Where does repentance come from?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by ahigherway, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" 2 Tim. 2.25

    Reading the above, we see that God gives some men repentance. (Perhaps not all, but some yes.)

    "16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Heb. 12.16-17

    Esau could not repent. --Because God did not give it to him?

    So is repentance God-given? If so, then it is impossible to repent unless God gives it to us..


  2. Generally speaking, I dislike ‘proof-texting’ because it often provides a myopic view on concepts with several applications. Having said that, I will address here the question raised on repentance, and whether or not it is dependent on God for conception.
    On another thread, people were debating the scriptural paradox of there being ‘many called, but few chosen’. I feel a similar paradox relates to the concept of individuals choosing repentance, or God granting individuals repentance.
    For the most part, I feel the same way in both cases: God chooses those who choose Him. Choose to follow after God with your whole heart, choose to obey Jesus and repent; and you become one of the very ‘elect’ as a result. Choose not to do this… we can all work that out for ourselves.

    In short, I believe in free will. I believe in ‘pre-destination’ as such working in accord with each individual’s free will. The grace of God, the love of God, the forgiveness of God is extended to each and every one of us; the questions is, how will we respond? It is our chosen response to God’s great gift of love and life that determines our future: the choice is ours.
  3. Hi kweli tu,
    Thank you for your response.
    I agree with you about the "myoptic" element of quoting verses. Paul's statements in Titus however seem to be sandwiched between verses exhorting believers to do good works (maybe for a reason), but even if I quoted the whole chapter or even the whole letter, I don't think it would change the message of verses 4-8. I could be wrong..

    I also understand the concept of free will. And I agree with you that God does permit man to make certain choices. Psalm 107 shows in detail how God let's man reach rock bottom, and then He saves him.

    I see in the world around me, that people are not all the same. Many people do not have the intellectual ability to reason about God, and many people simply cannot believe in God or heaven and hell because they have no evidence of them.
    If I run a race with others, but they are faster than men, and win, and I lose, is it my fault that I am slower?

    The scriptures talk often about people being deceived. If a person is deceived, then that implies that he is not aware of something going on around him. If he is not aware, then someone else must make him aware, or else he will remain in the dark, and perhaps get hurt.

    Do you believe that many people today are deceived?
    If so, how can a person be guilty if he has been deceived?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

  4. There is not birthright between the humans which is only for one or some person(-s), but the Purpose is to has as possible as many perfect servants of the God's Salvation for the human/soul beings.

    Matthew 9:36-38 "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."

    That birthright of Esau has been only lineage/ancestry of the old testament - (the) contest/rivalry for such birthright is just (a) self-interest - in fact it has been (a) transgression of Jacob.

    Micah 1:5 "For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria(ie the thirst/passion for greedily competition/rivalry/overtaking/aggrandizement/separation)? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem(ie the human/unrighteous faith/religion)?"

    Else, the Repentance is Important for the believers/clerics, without it the faith is only iniquity.
  5. Brian wrote:
    Hi Brian, Thanks for your insightful comments. (And sorry for being so late to respond. It’s been a hectic week, to say the least.)

    I have to say, I don’t agree with your observation that ‘many’ people do not have the intellectual ability to reason about God. While this may be the case for a very small portion of the world’s population, for the most part, I would say people can come to the ‘realization’ of God by way of reason – most people just don’t want to.

    I could go on to list a variety of different ways one can come to know of God (e.g. nature), though I imagine most people reading this forum are already well aware of such methods. Rather, I will just suffice it to say that the things God has made in this world bear testimony to His (i.e. the Creator’s) existence. Generally speaking, there is no excuse for people to claim that there is no Creator God who made the earth. (And I could start going off on a tangent here, but let’s just say that there is a lot of evidence to suggest that evolution type theories are ‘intellectual’ attempts to rationalize away the existence of God, largely because of the changes such people would have to make to their lives if they were to acknowledge the fact that there is a God.)

    I’m not sure I fully understand your race analogy/example.

    Yes, I do believe that many people are deceived. But I also think that is not the most important question; the most important question is whether or not one is walking in ‘all the light they have’. (1 John 1:7) If we are doing that (i.e. if we are sincere), then we can be ‘deceived’, yet true. Think about the Good Samaritan Jesus referenced in one of his most famous parables in the Gospels. (Luke 10:25-37) The Good Samaritan was ‘deceived’, in the sense that he did not correctly understand the ‘way of God’ (in a theological sense) at that point in time. Nonetheless, Jesus commended the Good Samaritan, not because he was of the correct ‘religion’ at the time - he wasn’t - but because he was doing what he could to show love to his neighbour. ‘Righteousness’ (which none of us fully possess in our own strength) saves no one. Sincerity, by way of Jesus’ sacrificial death, can.

    Okay, I’d better leave it there for now. More to come as I find time.
  6. Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    The Scriptures state everyone has an opportunity to come to Christ. God reads our hearts. Our salvation is not dependent upon how smart we are, or how insightful we can be, nor clever, nor learned.

    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

    Our conscience is an internal mechanism God created for the purpose of speaking to us when the world tries to keep Him hidden and secret.

    We do not choose God on our own, but when He calls to us we make a freewill choice to search for Him or to reject His call.

    John 15:16
    Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    1 John 4:19
    We love him, because he first loved us.

    John 14:6
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    John 6:44
    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

    True repentance does not fade away over time.

