Confession and Repentance: The Conditions of Revival

Confession and Repentance: The Conditions of Revival

Scripture: Proverbs 28:13
Date: 08/10/2013  Lesson: 6
"Throughout Scripture, both repentance and confession have prepared the way for spiritual revival. God has always prepared His people to do a great work for Him by leading them to godly sorrow for their sins."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. A special welcome to you that are streaming online to study with us. We know that there are thousands of you around the world that continually and faithfully join us to study God's Word together. Also, a special welcome to you that are joining us right here this morning live. We have a special surprise for you and you can just sit back, put away your hymnals this morning, and listen.

We have alicia and Matthew dellon with us. They are brother and sister and they play piano just wonderfully. This morning they will be playing for us 'how excEllent is thy name' and 'down from his glory'. Let's pray. Dear Lord, we thank you so much for what you've done for us.

We thank you that we can come here and learn of you and be your students, so please speak through Pastor Doug today. Draw us closer to you, lord, that we can do your will and that we can continue your work and that you will soon come. I pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen. Our study today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central.

Thank you jolyne and thank you to the dellons - I appreciated that very much. That was inspiring. Good morning friends, happy Sabbath. Church feels different now that we don't have the two ten commandments behind us anymore, huh? After twelve weeks. But we are in a very interesting lesson study right now dealing with the subject of 'revival and reformation'.

And, for our friends that are watching, we have a special study guide - a sermon book we'd be happy to send you for free and it's called 'riches of grace' by Joe Crews. We're going to be talking today about repentance and confession and just some of the very basic components of salvation. And if you'd like to know more about this we'll send you a free copy - 'riches of his grace' - just call the number on your screen. It's 866-study-more - that's 866-788-3966. Ask for offer #152 - that's all you have to do is ask and then promise to read it and we'll send it to you.

And our lesson today, as I mentioned, is lesson #6 in the series where we're talking about revival and reformation and the lesson today, in particular, is talking about 'confession and repentance'. And I've just got to tell you right now that you don't hear very many sermons - you do some places - but you don't hear very many sermons these days on repentance and confession even though this subject was really foundational to Jesus and the apostles and even John the baptist. And we have a memory verse and the memory verse is from Proverbs chapter 28, verse 13 - it's from the new king James version in your lesson - Proverbs 28:13. I'll appreciate it if you read this out loud with me. Are you ready? "He who covers his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

" Now this is pretty straight. It doesn't just say confess. It says, confess and forsake. A lot of churches stop with the idea that you just confess them and then you go on and continue to do them. But what the Lord wants us to do is confess and forsake and that's really what is at the heart of genuine repentance.

So why don't we start - I'm going to have somebody look up a verse for us and I think we've given out some slips of paper with some verses to a few volunteers that are hiding in our midst right now. Luke 5, verse 32 - who got that? Right up front here. Let's get you a microphone. Hold your hand up mike and the microphone and the camera can find you. And does somebody have acts 2:38? Are they both from the same side? Acts 2:38 - over here, okay? Ray, you think you can find that person that's got that Scripture? Okay.

Let me just read some verses to you and I think the Bible speaks for itself. Matthew chapter 3 - first book in the new testament. One of the first sermons that goes out, "in those days, John the baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and" - what did he say? - "Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." So just right at the very - right out of the gate, as they say, the cannon fires the first ammo is 'repent'. The message of John the baptist - first word in the first sentence is 'repent'. And then when Jesus is baptized then he begins preaching and he begins his ministry, what does he say? From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, first word, first sentence, first message of Jesus, 'repent for the Kingdom of heaven.

..' Is the message of John the baptist similar to the message of Jesus? John the baptist says, 'repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Jesus says, 'repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' So should this be important? Go ahead, read that for us, Luke :32, mike. "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." So again, we've got the message of Jesus. Why did he come? 'I have come' - here it goes, are you ready? - 'To call sinners to repent.' What is repentance? Well, repentance is not just a sorrow for sin, repentance is a sorrow for sin and a willingness to turn from it. So, that's why we don't hear as much about repentance these days. Repent means 'remorse, regret, contrition for past conduct or sin; to feel such regret so as to have a change of one's mind regarding it as in repenting of intemperate behavior; to make a change for the better as a result of remorse or contrition for one's sins; and, very simply, repentance represents a u-turn on the road to destruction and it means, 'you turn'.

