We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God;
whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession,
and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, priest and king, and relying on him alone as the only and
all-sufficient Savior.The merits of Act 20:20-21 are clear to the Christian consciousness. That faith and repentance have different functions but are conjoined by
the values they offer the Christian community. No one that confesses that Jesus is their Lord can cast off the cloak of one for the other. The cognitive reality is if
you repent then there must be a reason for such remorse and condemnation of the act of sin. The complex soul that repents must have something to believe in,
and someone that will address the inward act of sin with an outward expression to humanity.
The doctrinal belief that our faith hinges, sight unseen on a God (1 John 4:20,) who we know lives, but we have never touched. Since Repentance and Faith are
intangible realities than the provocation and our salvation must be connected to the intangible Creator of all tangible realities. The salvation of the soul
depends upon both. Charles Spurgeon, the famous Baptist preacher, called them the "Siamese twins" of salvation. They have also been referred to as the
"two hinges upon which the door of salvation swings." The great evangelist and founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley, said that "repentance is the
porch, and faith is the door, that leads to salvation."
The Greek word where repentance is used as a noun is “metanoia” which means “a change of mind.” When Jesus started His ministry, He said “Repent,
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In this case, Jesus used the verb form of repentance which is “metanoeô” which again means “to change
one’s mind” or “heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins” so we see that repentance is not just a change of mind but a change of intention or a change
of the heart. It is an intentional change or turning away from sin and turning to God; from wanting to sin to not wanting to sin. God is the one who grants
repentance (Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25) and it must take this miracle of God because the unregenerate human loves their sin and we have an ongoing, constant
battle with sin all of our lives, even after conversion.
As we explore the depths of this lesson we must recognize that repentance is one of the first steps in Christianity (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9). It is a step that every
believer must come to terms that like breathing Repentance is a lifelong (Acts 26:19-20) function in the body of Christ. At the feast of Pentecost the apostle Peter,
as recorded in Acts 2:38, told the crowd gathered together that day to "Repent!" In the city of Athens while standing upon Mars' Hill and speaking to the
superstitious intellectuals of his day, Paul the apostle told them that God "now command all men everywhere to repent" in Acts 17:30.
The Bible tells us in 2 Peter, chapter 3 and verse 9, that "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,
not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." We can see from these verses that God commands repentance and that God demands
repentance! Repentance allows the soul to reflect on the goodness and Grace of God while understanding we are unworthy of His favor.
The empirical truth is God would never command a man to do something that he was unable to do. When God commands, He also enables. If God told you to repent,
then God will grant you the ability to do so. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that God grants repentance! In Acts 11:18, and that repentance, just like faith, is
a gift of God in Acts 5:31.
For a moment of socialistic assertion there has been a flurry of discussions from other noted theologians. These discussions revolve around which came first
Repentance or Faith? _______
First, W. G. T. Shedd insisted that faith must precede repentance in the order of nature: “Though
faith and repentance are inseparable and simultaneous, yet in the order of nature, faith precedes
repentance” (Dogmatic Theology, 2.536). Shedd argued this on the grounds that the motivating
power for repentance lies in faith’s grasp of the mercy of God. If repentance were to precede faith,
both repentance and faith would be legal in character, and they would become prerequisites for
Second, Louis Berkhof appears to have taken the reverse position: “There is no doubt that, logically,
repentance and the knowledge of sin precede the faith that yields to Christ in trusting love”
(Systematic Theology, p. 492).
Third, John Murray insisted that this issue raises an unnecessary question and the insistence that one
is prior to the other is futile. There is no priority. The faith that is unto salvation is a penitent faith
and the repentance that is unto life is a believing repentance … saving faith is permeated with
repentance and repentance is permeated with saving faith.
Whatever your answer is they are both interdependent upon the other. With the same apparent ecclesiastical array as repentance, faith appends to the precipice of
the human consciousness (Mark 1:14-15). When we allow Repentance and Faith to operate in our life we connect with a surreal horizon with-in that is unrecognizable
to the carnal domain. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved, the Apostle told him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”
(Acts 16:31). Surely this question and response has echoed throughout humanities tenure after the day of Pentecost.
Faith becomes the greatest weapon in the arsenal of the Christian’s Devine gifts. Mark 9:23, "Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth." Faith unearths a wealth of possibilities and power through Christ Jesus.
The word faith comes from a Latin word fidere, which means to trust, believe, or have faith. Faith has been defined as an “unquestioning belief” in God, religion,
an idea, a person or organization. Faith generally means having a strong conviction, deep trust, reliance upon, or loyalty to something. Your faith can also refer to
a religion or system of beliefs. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for faith is emuwn which means to trust, or have faith. In the New Testament the Greek word
for faith is pistis, which means to trust, believe, have faith or rely upon.
Faith is also described in the Bible as a fruit or quality imparted by God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9; Galatians 5:22). The Holy Spirit is given to those who
repent (Acts 2:38) and who make the effort to obey the laws of God (Acts 5:32). We will grow in faith as we exercise faith—as we trust God—and actually follow
His instructions. As our faithfulness to God increases we will become more staunch, firm, determined, and resolute in our belief in God. Martin Luther’s definition,
“…faith is a living unshakable confidence,” is a paraphrase of the Apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Today we are tempted to put our faith in many things. However, not all are that dependable. Some are actually dangerous. Some people trust in God, others in
money, friends, self, political leaders, or military power. Still others trust in science, other experts, and astrology or fortune- tellers. The American philosopher,
Eric Hoffer, has stated somewhat cynically, “Faith in a holy cause is a substitute for the lost faith in us.” He comments further that, “…where there is the technical
skill to move mountains, there is no need for faith.” While there is a certain physical truth in what he says, we must realize that God gave man the intellect to use
technical skill. There is still a measure of faith in the technology of things. (Matthew 17:20).
Our choice today of where to place our faith is almost endless. However, the Bible offers specific warnings about where not to place our faith. Nearly 3000
years ago Solomon wrote, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26). The Bible warns repeatedly about trusting in other gods beside the true
God (Exodus 20:1–6). We are told when David numbered the fighting men of Israel—trusting in his own military strength—he sinned and did a very foolish thing
(2 Samuel 24:1–11). Jeremiah warned about trusting in the lying words of false teachers (Jeremiah 7:4). Jesus cautioned about trusting in money and wealth
In terms of positive instruction the Scriptures urge us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5–7).
This is why it is important to prove and know that God really does exist. We must also learn to trust in God’s Word—the Bible (Psalm 119:142,160; John 17:17).
This involves studying, proving and learning to live by every word of God. We must not only develop faith in Jesus Christ—that He was the Son of God who came
to die for our sins—but also develop the faith of Jesus who trusted and obeyed His Father’s instruction to the point of saying “…not My will, but Yours, be done”
(Luke 22:42). We must also develop real faith in Christ’s message about the coming kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15). This means coming to understand what the
kingdom of God is all about and our potential role in that kingdom. As that message becomes more real to us, our faith will grow.
Points of discussion:
ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Fall of Man is the most cataclysmic event of the history of mankind (Genesis 3:1-24). It was the earmark of every dysfunctional occurrence
of humanity. All sin is birth from AMBITION or DESIRE. Note: disobedience is the byproduct of sin. All wars, diseases, murders, lies, abnormal
acts or sin can attribute to the exploits of Adam, Eve and the Serpent. In the Baptist Faith, we identify this sinful condition as The Fall of Man.
We are descendants of Adam and Eve: Their sins become our sins (Roman 5:12). Sin has become the normal state of man
(Psalms 51:5, Jerimiah 17:9, 1 Peter 2:22.) The descent of mankind has to contend with sin from (3) three vantage points.
I. SELF SIN
As a Free Moral Agent we must be accountable for our sins. Adam consumed the fruit himself. Just as King David made a moral and
ethical decision to send Uriah the Hittite to his Death so he could take Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3-6 and 11:22-27.) Self-sin is always a choice
that we make because of a desire (Matthew 5:28). It is normally personal sin that can affect others and even generations. Adam’s Self Sin brought
a curse on all the generations of man (Genesis 3: 17-19). David’s Self Sin caused Uriah his life as well as the death Bathsheba’s first born
( 2 Samuel 12: 17-23.) What are 6 examples of Self Sin? Please give me 3 biblical references.
II. SIN OF TEMPTATION
In the process of enticing others to sin, the serpent (Satan) and Eve were both guilty of this action in the Fall of Man. The greatest
misconception is that if everyone is doing wrong it must be right. The sin of Temptation will only consider God if it is trying to deceive and
convince (Exodus 32: 2-9 and 32:25-33) It is a sin to be deceived as well as deceiving (Matthew 4: 1-11.) Point of discussion: Is it a sin to be
deceived? If so explain how (Biblically) _______________. The sin of temptation comes easy for those that consider themselves intellectually
superior (2 Chronicles 33:23), part of the mob mentality (Exodus 34:9), very manipulative (Jude 7), unreasonable (Ephesians 4:26,
Matthew 5:24-25), and struggling to remain in ungodly authority, a destroyer of the establishments of God and on their own agenda. This is
often premeditated and strategically executed. The Punishment is often physical pain, emotional or behavior dysfunction and even death. What
are 6 types or examples of the sin of temptation? Please give 3 biblical references.
III. SITUATIONAL SIN
The world was created in good, for good, but Satan and sin have (John 17: 14-19) corrupt what God created (Revelation 12: 7-12). The world
the distribution center of sin and sinners. The only Sanctuary from sin lies in the construct of Jesus. The Church (Matthew 16:18) both the
person and the building. Situational sin targets our weakness (Genesis 39: 7-17) even if you have not sinned, the proximity of temptation
and the motivational force behind the situational sin (1. Thessalonians 5:22) can bring false witness. The situational sin or opportunistic sin
is dangerous because it is everywhere. We must keep the ministry and mission of Jesus at the forefront of our lives (1. Thessalonians 5: 13-21).
What are 6 examples of situational sin and give 3 that are biblical?
Lesson Conducted by
Rev. Dr. A. Jerome. R. Butler
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