    Remember 9/11 So many headed for the church, but so few stayed. Over time, most drifted back to their old lives and forgot God.

    This "repentance" comes from man who forgets his sins and then repeats them.

    But true repentance is forever. This repentance comes from God who has called us to him.
  7. Agreed. Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights.
    Since Repentence is needed for Salvation, it is a good gift, and therefore from God.

    Julian of York
  8. ginger, you as though follow the goofy philosophy: everybody to become: servants of God, apostles, deacons, bishops, presbyters, etc.?! It is like: everyone to become: mayor, minister, premier, president, etc.?!
    Why (is) necessarily everybody (to be) cleric?!, after namely there is the big danger?

    Genesis 6:4-7 "There were giants(ie the monstrous clerics) in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty(ie spiritualy mighty/powerful) men which were of old, men of renown(ie of (the) human/unclean spiritual glory). And God saw that the wickedness(ie which is appear as a result of spiritual iniquity/wickedness) of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart(ie of his faith/spirit) was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
  9. I'm sorry qtld, as I said before, I am not going to respond to you any longer because I never have any idea what you are talking about. Please forgive me, but I can't have a discussion if I don't know what the other person is saying. :(
  10. I agree with Ginger. I thought the problem was just me, but I can't make heads or tails out of those posts,either.
  11. I had in mind this:

    James 3:1-18 "My brethren, be not many masters(ie be not too many/big clerics), knowing that(ie knowing that if you become too many/big clerics then thus) we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word(ie in the faith), the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue(ie the faith) is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue(ie the human faith) is a fire(ie dangerous power), a(ie the actual) world of iniquity: so is the tongue(ie the faith) among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue(ie the human faith) can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying(ie rivalry) and strife(ie hostility) in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly(ie hellish), sensual(ie by forces of the "darkness"), devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
  12. Repentance should be distinguished from remorse.

    REMORSE is simply emotional compunction. This goes with man in the cemetery, so to speak; that is upon death.
    Example, Esau and Judas Iscariot. Do we need to give the verses?

    REPENTANCE is "humbling oneself before God" that whatever He says, man believes, accepts, and submit himself completely to Him.
    Example, Saul of Tarsus who was zealous serving his "God" that he did not know. Do we need to give the verses?
  13. The remorse is repentance - why should there be a difference?

    Look here:

    Luke 15:7-10 "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.",

    Matthew 12:37 "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
  14. In Luk 15:7-10, Jesus Christ demonstrated the characters involved here "humbled themselves before Him." In so doing, they RECOGNIZED/identified Jesus Christ, that no longer were they subject to His rebuke.

    * John 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
    * John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: 55 Yet ye have not known him...

    For how can a person truly repent, and then love GOD without knowing Him? Read what Jesus Christ told a humble Scribe in Mark 12:28-31, where Jesus Christ summarized the steps, the right way, to LOVE Him and then to LOVE "neighbor" (as distinguished from fellowmen).
  15. First, the Purpose of the Faith is only the Holy Salvation,
    second, all the humans/souls live in one and same territory/domain which is the universe as a whole, so that, all humans/souls are neighbors - every one with respect to every other.

  16. Ginger wrote:

    Hi Ginger,
    I would question your statement that ‘true repentance does not fade away over time’. I’m not so sure about that.

    Jesus says (in Matthew 10:22) that ‘he who endures to the end shall be saved’. In another verse, he talks about fellow Christians forgiving each other ’70 x 7’ times (in one day, if I’m not mistaken). The picture painted for me throughout the NT is that, while we do need to repent, we should also not assume that because we are sorry and confess our sins to God/others, we will never commit the same trespasses ever again. Rather, the understanding I have is that we should confess and repent of our sins, trying never to do them again; but I don’t know if that’s the same as assuming that once you repent, you will never sin again.

    Take lying, for example. We’d all be lying to say that we’ve never told a lie. And, as this is Christian forum, we can probably all say that we have confessed and repented of lying before as well. But can anyone here say that they have never told a lie since they repented of it? I dare say not; with the assumption that ‘true repentance never fades', the implied resulting assumption is that the original repentance (for lying) was thus false by default. I’m not sure that’s an accurate assumption to make.
  17. I'm not suggesting that repenting means we stop sinning. Changing our life "habits
    " for lack of a better word, usually takes time, and when speaking of the spiritual, it also takes God.

    What I am saying is people repent, or are sorry for what they have done or what happened, when they suffer a consequence. At first glance everyone appears to be truly remorseful. But, over time, we can separate those who were truly remorseful over the specific issue/sin from those who were remoresful over the consequence of that specific issue.

    For example, when I repeat a sin, such as lying, my regret does not wait until I get caught. I regret it immediately. In fact, there have been times when I told a lie and the words barely left my lips before I began saying, "that's not true, this is what happened...."

    It's actually made it easier for me to start with the truth.

    I agree with you. The person who is truly repentent will make real effort to change the way the behave and God will be helping them along the way to ensure success.

  18. Hi Ginger,
    Thanks for taking the time to clarify your position over this issue. Admittedly, I was rushing at the time I posted my response to your comments; and it seems now that I may have misjudged some of the sentiment you were hoping to convey. I am sorry about that.

    I'm still finding it hard to make time for this forum at the moment, though I do deeply want to contribute more, as I feel it is essential that we do all we can to encourage each other as fellow Christians as we get closer to the return of Jesus. Hopefully I'll get a bit more time soon, and will have a chance to share more then.

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