The Necessity of Repentance Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Necessity of Repentance Part 1. He will be reading out of Acts 3: 19-26.

Why is it that so many Christians are troubled in their hearts? Because they have not brought their sins to God. And you know what it does? It weighs them down. What you need to do is to come to the foot of the cross, and you need to repent of all your sins, not just yesterday, but every day of your life.

Welcome to Hope Worth Having. This is Pastor Mike Sanders, and we are grateful that you could be with us. Thank you for tuning in, we’re looking forward to our study today as we continue in the book of Acts, we’re in chapter 3, but we’re moving on to verses 19 through 26, and today we’re going to be talking about a very tough subject, the necessity of repentance.

You don’t hear a lot about repentance, but that’s what we want to look into. What does the Bible teach about the necessity of repentance? Let’s get into the Bible and learn. I want you to take your Bible this morning and join me in the book of Acts, Acts chapter 3, verses 19 through 26.

My sermon is entitled, The Necessity of Repentance. Now when we come to Acts chapter 3, God is making known His powerful purpose in the book of Acts. When you open up the book of Acts, you are seeing the powerful demonstration of God’s work through the ministry of the apostles.

Acts chapter 3 continues the story of the spread of the gospel and the miraculous works of the Spirit of God through the ministry of the apostles. If you have been studying with us, you know that at the outset of Acts chapter 3, we had the amazing miracle of the crippled man who was by the beautiful gate of the temple which was the most magnificent and majestic gate that was built with the temple and there as he was begging for the money you recall that Peter and John came by and said silver and gold have I none but what I do have I give unto you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ rise up and walk and this man received the power and the strength of God and his ankles which had never had any strength to hold him up and his feet which had never experienced walking on the ground finally was able to rise up and walk and not only was this man walking because God does not do things incrementally he does things miraculously And when God does something, your cup is not only got a little bit, but it runneth over.

And so I want you to know that the Bible teaches us in Acts chapter 3 that this man was leaping, and he was praising God. Would it not be enough for us to say how awesome God is if we just saw the man walk?

But God would do more than that, and he would lead this man to leap, and to rejoice, and to praise God, and he would come into the temple, and the people would know and recognize that this was the man who would consistently be by the beautiful gate begging for money.

But now God has touched his life, and he is now leaping and rejoicing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so then we pick up in chapter 3, and as we recognize that God is working, and he is doing something great, we note that Peter takes this opportunity to begin to preach a sermon that we covered, but we’ll continue to cover today.

But I want you to back up, and I want you to note in verse 16, he says, and his name of chapter 3, through faith, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith that comes through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, and did also your rulers, referring to the crucifixion of Christ, verse 18, but those things which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets, that the Christ would suffer, he is thus fulfilled.

And note what Peter says, repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come. from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

For Moses truly said to the fathers, the Lord your God will raise up for you, a prophet like me from your brethren. He shall hear all things, as whatever he says to you, and it shall be that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who follow as many as have spoken have also foretold these days. You are sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

to you first God having raised up his servant Jesus sent him to bless you in turning away every one of you from your iniquities. Now I want you to go back to verse 19 and I want you to circle that word therefore.

Peter says in his sermon as he has helped Jewish people to connect the dots he says, therefore, repent therefore. Now whenever in the Bible you see the word therefore you need to ask yourself the question why is it there?

Why would God put that? Because whenever we see that word therefore he is bringing together what he has previously said to what he is about to say. When he says therefore he is saying in light of the fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption that was witnessed to all by the prophets in the Old Testament.

So we back up again just so you can connect the dots just so you can see. Look at verse 18 don’t get away from the Bible it says those things which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets that the Christ would suffer he has thus fulfilled.

As a result of that Peter is saying that Peter is declaring that Jesus is the prophet that God had sent. He is the messiah that was foretold. He is the one who was promised to come and bring redemption.

Peter is saying that therefore as a result of that you and I our response to God is that we should repent. Now before we talk about the necessity of repentance or answer the question why should we repent?

Let’s answer the question what is repentance? There is confusion in the family of God. There is confusion in Christianity about what is true repentance. So I wanna help you out a little bit. First, I want you to understand that repentance is a turning away from our sins.

It is a turning away from our disobedience. It is a turning away from our rebellion towards God. When we sin against God, we are rebelling against His holy word, His holy truth. And when we live in a pattern of sinfulness, and when we participate in sin, or we think sin for thoughts, that is what we are doing, disobeying God and rebelling.