So you're going this way and you're going the wrong way and you're out of God's will. The Holy Spirit reveals to you what you're doing is wrong and you are sorry and you turn and you say, 'I'm not going to do that anymore, I'm going to do this. I'm going to now go this way. I'm going to do God's will.' And so repentance is not just a change of thinking. It begins with a change of thinking.

Real repentance is a change of doing. It means that you are sorry enough to stop. So, if you've got a child and he continues to shoplift every time you go to the supermarket and you've got to shake him down whenever you get to the car and find out what he's put in his pockets and you tell him, 'Johnny, this is not right.' And 'you've got to stop.' And he says, 'oh mommy, I'm sorry. I repent.' And the next time you go to the Market his pockets are full of stolen contraband again, did he repent? He might have been sorry he got caught, but that's not real repentance. Now, make a note of that.

There's true and false repentance. Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself. That's in our lesson. So before we get there, turn with me - acts 5 - this is under 'repentance: God's gift'. Acts 5, verse 30 and we'll read through verse 32.

I haven't forgotten your Scripture, elizabeth, we'll get to that in a moment. Acts 5:30 through 32, Peter's preaching here and he says, "the God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to his right hand to be prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." Notice the connection between repentance and forgiveness. Also notice he says, 'to give repentance.' Repentance is a gift that God gives. And Peter says, 'we are witnesses of these things and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those that obey him.

God gives his spirit to those that obey him. The Holy Spirit gives the gift of repentance. Now the reason it's important for us to remember this - you know, the Bible tells us 'repent and be converted that you might be washed from your sins.' Repentance is connected with forgiveness for sins. A lot of people think, you know, if I could just get a note from the doctor that says you're going to die in six months, I'll know that in five and a half months I probably should repent. But you might not be able to repent.

Repentance is something that is a gift from God and we sometimes think we get to choose when we repent. It's the Holy Spirit that brings conviction for sin and a desire to turn and repent of those sins. And when you are under conviction and when the holy spirit is giving you that gift of repentance is the time for you to submit and follow through. You may not have that desire or those impulses later. And I've often seen that people that maybe trifled with salvation and with, you know, the importance of serving God and coming to church - you go visit them during their final sickness and they just seem to have no interest.

It's like they've lost the desire or the capacity to repent. And so it's a dangerous thing to think that when you're in the mood you will choose when you're going to repent. It is a gift. It says here the Holy Spirit gives it as a gift and so we need to listen when God gives it to us. In the book 'acts of the apostles' page 36 - this was in your lesson - it says, "the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise" - this is speaking of before pentecost - "they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief.

As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before his death they understood, more fully, their meaning. As they meditated upon his pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ's character." But you notice, before the holy spirit fell, it says 'they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief.' Part of real repentance is humility. To humble your heart and realize pride is incompatible with repentance. I think martin luther is the one who said, 'God creates from nothing so we must first become nothing before he can make something out of us.' God creates from nothing. He spoke and out of nothing he made.

And so we must become nothing or he can make nothing from us. Acts 17 - it says here, 'truly the times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent.' The times of ignorance he winks at - he overlooks. But now he commands men everywhere to repent because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man who he has ordained and given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead. In other words, if we want to be forgiven, we must be willing to repent and turn from our sins. Alright, go ahead, read acts chapter 2 for us elizabeth - verse 38.

"Then Peter said to them, 'repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Does baptism do us any good if it's not first preceded by repentance? It says, 'repent and be baptized.' Baptism is a symbol of our sins being washed away but first there must be a sorrow for sin and a repentance before there's this washing. Again, you look in Luke chapter 3, verse 8 it says, "therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'we have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones." John the baptist is preaching, he's calling people to come to be baptized, but when they come to be baptized he says, 'first bear fruits of repentance in your life. Don't think to say, 'well, I am a fourth-generation seventh day adventist. I am a third generation seventh day adventist. I have somehow collected a quantum of merit by virtue of being in the church for generations.

