Torrey - Man -9.5- How Repentence is Effected


Acts 1 1:18 — "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."

The word rendered "granted" in this verse is the word ordinarily translated "given."

First Proposition: Repentance that brings life is a girl from God. Acts 5:30-31 RV — "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins." (See also 3:26 — "Unto you first God, having raised up his servant, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.") Second Proposition: Jesus, once crucified but now exalted, gives repentance. Acts 2:37-38,41 — "Now when they heard this, they were; pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every, one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost ....

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

By the verses that precede we see that what they heard was the word of God, preached by men who were "filled with the Holy Ghost."

Third Proposition: Repentance is effected through the preaching of the word by men filled with the Holy Ghost. (Compare to 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6, 9-10 — "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. . . . For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait tot his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.") The word of God is the means used for the bestowal of the gift of repentance. Jonah 3:5-10 — "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For the word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed nor drink water: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: Yea, let them turn every one from his evil way and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way: and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."

Fourth Proposition: Repentance results when men believe God's word. Romans 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"

Fifth Proposition: The goodness of God leads men to repentance.

The word here rendered "goodness" is an adjective ordinarily meaning in the New Testament usage "kind" ( Luke 6:35; Ephesians 4:32), or "gracious" ( 1 Peter 2:3). It is the kindness and patience and forbearance of God that leads men to repentance. (Compare to 2 Peter 3:9 — "The Lord is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.") Revelation 3:19 — "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Hebrews 12:6, 10-11 — "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth .... For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."

Sixth Proposition: Repentance is effected through God's loving reproof and chastisement. (Compare to <19B967> Psalm 119:67 — "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.") 2 Timothy 2:24-25 RV — "And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing, in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth."

Seventh Proposition: Repentance is effected through the meek and gentle correction administered by the servant of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 RV — "For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it, though I did regret; for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold, this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea, what cleansing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what longing, yea, what zeal, yea, what avenging! In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter."

Eighth Proposition: Godly sorrow leads to proper repentance.

The godly sorrow in this case was itself wrought by the correction administered by the Lord's servant. Job 42:5-6 — "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee: Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Ninth Proposition: The sight of God causes repentance.

Nothing is so calculated to impress sinful man with a hatred of sin and abhorrence of self as a sinner as a real view of God. If then we wish to bring men to repentance, let us bring them face to face with God. This can be effected by showing them God as revealed in His word. But it must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.