But here Peter says that we are to repent and be converted. And so he is telling us that repentance is not just about turning away from sin and turning away from disobedience to God, but it’s also about turning back to God.

Now, when you and I hear this, we say, Amen, Pastor Mike. I’m sure that most of you believe in repentance, taught in the Bible. By the way, I had a man one time tell me that repentance was not in the Bible.

And I said, what Bible are you reading? And then he tried to convince me that the apostles never taught repentance. And I said, apparently you haven’t read the book of Acts because the apostle Peter taught repentance and the apostle Paul taught repentance.

And he said, well, repentance is for another time. No repentance is for today, my friend. Every one of us doesn’t matter what dispensation what season or what time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Old Testament, or New Testament, whether it’s in the tribulation period or in the millennial kingdom or the times that we live now and the times of grace.

I want you to understand that repentance is the path to salvation. And repentance is more than just turning away. It is turning back to God. Now the reason that this is important for us to understand is because you can only imagine what it was like.

Peter’s audience was a Jewish audience. It was a group of people who had shown up in Jerusalem and they were participating in the day of Pentecost and they were celebrating, going through their rituals, going through their religion, and doing their religious thing.

So in their minds, they feel like they are pleasing God. They are appeasing God. They feel that as they are offering their sacrifices they are obeying God. And yet the apostle says, turn back to God.

Because what Peter recognizes is what Jesus recognized is what John the Baptist recognized the rituals became a replacement for a relationship. And you see, I want you to understand that what God is saying is what we have to address in our relationship with God.

You can be right on the outside. You can do everything that you’re supposed to do on the outside, but on the inside your heart can be far from the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know that? Did you know that you can backslide and be a member of a church?

Did you know that you can backslide from God and still grow up in a Christian home? Did you know you could go off to seminary or Bible college and you could backslide from God? Why? Because it’s not about the outside.

It’s about your heart. It’s about the inside of you. And so when the Apostle Peter says, turn back to God, he is making a stunning statement when he says, be converted, which means to come back to God.

He is really driving home a relationship with Jesus Christ. What is repentance? Repentance means a change of mind, but it doesn’t end there. It means a change of our conduct, a change of our thoughts.

True repentance is reflected in godly sorrow. When we think about godly sorrow, it’s not that I’m sorry that I got caught. I would have still done it if I hadn’t have got caught. But godly sorrow is brokenness over the fact that you have offended a holy god, a righteous god, that you have fallen short of this standard of righteousness.

And therefore you come to god repentant and full of remorse. Remember that Jesus said in the Beatitudes, blessed are those who mourn. They shall be comforted. Yes, it is applied to grief and is certainly applicable.

But listen to me. When Jesus taught that the blessed are those who mourn and that they will be comforted. He’s talking about those who mourn over their sin. Only those who mourn over their sins will be able to be comforted by the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The relief of the burden of our sins is found in a relationship with Christ that as we mourn over our sins and we come to god and bring those sins to him, it is God who brings us the comfort and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ that reminds us that there is forgiveness in the Lord.

Now repentance leads us to change. We change the direction of our lives. God is calling us to do a 180, not a 360. Why is this important? Because there is so much misunderstanding about repentance in the kingdom of Christ.

In that some people say, well, if you just pray a prayer, you’re gonna be okay. If you just acknowledge these certain truths, you’re gonna be okay. Well, listen, a mental acknowledgment does not make you a Christian.

You must come to Christ with a repentant heart, a humble and honest heart that says, God, I’m willing to own my sinfulness and I’m willing to come to grips with the fact that I have sinned and offended a holy God and I come today asking you to forgive me of my sins.

Anything short of that is not authentic repentance. Now, repentance is not coming to an altar and crying. I’ve watched many people as a pastor of my 25 years come to this altar and other altars and cry, crying so much they can’t even get them up from the altar, and then go back and live a wicked life or a life that’s apathetic towards God.

It’s easy for people to be emotionally moved. but not be spiritually moved. It’s easy for people, and as parents, we have to be careful that we don’t want our kids to just check a box, check a box spiritually, check a box, pray a prayer.

Do these things, and then all of a sudden, you’re guaranteed heaven. No, every one of our children must mourn over their sin, and they must come before God, however, that is expressed. Whether it’s a lot of emotion or little emotion, that’s not the point.

