moral separation and a personal decision to forsake sin and enter fellowship with God.
  2. REPENTANCE CALLS FOR A RENUNCIATION OF SELF-CONFIDENCE AND WILL INITIATE A CONFIDENCE IN GOD.
    1. Our own way leads us astray (Isaiah 53:6).
    2. We must confess our sin, turn from sin, and place our confidence in God (Judges 10:15, 16).
    3. We must repent and turn towards God (Acts 26:19, 20).
    4. We must turn from our idols and serve God (I Thessalonians 1:8, 9).
  3. HOW IMPORTANT IS REPENTANCE?
    1. Essential for salvation (Mark 1:15)
    2. It is commanded by God (Acts 17:30).
    3. It is a gift from God (Acts 11:18; II Timothy 2:25).
    4. It was a reason for Christ's coming (Luke 5:32).
    5. Necessary to avoid destruction (Luke 13:3, 5).
    6. Part of the Lord's commission to us (Luke 24:47).
    7. God desires it for all men (II Peter 3:9).
    8. It is a foundational truth basic to all believers (Hebrews 6:1, 2).
  4. WHAT THEN ARE THE DEAD WORKS THAT WE MUST REPENT OF?
    1. Dead works are man-made laws, beliefs and good works that dominate our frame of thought and actions concerning God (works of the flesh!).
      1. One practices dead works in order to gain favor and earn grace in the eyes of God (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
      2. This is an impossibility. It is not by the works of our own hands that we obtain mercy (Titus 3:5; II Timothy 1:8, 9).
    2. The "Traditions of the Elders", as practiced by the Scribes and Pharisees, are examples of dead works.
      1. They transgressed the commandment of God by functioning within the realm of their traditions (Matthew 15:1-9).
      2. Though the Pharisees were extremely religious, their worship was in vain (Mark 7:7-9).
  5. DEAD WORKS ARE NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE TRUE GOOD WORKS THAT GOD HAS PURPOSED FOR CHRISTIANS IN SPREADING THE WORDOF GOD.
    1. The Scriptures encourage that our lives be fruitful (Colossians 1:10).
    2. The works that we do are inspired by the Holy Spirit rather than by the prompting and effort of man (Ephesians 2:10).
    3. We are admonished that the unfruitful branch is put away, while the fruitful branch is purged, that it migh be more fruitful (John 15:1, 2).

It is imperative that we turn from dead works, because they only serve to frustrate the work of God in our lives. God desires a people who will worship in Truth and in Spirit (John 4:23, 24). We have not been redeemed by corruptible things, but by the blood of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:18, 19). Thus, our attempts toward making ourselves acceptable to God are futile. It is God who must turn our hearts from the performance of dead works and birth within us a desire to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14)!

Repentance From Dead Works

LOVE-PASS IT ON!


Mailing Address: New Life Church
P.O. Box 975
Franklin, VA 23851
Phone: (757) 562-4705

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(last updated on July 5, 2005)