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If repentance of sin is a work, do you believe that when a saved person confesses his sins and repents, that he cannot be immediately restored to God in fellowship unless he fulfills a work first?


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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, mbkjpreacher said:

If repentance of sin is a work, do you believe that when a saved person confesses his sins and repents, that he cannot be immediately restored to God in fellowship unless he fulfills a work first?

Repentance of sin is a work IF it is defined as turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness.

However, repentance of sin is NOT a work if it is defined as turning from the enjoyment of unrighteousness to broken-heartedness before the One who delivers from unrighteousness.

(Note: My own position on the matter would be the second definition.)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Posted (edited)
On 7/27/2020 at 10:15 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Repentance of sin is a work IF it is defined as turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness.

However, repentance of sin is NOT a work if it is defined as turning from the enjoyment of unrighteousness to broken-heartedness before the One who delivers from unrighteousness.

(Note: My own position on the matter would be the second definition.)

Bro. @Pastor Scott Markle,

Please explain? Are you saying a person that has been born-again can live in sin as long as they don't enjoy it? I guess my point is if a person truly doesn't enjoy their unrighteousness and they are broken-hearted over it shouldn't that result in them turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness? Hence true repentance.

I understand even after our Lord graciously saves us that we will not be perfect however, when we do sin our Father will discipline us and that discipline should lead us to the confession and repentance of sin. I could very well be wrong which is why I am asking the question. Obviously in order for us to turn from our sin we must hate it first and the unregenerate soul doesn't hate sin the way the regenerate soul does. Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Edited by chasetallent
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, chasetallent said:

Bro. @Pastor Scott Markle,

Please explain? Are you saying a person that has been born-again can live in sin as long as they don't enjoy it?

No.

16 hours ago, chasetallent said:

I guess my point is if a person truly doesn't enjoy their unrighteousness and they are broken-hearted over it shouldn't that result in them turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness?

Yes.  However, I would contend that there is a difference between the DEFINITION of repentance itself, and the resulting FRUIT of repentance in an individual's behavior.

Prayerfully the following will help to provide understanding --

1.  According to James 1:14, temptation to sin occurs when an individual is (1) "drawn away" from fellowship with the Lord "of his own lust" (of his own fleshly desires for the pleasures of sin), and (2) "enticed" to engage in "the pleasures of sin" (see Hebrews 11:25).  (Note: Every believer on earth still retains his or her sinful "flesh," the principle of selfishness within; and since there is no good thing whatsoever at all in that selfish, sinful flesh, it ALWAYS desires and enjoys the pleasures of sin.)

2.  According to James 4:9, repentance of sin occurs when an individual becomes broken-hearted over the offense of his or her sin against the Lord God.  At that time his or her "laughter" and "joy" in attitude toward the pleasures of sin will be turned to "mourning" and "heaviness" in attitude toward the wickedness of sin.  At that time his or her heart-attitude will be one of brokenness, affliction, mourning, and weeping before the Lord God, against Whom that sinful offense was committed.  Such will involve a broken-hearted confession of sin and request for forgiveness and cleansing. (See 1 John 1:9, Psalm 32:5, Psalm 51:1-9, etc.)

3.  According to James 4:10, repentance of sin will also involve a humbling of an individual before the Lord with a complete dependence upon Him to "lift up" unto "the high and holy place" of His blessed fellowship and grace (see Isaiah 57:15).  Indeed, a Biblically repentant individual will recognize that he or she has no personal ability whatsoever at all to restore himself or herself unto the fellowship of the Lord and the path of righteousness, but will completely depend upon the Lord's gracious forgiveness (see Psalm 51:1 & 9), cleansing (see Psalm 51:2 & 7), restoration (see Psalm 51:8 & 11-12), and enablement (see Psalm 51:10-12).  (Note: For this reason I would contend that Biblical repentance is NOT to be defined as a turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness, BUT IS to be defined as a turning from the enjoyment/activities of unrighteousness to broken-heartedness before the One who can deliver from unrighteousness, who can restore unto righteous fellowship, and who can enable unto righteous behavior.)

4.  According to James 4:7, an individual who comes to this place of humble, broken-hearted repentance will be lifted up (forgiven, cleansed, restored, enabled) by the gracious hand of the Lord to walk in righteous submission and obedience before Him.   This would be the FRUIT of Biblical repentance, the fruit of changed behavior.  Furthermore, as such an individual walks in fellowship with and submission to the Lord, he or she will be enabled by the Lord's grace to resist the devil's wiles, wrestlings, and weapons (fiery darts), so as to deny the lusts of the flesh and to walk in the righteousness of the Spirit.  However, as long as the individual believer lives in this life, he or she will ever face every moment the inner battle between "the flesh" and "the Spirit." (See Galatians 5:17)


Again, I pray that this was helpful in answering some questions, and that it was "good to the use of edifying."  If you have any further questions, I will do my best to answer.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Repentance is not a work, so...no.

Repentance is a change of heart which produces a change of life. Repentance is of the heart, it is a seed, and that seed produces the fruit of a changed life-the change, the work, is the RESULT of the repentance, but it isn't the repentance, itself.

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On 8/20/2020 at 12:10 PM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

No.

Yes.  However, I would contend that there is a difference between the DEFINITION of repentance itself, and the resulting FRUIT of repentance in an individual's behavior.

Prayerfully the following will help to provide understanding --

1.  According to James 1:14, temptation to sin occurs when an individual is (1) "drawn away" from fellowship with the Lord "of his own lust" (of his own fleshly desires for the pleasures of sin), and (2) "enticed" to engage in "the pleasures of sin" (see Hebrews 11:25).  (Note: Every believer on earth still retains his or her sinful "flesh," the principle of selfishness within; and since there is no good thing whatsoever at all in that selfish, sinful flesh, it ALWAYS desires and enjoys the pleasures of sin.)

2.  According to James 4:9, repentance of sin occurs when an individual becomes broken-hearted over the offense of his or her sin against the Lord God.  At that time his or her "laughter" and "joy" in attitude toward the pleasures of sin will be turned to "mourning" and "heaviness" in attitude toward the wickedness of sin.  At that time his or her heart-attitude will be one of brokenness, affliction, mourning, and weeping before the Lord God, against Whom that sinful offense was committed.  Such will involve a broken-hearted confession of sin and request for forgiveness and cleansing. (See 1 John 1:9, Psalm 32:5, Psalm 51:1-9, etc.)

3.  According to James 4:10, repentance of sin will also involve a humbling of an individual before the Lord with a complete dependence upon Him to "lift up" unto "the high and holy place" of His blessed fellowship and grace (see Isaiah 57:15).  Indeed, a Biblically repentant individual will recognize that he or she has no personal ability whatsoever at all to restore himself or herself unto the fellowship of the Lord and the path of righteousness, but will completely depend upon the Lord's gracious forgiveness (see Psalm 51:1 & 9), cleansing (see Psalm 51:2 & 7), restoration (see Psalm 51:8 & 11-12), and enablement (see Psalm 51:10-12).  (Note: For this reason I would contend that Biblical repentance is NOT to be defined as a turning from the activities of unrighteousness to the activities of righteousness, BUT IS to be defined as a turning from the enjoyment/activities of unrighteousness to broken-heartedness before the One who can deliver from unrighteousness, who can restore unto righteous fellowship, and who can enable unto righteous behavior.)

4.  According to James 4:7, an individual who comes to this place of humble, broken-hearted repentance will be lifted up (forgiven, cleansed, restored, enabled) by the gracious hand of the Lord to walk in righteous submission and obedience before Him.   This would be the FRUIT of Biblical repentance, the fruit of changed behavior.  Furthermore, as such an individual walks in fellowship with and submission to the Lord, he or she will be enabled by the Lord's grace to resist the devil's wiles, wrestlings, and weapons (fiery darts), so as to deny the lusts of the flesh and to walk in the righteousness of the Spirit.  However, as long as the individual believer lives in this life, he or she will ever face every moment the inner battle between "the flesh" and "the Spirit." (See Galatians 5:17)


Again, I pray that this was helpful in answering some questions, and that it was "good to the use of edifying."  If you have any further questions, I will do my best to answer.

I like this answer.

This topic came up in our weekly Bible study last week.

I’m not the leader, but I felt as if some were of the mindset that the cessation of the acts of sin is the actual repentance.  I made the point that it is the heart condition of actually turning to Christ, away from sin, that is the core of repentance.

I posed the idea that even an atheist can turn from sinful acts, for a variety of reasons.  I offered the example that an atheist could stop cheating on his wife due to some sense that it was not respecting her, yet never have any sense that it was offensive to God.

I also pointed out that the thief on the cross who came to Jesus never had any opportunity to demonstrate that he had actually turned away from the life of sin and crime that put him on the cross.  He did cease his initial railing against Jesus, but there was no opportunity to demonstrate that he had actually ceased any sinful behavior.  Jesus recognized and accepted his simple turning to Him.

I then posed a rhetorical question.  I asked, “If the actual ceasing from sinful acts is the actual repentance, and not the condition of the heart turning to God, how long does a person need to abstain from those acts to prove the repentance is real?”

No.  I agree.  The simple, but highly significant act of one responding the conviction of the Holy Spirit and turning to God, away from sin, is the repentance.  The cessation of sinful acts is the result.

Edited by NotAshamed
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