The point is that they are authentically honest with God, and say, Lord, I come to grips with the fact that I am a sinner in need of a savior. Repentance leads to change. How do you know that someone has repented?

There will be a change in their mindset, there’ll be a change in their action, there’ll be a change in their thoughts, there is authentic change, it is real change, and they are now going a different direction, and they are striving to know God, and they have a hunger for God, and they have a thirst for righteousness, and they desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

You say, well, I know people who say they’re Christians, but they don’t seem to care about God. They don’t seem to want to read their Bible. Well, friends, it’s probably a reflection that they’ve not truly repented, they just did the outside stuff.

They just did the outside, and the inside was never transformed. Repentance is a command of God, it is forsaking sin, and it leads us into godly sorrow that we mourn for our sin. But I also want you to know even the goodness of God can lead you to repentance.

Romans 2:4, Paul asked the question, doesn’t even the goodness of God lead us to repentance, that you and I can be so overwhelmed with how good God is to us, that we can be so touched in our heart by His majesty and how great He is and His blessings upon our life.

We know that we’re unworthy of these things, but they lead us to repent before God. Perhaps it’s a repentance of apathy. It’s a repentance of not recognizing or giving thanks. Whatever matter it is, God brings it to our attention even through His goodness to us.

The scriptures teach us that God is not willing, that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Repentance, hang on. Repentance is the first condition of forgiveness and salvation for the sinner.

Why? Because the sinner is at enmity with God and cannot have peace with God until… that they repent and reverse the direction of their life. Now let’s answer the question, why should I repent? Because that’s what Peter really takes time to bring to our attention in this sermon, verses 19 through 26.

So there are three reasons that we see the necessity of repentance in our lives. And I want you to hang on. This is gonna be some good stuff. Not good because of Pastor Mike, but good because it’s in the word of God and the word of God is rich.

So you are gonna be so glad you came to the house of God this morning. You’re gonna be so thankful that you took the time to hear the word of God this morning. But the first reason we should repent is that our sins may be blotted out.

Back up to verse 19. Repent, therefore, be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Underscore that. Highlight that in your Bible. This is a glorious summary of the gospel. Repent, convert, and your sins will be blotted out.

This is the essence of our message. This is the essence of our mission. This is what we are about, church, that we are proclaiming the wonderful message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are sinners, but we are not left hopeless and we are not left in our sinful state.

But we have a savior who stepped into this world and lived a sinless life, and as he lived a sinless life, he was qualified to die for our sins and to be hung on the cross because he obeyed the law in every aspect.

I could not obey the law. I could not fulfill the law, but Jesus did. And Jesus Christ hung on the cross and on the cross. Listen, it wasn’t a matter of him paying for our sins to the devil. It was a matter of him paying for our sins to a holy and righteous God.

The wrath of God was poured out upon Christ. the cross. And Christ, He bore that for us, as we sang in our song, gladly bearing our burden. Not the burden of what are we going to have for lunch today, but the burden of my sin.

It was Jesus who gladly bore that burden. It was Jesus who gladly paid for that sin. Repentance and conversion are described in this passage as being inseparable. And so we are called to repent and we are called to convert and our sins will be blotted out.

Repentance is necessary for the forgiveness of sins. I want you to take your Bible and back up to Acts chapter 2. Just go with me. Verse 38. This is Peter’s first sermon after the day of Pentecost. He says, then Peter said to them Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission or the forgiveness.

When you see the word remission, a good synonym is forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. There again, Peter is calling us to repentance. We come to verse 19 of chapter three, repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out.

This is what Peter is teaching us. The famous Puritan preacher, Thomas Watson, said these words that faith and repentance were like the two wings of a bird whereby we fly in heaven. My friends, the reason that you should repent and convert to Jesus Christ is that your sins will be blotted out.

The Bible commands us to confess our sins. The Bible commands us to forsake them. It’s not just a mental acknowledgment. Look at chapter three, verse 26, at the end of the chapter. Here, the apostle Peter says to you first, meaning the Jewish people.

The gospel first went to the Jewish people. God, having raised up his servant Jesus, sent him to bless you in turning every one of you from your iniquities. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you could stay in your sin.