My father's a pastor.' That could work against you, actually. The idea - 'oh, my uncle's a deacon' or 'my aunt's a deaconess' or, you know, whatever you might say as though there's some kind of genetic heritage that makes you qualified to be baptized and be saved. 'I've been on the books for years.' It doesn't mean anything. It really doesn't mean anything. I mean, it's wonderful if you've got a heritage you can, you know, call 'ancestry.

com' and tell them, but when it comes to living a Godly life, God doesn't look at your pedigree. You need to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. There needs to be the fruit - Jesus said, 'you'll know them by their' - what? Their family tree? - 'You'll know them by their fruits.' Do we have the fruits of repentance? And so some people say, 'I've come, I'd like to be baptized. I went through a baptismal study and everyone in my class is getting baptized and,' - you know, John the baptist said do you have the fruits of transformation in your life? There should be a difference. Again you read, acts 26, same principle, Paul is preaching to king agrippa - acts 26, verse , "therefore, king agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

" Now if you forgot everything I've said, note that point. If you've really repented of your sins you should do the works fitting of repentance. There should be a difference in works. Am I twisting the Scriptures or is that what it's saying? Isn't that what it says? Isn't that what John the baptist was saying? So the idea that somehow you could just get baptized and have your name entered in the church and you have not repented of your sins, Peter said, 'repent' - elizabeth just read that - 'repent first and be baptized every one of you and you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit.' You know, I think that if we're really going to talk about revival - if we want to be different as a result of a focus on revival, the evidence of revival - just, you know right at the top of the list is a sorrow for sin and a turning away from it and you make room for the working of the holy spirit in your life. Now the Holy Spirit comes in degrees.

One of the first things the spirit will do is he'll come and bring conviction because you can't even repent without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings a conviction of sin and when we submit and humble ourselves and listen and repent and say, 'lord, by your grace I'm going to turn from those things or that thinking or that practice' - whatever it happens to be. You're going to make changes. There's going to be reform. You know I like that the lesson here is called 'revival and reformation'.

If you read in Romans chapter 12 he says, 'do not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.' And so we have to turn away from this confirmation to the world and pray that God'll transform us so that we're really different and then you'll have the joy of the Lord. So how important is it for us to repent? If you want to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, repent and you shall. By the way, that's a promise. Peter 3, verse 9, "God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." Now do you notice that? You've got one or the other. You've either got repentance and life or stubbornness and death - non-repentance and death.

So repentance is a gateway to receiving forgiveness and having that new birth - that new experience. Jesus said - oh, this is kind of a - let me just give you the back drop for this story. In speaking with the crowds there had been a couple of events that were in the headlines of some catastrophes in Judea. One was there was a riot in the temple. Some of the Jewish zealots had rebelled and they didn't want the roman guards guarding the outside of the temple - I'm not exactly sure what brought it on but pilate sent soldiers into the temple and there was a riot and in that riot a number of people were slaughtered by the soldiers.

And they said, 'Jesus, have you heard about those people that were slaughtered because of this temple riot?' And then there was another incident that happened where there was a wall that suddenly buckled and fell - just too much pressure - too many people on it - and 18 people died. And they were thinking, when they said this to Jesus, 'those people must have been great sinners because they died in the riot or they died when the wall fell.' And Jesus said, 'do you think they were sinners above others in Jerusalem?' Or those whose blood were mingled with their sacrifices because they were sacrificing at the temple when the soldiers came in and they were slaughtered and the people thought, 'oh, they must have been big sinners for that to happen.' And Jesus said, 'I tell you no. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.' Now, if you don't believe Pastor Doug, I hope you believe the words of Jesus - that's red letter - these are the words of Jesus - if you don't believe the Bible, 'unless you repent you will all likewise perish.' So do we need to know what repentance means? It's a matter of life and death. And that means real repentance, which is a real sorrow for sin. You might say, 'Pastor Doug, but I like my sin.

' Well, tell the Lord and start praying. Say, 'lord, put within me a hatred for sin. Let me see how much it cost you. Let me see how much it hurt you. Change my heart.

