Archive for the ‘repentance’ Category


February 13th, 2009

“What then did you go out to see?

(see Luke 7:24,25,26)

When John the Baptist came on the scene, he preached a message of repentance to the people of God (Lk. 3).  Then, after he was departed from this world by order of Herod’s execution, Jesus raised the question to the crowds-“What did you go out to see?” [re: John] (Lk. 7:24-26).  The options are provocative:

1.      “A reed shaken by the wind” – a  sensitive tender individual?

2.     “A man dressed in soft clothing” – a wealthy individual?

3.    “A prophet” – a man of God?

There was considerable disillusionment about John.  Expectations often differ from reality.  John had quite a following; but among those who were considered most educated and most religious-John was rejected; they were not about to subscribe to his message of repentance. In fact, the biblical text says that the elite “rejected the purpose of God,” by their rejection of John and his message (Lk. 7:36).

Disillusion comes in many forms, but when it means the rejection of the purposes of God, it is a severe form of disillusionment.  Be careful, then, that your own disillusionment is not a reflection of lack of repentance toward the ways of the Lord.  “Blessed is the one,” Jesus said, “who is not offended by me” (Lk. 7:23).

-Robert M. Housby


March 25th, 2007

“…repent and believe in the gospel”

(Mark 1:15)

John the Baptist proclaimed a baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4). The apostle Paul explained John’s ministry in Acts 19:4—“And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus”. In Mark 1:15, Jesus equates the nearness of the kingdom of God with the gospel, and then urges that men “…repent and believe in the gospel.” Notice, here, that repentance and belief stand together.

We may ask, what is repentance? Whatever it is, John and Jesus made it a requirement. If it is a requirement, and it certainly is (see Luke 13:1-5), how may we better understand and appreciate repentance for what it is?

1. It assumes that men have the capacity and ability to repent. This appears to stem from the continuity of Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6)—where man is declared to be made in the likeness of God. The Bible suggests that God has, himself, at various intervals of sacred history repented (see Genesis 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:35). Although, it must be remembered that a change of mind (or, reversal of a former decision) does not negate God’s unchangeable nature (see Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6). Some modern philosophies of determinism do not accept the above proposition that man can repent. Rather, many today are being told that they are not responsible and therefore repentance is not necessary: Environmental Determinism; Genetic Determinism; Theological Determinism.
2. Repentance is more than sorrow and religious ritualism
(2 Cor. 7:10; Matthew 3:1-12).
3. Repentance produces fruit (Matthew 3:8).
4. Repentance is rewarded in this life and the life to come (Acts 3:19-20).

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Mark, New Testament, repentance Tags: