“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Cor. 13:5
Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, says there are only two kinds of people: those who have Christ in them, and those who are reprobates. In other words, saved and unsaved. In this, he challenges them as individuals to make sure they are saved.
However, what is salvation and what is it that we need to be saved from, and why? The answer is our sinful nature, which separates us from God. We are born with the knowledge of good and evil; when we do good, we feel good. When we do evil, we feel evil. Or, as we prefer, we use the word bad. But God defines sin as evil regardless of the degree. (Gen 2:17; 3:22-24; Gen 5:3) Nevertheless, salvation is not based on a feeling. God placed a condition on Salvation. In Acts 17:30, God commanded that all men-everywhere repent. In Luke 13:3,5, Jesus said, “lest ye repent, ye shall likewise perish, and go to the lake of fire (Rev.20:15)
There are two definitions; or applications of repentance – Godly sorrow and selfish sorrow. Godly sorrow/repentance leads to forgiveness and salvation. Selfishly motivated sorrow/repentance does not bring about forgiveness and salvation. Repentance in a nutshell means to have a change of mind and change of direction. As the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary says, “To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken.” The Bible’s definition goes beyond and adds that repentance for salvation involves our recognition of the sin against a holy God and we acknowledge our need for His mercy in our lives – this coupled together with a change of mind and direction brings about new life. Saying a prayer to invite Jesus into our hearts without repentance and a commitment to change the way we think about God and ourselves, does not save us. It is false security. There are two examples of repentance in Scripture that teach us the difference.
In Matthew 27: 1-5, we read that Judas “repented himself” acknowledging that he sinned by betraying innocent blood, so he went out and hanged himself.
In Matthew 27: 38-44, we read the account of the thief on the cross, he repented and acknowledge his sin AND turned to Jesus and said, “Remember me when you enter your kingdom.
Judas fulfilled the sorrow of the world, which led to death; the thief on the cross fulfilled Godly sorrow, which led to repentance. The key was Judas did not go the necessary step in allowing his sorrow to produce a changed mind about whom he was and who Jesus was/is. However, the thief on the cross did, and Jesus received him, offering salvation.
The thief also served as an example and fulfillment of Romans 6:23; 10:8-13; 2 Cor 7:10a. Whereas Judas served as an example and fulfillment of 2 Cor 7:10b
We need to see ourselves as God sees us: Read
Rom 3:10-18 – No one righteous
Isa 64:6-7 – All unclean; our righteousness as filthy rags.
Luke 18:18-19 – the question asked, “How can I receive eternal life?”
When we acknowledge who we are, we can see the beauty of God’s love for us in that he should provide a Savior. Ultimately, there is one question that will help you/me determine whether our sorrow is repentance leading to death or leading to salvation:
Do you believe you deserve to go to hell?
If we answer no – we are lost. We must follow the example of the thief on the cross.
1) He confessed that he deserved to die for his deeds.
2) He confessed Jesus as Lord (Rom 10:9)
3) He asked Jesus to remember him.
It is my prayer that this lesson will help you to understand repentance and will give you the tools to point you to Jesus, so that you can share with your friends and loved ones.
© Ralph Najera 2011
» left by Teresa(1,344) (1 year 308 days ago.)
Hi Dad! It's a tough question to ask ourselves. But if we think we are good enough to go to heaven and we don't deserve hell, then there is no need for salvation. And as 1 John says, if we say we have no sin, we are calling God a liar and the love of God is not in us. Challenging message, keep them comingRespond to this comment
» left by Marijo Phelps(134) (1 year 307 days ago.)
Excellent article with the backing of His Word. Hope to read more from you! Blessings Brother! By the way, your daughter is quite the gal!Respond to this comment
» left by Ralph from Yucca Vly.CA (1 year 307 days ago.)
Thank you bro. for the welcome .Teresa has always,been able to express what she fills,we thank our GOOD LORD.The liberal soul shall be made fat:and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.(prov.11:25kjv)
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» left by Ralph from yucca vly ca. (1 year 305 days ago.)
Thank you sister Marijo.I apologize. I read your comment on terry's article on conditional salvation vs eternal security I commented also take a look
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» left by Joel Hendon (1 year 304 days ago.)We appreciate your comments!
I commend you on a very intersting, and well written article Ralph. I agree with you that there are two kinds of repentance. If one is sorry of having committed some wrong, only because he was caught, that is not Godly sorrow. And Godly sorrow is the only kind that "worketh repentance". By the way, welcome to Wide World Bible Studies. You have an outstanding daughter. I suppose you knew that without me saying so. Keep writing, you never know just how influential one of your articles might be to someone.Respond to this comment
» left by Ralph Najera from yucca vly ca. (1 year 304 days ago.)
Thank's for the encouragement,Joel and the welcome.God gives all his children,wisdom and knowledge if they ask,so that we can rightly divide his word of truth, If one can't read he gives it by the hearing. Teresa,has also encouraged me..
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