Help me to look at sin the way you do.' I used to pray that - 'lord, help me see these things through your eyes.' Because we often look at sin the way the world looks at it and the world's kind of blasé about sin. But God sees sin as the toxic, ugly, venomous, poison thing that it really is and we need to see it that way. We need to be willing to just turn away from it instinctively, knowing that it's deadly. And so maybe part of your repentance is to pray that God'll help you just have a change of mind and see it the way he sees it. So here's true repentance really defined.

We're under the second day now - the second section - and just to help you get ready to go, someone look, up for me Ezekiel 14:6. Who's got Ezekiel 14? Over here, okay, we'll get to you heather in just a moment. In the meantime I'm going to read - turn in your Bibles - Corinthians 7, verses 9 through 12. Now just to give you the background for this verse, in 1 Corinthians Paul writes a letter to the church of corinth and there was all kinds of sin they were tolerating and among some of the scandalous things that were happening in the corinthian church, there was a man who was sleeping with his step-mother and the church was kind of just looking the other way and it was being paraded and Paul said, 'you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You ought to speak out.

That man should be put out of the church. Make an example of him. Doesn't the church stand for anything? Even the pagans are mocking you because of your immorality.' So after Paul got on them they realized, 'yeah, he's right. We need to do something.' And so they dealt with the issue. They repented of their sin and their indifference and then Paul is talking about that now in 2 Corinthians 7, verse 9.

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance." You know why repentance isn't a popular subject? Because it involves sadness and a lot of churches today only preach giddy, happy, feel-good sermons. But you read in the Bible it talks about humble yourselves, rend your clothes, let their be weeping and sorrow and the Bible talks about before God can lift you up, humble yourself in the sight of God and he will lift you up. Before you ge the lifting up there must be the putting down. In other words, we need to be sorry for our sins and then he heals. He forgives and then you feel better.

But the way a lot of churches are presenting the gospel is 'God is going to make you feel good while you're still guilty. God wants to save you from your guilt. And so if you are living in known open sin, you ought not feel good and God have mercy on pastors that try to make sinners comfortable in their sin, right? You're not supposed to be comfortable in your sin. You're dying and you should be made uncomfortable so that you turn from your sin and you live. To try to comfort a person on their way to destruction when they can get off the road of destruction - you're not helping them.

You're putting a person to sleep while they're on a raft on a river going towards a waterfall. You want to wake them up. And he said, 'it's good that you sorrow with Godly sorrow.' And it led to repentance "for you were made sorry in a Godly manner that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation." You see what I'm saying? Isn't that what Paul's saying? It's a good sorrow. It'll lead to repentance resulting in salvation.

And then you feel good when you're saved, right? "Resulting in a salvation not to be repented of. But the sorrow of the world produces death." So just to make a person feel guilty so they go out and hang themselves like Judas - that's the wrong kind of repentance, right? "The sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a Godly manner. What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Therefore, although I wrote to you, I did not do it for the sake of him who had done the wrong, nor for the sake of him who suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear to you.

" Ultimately, it was for the glory of God that His Word and his truth and his church might be vindicated. Hebrews 12 - and in a moment we'll get to Ezekiel. Hebrews 12, verses 1 and 2, "therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight," - when we look at the examples in the Bible of all those Godly men and women - the Patriarchs and Prophets and Kings - who, through faith, overcame great obstacles and repented of their sins, can you think of some Bible heroes that needed to repent? Let's name some. David - David usually gets mentioned first, you know why? Because he was so good and then he did something so bad. It seemed so out of character.

Such a good victorious king. So close to God. Wrote all those beautiful songs to praise God then he took his good friend's wife, committed adultery while his friend was fighting his battles out of town, then had his friend killed. That's bad - that's really bad. I mean, you know, when Moses lost his temper and killed the Egyptian taskmaster, well you sort of think he kind of had it coming to him.

He was a slave driver, right? And he was trying to liberate his people. But with David it was really bad. But did David overcome? Did he repent? Now I know you've got a microphone. I haven't forgotten. Let's look at psalm 51 for a second.

Someone mentioned David and this is a good place to just pause. After David sinned with bathsheba, you know there was a period of time - several months anyway - he was somehow stifling his conscience. Killed his friend, committed adultery, took his wife after he had him murdered. She's now pregnant and great with child and he figures, 'well, you know, enough time went by. God must have just winked at this and forgotten about it and I guess everything's going to be okay.

' Just because it looks like everything is going okay doesn't mean God has forgotten your sin. If you have not repented of your sin, days and weeks and months and even years may have gone by, but if you have not repented of your sin you are under a cloud of judgment and it's a fearful thing. Finally God, in his mercy, sent nathan. David needed to be sorry before he could repent and before he could be forgiven so nathan came and told a story to help David see through God's eyes what he had done and how terribly offensive it was. David being a shepherd - God picked a perfect story.

Nathan comes, you know David is sitting in judgment - he's listening to different cases and nathan the prophet comes and he ostensibly is presenting a case to the King for judgment. the King was the supreme court. They had Judges scattered around Israel, but if you had a really difficult case, the King was the supreme court. And so he said, there is a certain man in your kingdom and the family was poor and all they had was one ewe lamb but, you know they loved the lamb too much to butcher it and took care of it and it even stayed in their house and they named it. It was like part of the family and David could relate to that.

You know he layed down his life to save some sheep before. And he said, 'but he had a wealthy neighbor with a big ranch and hundreds of sheep and the wealthy neighbor had a guest that came to visit and instead of taking from his flock to slaughter and present something to the guest, he violently took away this one man's family pet - their lamb - killed it and fed it to his guest.' David just about jumped off the throne and he got angry and had fire in his eyes. He said, 'whoever did this, they're going to die and they're going to pay four-fold. What a terribly egregious, mean, outrageous, selfish thing to do.' And nathan said, 'you're the man.' He had to be able to see what he had done. David had a harem of wives.

Uriah had one, beautiful wife that he loved. And he took his one wife, killed him, and stole his wife from him. And finally David said, 'ah!' And he broke down. He finally had Godly sorrow and he said, 'I have sinned.' And nathan said, 'yeah, you did sin. You're going to suffer for your sin.

' And David said, 'I deserve to die.' And nathan said, 'God's forgiven your sin because you've repented now.' But listen to what David says in psalm 51, just so you have the backdrop of this. Oh, by the way, not only did David repent of his sin, part of the consequence was that first pregnancy with bathsheba, God said because of the scandal connected with what you've done - all Israel eventually found out about it - that that child is going to die. And David spent seven days on his face praying for that baby. Now, I've prayed on my face before but not seven days - not even 24 hours. People always talk about the sin of David and they say, 'oh, you know, David's committed adultery and God forgave him.

I guess I can commit adultery and I'll pray later and God'll forgive me. It's not that big a deal.' People want to sin like David - in the church - but they don't want to repent like David. Right? I haven't see too many spend seven days on their face praying, crying because of their sin. David realized his sin was hurting others. It was hurting the Kingdom and he really repented.

Now listen to psalm 51 with that background, "have mercy upon me o God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight - that you may be found just when you speak, and blameless when you judge." - David knew he had brought reproach on God's name by his sin - "behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts," - by the way, some people have misunderstood this verse to try to teach some kind of original sin.

David is just saying 'I'm born with the fallen dna of adam and eve - with selfishness.' "Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" - why did he say 'hyssop'? What did they use to spread the passover blood on the door and the window? Hyssop - they would dip it in the blood. And so he's talking about the blood of the lamb and that's a type of the blood of Christ. "Purge me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me and I'll be whiter than snow.

" - Revelation - doesn't it say that the redeemed's robes are washed and made white in the blood of the lamb? - "Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones you have broken may rejoice." - You notice, you humble yourself - you will eventually have that joy and gladness but don't expect joy and gladness while you are still in your sin. God wants you to have an abundant life, but don't ask for the abundant life while you're living in rebellion. - "That the bones which you have broken might rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, o God," - you not only want to be forgiven from your sin, you want a clean heart so you're a new creature doing new things, amen? - "Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me." - What's one of the great dangers of living in rebellion? God withdraws his spirit. When sampson persisted in his rebellion what happened to the power and the Spirit that he normally had? He jumped up thinking he was going to fight the philistines and he was powerless. "Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and uphold me by your generous" - or your free - "spirit." Another reason that we want to repent and be saved, it says, "then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will be converted to you." Would you like to see a real revival? Would you really like to see thousands pouring into the church and be converted? Real repentance leads to sinners being converted because when we're really forgiven - when we humble ourselves, we turn from our sins, we repent, he then gives us the joy of salvation. People want that joy - they come to our church because they want that joy - they are then converted. And so - but it begins with real repentance.