Jesus didn’t die in the cross so you can remain a wicked person. Jesus didn’t die in your sins so that you would stay in the pattern and the addictions of sin, but rather just the opposite to turn every one of you from your iniquities.

Now, once sinned, is placed under the blood of Christ there is no more record of it here Peter teaches us it is blotted out it is wiped away what does it mean to be blotted out it is a phrase that is used in reference to washing now we’re not talking about washing clothes but this is a different kind of washing it’s the wiping away of ink from the surface of a document so in the Old and New Testament times when they wrote on a parchment or when they wrote on something the ink did not soak in and therefore they had the capacity to just wipe it away and what Peter is doing is he is saying that your sins can be blotted out or they can be wiped away your sins can be washed away the stain is removed look at it like a marker board Your sins and you can just list them all on this marker board, but then you take the eraser Who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and through his blood?

He just wipes it away and listens Here’s a promise that every one of us has and that is first John 1 9 if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness You see repentance is not a one -time thing in my life But it doesn’t stop did you know that That we are called to live a life of repentance That we are called to confess our sins Why is it that so many Christians are troubled in their hearts because they have not brought their sins to God?

Why is it that they are struggling in their faith and they are anemic in their power with God it is because there are Unresolved sins in their life There are unresolved issues in their hearts and they just hold on to them and they tuck them in the corner and they put it in The closet of their hearts and they refuse to address it and they refuse to deal with it and you know what it does it weighs Them down it slows them down.

It makes them anemic in the kingdom of God what you need to do is to come to the foot of the cross and you need to repent of all your sins and you need To confess all your sins not just yesterday, but every day of your life Now you might say to me Mike You don’t realize how good I am.

You don’t understand how close I am to perfection now the Pharisees were like that and Jesus said even if you think it you’re guilty Not only am I held to the high standard of righteousness through my actions, but my thoughts and You say well Mike I have a very good thought life It has been sanctified by the Spirit and it is washed in the blood and it is guided by the Word But did you know Jesus addressed the issue and said, if you, even doing good things for God, do it for the wrong reason, that you are guilty before God.

You see, not only are my actions accountable to God, and my thoughts are accountable to God, but my motives are accountable to God. I mean, you wouldn’t have found a better group of church members than the Pharisees.

I mean, they faithfully gave, and they faithfully served, and they were faithfully out there blowing their trumpet, letting everybody know that they were helping in the community and giving to charity.

You would have never found more faithful people to show up at the house of the Lord in the synagogue. But Jesus said their heart was far from me. You say, well, Mike, I got the actions down, I got the thoughts down, I got the motives down.

How about this one? Did you know you’re held accountable for negligence in your life? The Bible says, he that knows to do good and doesn’t do it to him, it is a sin. That there are sins of omission, not just commission.

That there are things that God has prompted us to do, that the Spirit has led us to do. There are things that we know are right to do based upon the Word of God, and yet we fail to do them, and we are held accountable to God.

Jesus stood there preaching and teaching the Beatitudes, and after giving the Beatitudes, he said to the people, unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You talk about a blowback. You talk about dropping the mic, because everyone there thought, if anybody’s going to heaven, it’s got to be the Pharisees. And Jesus said, unless you’re better than them, you’re not going there.

Now, Jesus wasn’t asking them to be better than the Pharisees. You see, a lot of Christians misunderstand that. They think, okay, we got to work harder. We got to work faster. We got to dig deeper. We got to climb higher.

That’s not what Jesus is asking you to do. He’s asking you to acknowledge, I’m a sinner. I can’t save myself. I can’t work my way to heaven. I could never be good enough to be worthy of entry into the kingdom of God.

So how do you get there? By repenting and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we think about repentance, we think about the idea of turning away or turning around. So we’re turning away from our sin, turning away from our selfishness, and we’re turning towards Jesus Christ.

That’s the essence of it. And I know it’s a change of mind. I know it’s a change of the will. And I know it’s a change. of desires and all that involves repentance. The key is this, to understand, that God is calling us to repent of our sins and to embrace Him as our Lord and Savior.

And so that’s what we’re hoping today that that would be true in your life, is that you would repent of your sins and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior. And remember that repentance is not just some one-time thing, but rather every day I am repenting and I am becoming more and more like Jesus.

So I pray that that’ll be true in your life as you live out the necessity of repentance. I want to thank you for your support, standing with us, and helping hope worth having be on the air. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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