Does that make sense? I don't have time to read all this, but let's go back - I'm going to run out of time. I've got a lot more to say. Let's go back to - I was going to have you read for us Ezekiel - what was it? - Yeah, go ahead, turn on heather's microphone - Ezekiel 14:6. Ezekiel 14:6, "therefore say to the house of Israel, 'thus says the Lord God, 'repent. Turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations.

''" Is it clear that repentance involves turning away from the sin? Like their sin at that case was idolatry. He says, 'repent and turn away from the abominations and your idols.' Look, for instance, in Ezekiel :30 and I'll read through verse 32, "'therefore I will judge you, o house of Israel, every one according to his ways,' says the Lord God. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.'" The idea that, because of the grace of God, we can continue in known sin and it doesn't matter, that is a false gospel. That is a doctrine of devils. Real repentance means you turn.

If we continue in sin he says, "'iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart'" - now that's the new covenant, right? A new heart. You first find the new covenant in the old testament, by the way, "'get yourselves a new heart'" - God says, 'I'll create a new heart. You'll become a new creature.' He gives us new desires - "'get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, o house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies.

' Says the Lord God. 'Therefore, turn'" - that's repentance - "'turn and live!'" He wants us to turn from our sins. Here's a quote from the book 'steps to Christ' page 38 - on this subject - "true confession is always of a specific character and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only. There may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them or they might be of a public character that should be publicly confessed, but all confessions should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you're guilty.

" Now, that sometimes troubles people. When we - by the way, repentance and confession go hand in hand. They're separate in the sense that it's the same spirit that drives them but they're separate in that they're unique. Repentance is - or confession is the verbal side of repentance. So when you turn from your sins - and there's sins you may have turned from before but you didn't confess the sin to God.

I don't thing you can really ever get victory until you confess something. And it says here we should be specific. When Isaiah said, 'woe is me. I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.

' His sin was unclean lips. He mentions his speech. By the way, the Bible says 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks' so typically it's when we've got an unclean heart you've got the unclean lips. So he mentions something specific. If you read in the repentant prayer of Daniel - Daniel chapter 9 - he talks about the sins of God's people and they talk about the idolatry and Nehemiah talks about the Sabbath breaking and the intermarriage with unbelievers and there's just - there's a broad spectrum.

But you'll notice there's specific sins. In the dedication prayer of Solomon, when they dedicated the temple, he talks about the specific sins - going after other Gods - and when you confess - is there anyone here who can remember every sin they've ever committed? I'm not raising my hand, I'm scratching my head. I can't. Does that mean if you can't remember every sin you've ever committed that you can't be forgiven? We're in trouble if that's true. I think God is wanting us to be specific, but be specific with at least the major categories.

Take the Ten Commandments - it's a good template for repentance. You can look at the ten commandments and just say, 'lord, forgive me for using your name in vain.' 'Oh, Pastor Doug, I've never murdered anybody.' But Jesus said, 'if you're angry with your brother or sister in your heart, you're guilty of another kind of murder.' 'I've never committed adultery' - but Jesus said you can commit adultery by lusting after another man or woman. It can happen in the heart. Lord, forgive me for those impure thoughts or for adultery. 'I've never stolen!' - Well, did you ever not pay your tithe? The Bible says you can rob God.

Maybe you have stolen. And, by the way, part of repentance and confession is you still have something in your garage you stole from your neighbor? 'Oh, I just borrowed it.' Well, you've had it five years - it's called stealing at this point, right? When you borrow something permanently it's called stealing. You can say, 'lord, forgive me for taking mr. Jones' rake.' Well, it's still in your garage. Don't ask God to forgive you for taking his rake, go knock on his door and bring it back.

Tell him you're sorry. Isn't that what repentance is - and confession? And you then confess to him, 'I am so sorry. I've been meaning - I just forgot.' You know, you can tell him. Bring it back and he'll probably say, 'oh, I bought another rake a long time ago but thank you very much.' And at least you're clearing your soul. So as you pray - and I recommend everybody does this.

If you really want to experience - to the same degree that you repent of your sins - to that extent I think you can experience relief and joy and mercy. You can't remember every sin you've committed but say, 'lord, search me and try me. See if there be any wicked way in me. Lead me in the way everlasting.' Go off by yourself somewhere. Go to your closet where you pray or your bedroom - wherever it happens to be and get one of those yellow tablets of paper and kneel down and say, 'lord, show me my sin.

Is there something I have not repented of?' And pray. Be sincere and say, 'lord, I want to be clear with you. I want to know that I have applied the blood of the lamb. Send me your spirit' - and take the Ten Commandments and look at them - we just went through this whole series on the Ten Commandments. There's a literal side - there's the letter and the Spirit of the law and I think you'll find in just about every case there's something that you need to ask God to forgive you for.

If you can't remember and you pray, don't worry, because it's the Holy Spirit's job to bring those things to your mind if it's something you need to be clear of. And he doesn't want to do it to make you feel guilty, he wants to do it to make you feel joy and to experience real forgiveness. You want to do a thorough work of plowing up the fallow ground, the Bible talks about. A thorough work - let me say it another way - to the extent of the offense there should be a corresponding repentance. It's - you've heard me say this before, if I'm walking out of the church and I accidentally step on your toe, I'll probably turn to you and simply say, 'excuse me.

I'm sorry.' Right? And I know if you've got a bunion and it really hurt I'll say, 'I'm very, very sorry.' But if I'm rushing towards the door and I knock you down, and you break your elbow and I just look over my shoulder and say, 'excuse me' - is there something wrong with that? I don't know if I ever told you - God's been good to me. I've been hit by cars while riding a bicycle three times in my life - never broke a bone. But I remember one guy hit me - in miami beach - he hit me with his car, knocked me down, I'm there on the street and he said, 'are you okay?' And I said, 'yeah.' And he drove off. I think he was - when he said, 'are you okay?' - I wasn't really okay, it hurt. I meant, 'I'm alive.

' When he said 'are you okay?' I thought, 'yeah, I'm alive.' You know, and he just drove off. I thought, 'well, you could have stuck around a little longer and said a little more.' But I guess he was afraid to - insurance and people were going to show up. But that wasn't right. Well, when you say - the preacher says, 'if you'd like to accept Jesus come forward, says the sinner's prayer, and now you have eternal life.' That's a little trite. I think that's a starting point but that's not real repentance.

Jesus died on the cross for you and you're going to say, 'excuse me lord. Thanks for forgiving me'? You think about the burden of sin that he suffered for you. You've got a friend that takes, you know, a thousand lashes for you and you say, 'hey thanks. Appreciate it. You're the man.

' Isn't that kind of shallow? But that's the way people treat repentance when they come to Jesus. A lot of churches say, 'you come and you say these six words in this prayer and you've now got everlasting life.' I want to pray the sinner's prayer, 'Dear Lord, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for everlasting life, amen.' It might be a starting point and Jesus can use that - don't misunderstand - but I don't think they've really been taught what repentance is yet. Repentance sometimes involves tears, sorrow, grief for your sin - a sense of shame. There ought to be a broken heartedness.

And so, in your studying with people and - preachers - I'm appealing that pastors be careful not to cheapen the gospel by cheapening what repentance is and when you consider the depth of how much Jesus suffered that ought to give us the context for what repentance ought to be. Does that make sense? Repentance and confession - you know, it says in Isaiah chapter 1, 'wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doing. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good.' He talks about what this repentance is. There's a wrong kind of repentance - we already mentioned where Judas said he was sorry, threw down the silver and went out and hung himself.

God does not want you to do that. We know about the pharaoh. When did the pharaoh repent? Do you know the Bible says that the pharaoh repented? Did the pharaoh repent of his sin or did the pharaoh repent of the plague? Whenever a new plague would come, eventually the pharaoh would say, 'oh, call Moses. Alright, I'm sorry. Take away the plague.

' Pharaoh was not sorry about his stubborn heart enslaving God's people and his sin, he was just sorry about the frogs or the lice or the darkness or what it happened to be at the particular time. And as soon as the plague was gone, what happened to pharaoh's repentance? He wasn't sorry anymore. That's the wrong kind of repentance. And I've illustrated before, if you are making cookies one day and you tell your children 'don't eat any of the cookies that are cooling on the tray until after dinner. But you leave the kitchen - the telephone rings - and you've got these two kids, eight and ten years old, Johnny and jane - that's always what their names are - and they're looking at the cookies steaming there and there's a few cookie crumbs so jane reaches out and she picks up the one or two cookie crumbs that are there and she says, 'that's not a whole cookie, it's just a crumb.

' Well now there's no crumbs for Johnny. He feels bad so he breaks a cookie to make a crumb and so he eats that crumb and he's created more crumbs in the process and before you know it they ate a couple of cookies. So mom comes back in the kitchen and she's looking at them. She sees the chocolate around the edges of their mouths. She didn't say anything.

And jane starts to feel bad. She says, 'mom, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done it. You asked us not to. I apologize.

I ate a cookie.' That's repentance. She's sorry. She doesn't know that mom already knows, but she's sorry that she disobeyed. And jane says, 'Johnny ate one too.' And he says, 'I'm sorry.' Well, he's sorry that he was exposed. He's not sorry that he disobeyed.

It's a different kind of sorrow. So what brings us to repentance? There's a quote from the book 'steps to Christ' I think is helpful here, "one ray from the glory of God" - this is 'steps to Christ' page 29 - "one ray from the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ penetrating the soul makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct. It lays bare the deformity and the defects of the human character. It makes apparent the unhallowed desires and infidelity of the heart, the impurity of the lips. The sinner's acts of disloyalty in making void the law of God are exposed in his sight and the spirit is stricken and afflicted under the searching influence of the Spirit of God.

He loathes himself as he views the pure, spotless character of Christ." So one of the things you can do to initiate the right kind of repentance is you draw near to the light. You draw near to Jesus. The closer you come to the spotless character of Christ, by contrast, you will become aware of what your sins are. As long as you stay in the shadows and you compare yourself among yourselves and by yourselves and you say, 'well, everybody in the church is doing it. Everybody" - you might be on your way to destruction and be among those that will say, 'lord, lord, I went to church.

I was fourth generation and he'll say, 'I don't know you. You were just comparing yourself with what everyone is doing, but not to me.' The standard for righteousness is Christ and His Word. It's not the people in the church. And if you want to know what the standard of holiness is, look at Jesus. James 4, verse 7, I like this, "therefore, submit to God.

Resist the devil. He will flee from you. Draw near to God. He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners.

Purify your hearts you double minded." - It's a change in action, the hands and a change in the heart - "lament and mourn and weep" - does it stop there? No - "let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up. So the joy - the being lifted up - it's going to follow the real sorrow for heart. You know, in order for there to be a crop you need broken clouds. And in order for there to be a crop spiritually, you sometimes need a broken heart.

It's after mary weeps that then she discovers her risen lord and there's a great joy and it's sometimes after the sorrow for our sin and humbling ourselves that God washes our eyes with tears, so to speak, then we see clearly and our hearts are restored and made new. Well, I'm out of time. There's more to say on this subject but we got most of it. I hope you'll continue to study the rest of the lesson and I'll post my notes online at the 'saccentral.org' website. I know our online members know where that is and so if there's stuff that I left out, maybe you'll find something else there.

Until we study again next time, don't forget the free offer. That is offer #152, it's called 'riches of his grace'. We'll send it to you, just call the number on the screen. God bless you until we study together again next week. Impact your world.

The Amazing Facts center of evangelism is the first and original Bible training school. Operating for over ten years, you'll receive practical training in personal and public evangelism, learn how to give dynamic public presentations. Give compelling Christ-centered Bible studies and all while gaining a personal, deeper understanding of God. Learn from Doug Batchelor and other world-class evangelists. To enroll today, visit 'afcoe.org' or call -209-7249. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs visit our website at 'amazingfacts.org'. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including Amazing Facts presents. One location. So many possibilities. Amazingfacts.org.

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