The proof that a person has truly made a change of heart appears when his life begins to show him doing what is right. Right living is the fruit of repentance.
Repentance is a condition for baptism, and ultimately of conversion and salvation. It is also a lifelong process—one never stops needing to repent.
Repentance is a first step, but it is also ongoing throughout our lives. To become a true Christian, we must repent—and then we must make it a continual practice.
When we repent, we turn off the path that leads to destruction and onto the narrow path—through the strait gate—that leads to life in the Kingdom of God.
Repentance has fallen out of favor in mainstream Christianity, yet neither genuine baptism nor remission of sins can occur until the individual repents.
When we look back and realize what we have done, we are led to think deeply about our actions, which can lead us into changing our future actions.
True repentance involves pain, particularly emotional pain. To repent is wrenching to the psyche. It really hurts because it is difficult to do.
David Grabbe, reminding us that a major focus of John the Baptist's ministry was a call to repentance and turning to righteousness, a focus that Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul reinforced and magnified. Curiously, in main-stream Protestantism, repentance has fallen out of favor and has been replaced by cheap 'grace.' The Law …
We may feel sorry or even guilty when we sin, but have we actually repented? The Scriptures show that true repentance produces these seven, distinct fruits.
We recognize our need to change when we see, not necessarily how we are, but how we compare to and fall woefully short of the perfect righteousness of God.
More time to change does not always lead to more repentance. It may actually increase the danger that we will adjust to the sin and think it acceptable.
Nothing happens in our lives (including repentance) until God initiates it. A change of heart, by God's Holy Spirit, results in a total change of direction.
Mechanically keeping the law is only the beginning of righteousness. By emphasizing principle, Christ came to magnify, not to destroy God's law.
As High Priest, Christ is putting His people through the paces, tailoring the trials and experiences needed for sanctification and ultimate glorification.
David Grabbe, observing that Christ threatened consequences to the Thyatira Church if the congregation did not repent, asserts that God usually grants abundant time for people to repent, but that the recipients of this grace often interpret it as God's tolerance for their sin. The effect is that God's patience can harden people, …
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus defines the two great commandments of His law—the two highest principles: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" ...
To understand repentance, we must understand what sin is, since sin is the behavior that we need to turn from when we repent. Simply, sin is breaking God's law.
When we do something against the law or even against our own conscience, guilt is triggered, and we suffer, not just a gut-wrenching emotion, but also a descent into a state of culpability, of sin. Martin Collins instructs the guilty on their response to guilt, recommending taking the proper spiritual steps to remove the guilt …
"Justification" is a theological term that many people do not understand, thinking that it is a complex point of biblical doctrine. However, it is not as difficult as it may seem on the surface. Martin Collins explains what justification is and how it works in the life of the individual whom God calls to salvation.
Protestantism is based on Luther's insistence that Christians are saved by faith alone. But is the really true? It is true of justification, not salvation.
Why must we put leaven out, yet we do not have to circumcise our boys? Earl Henn explains this apparent contradiction.
I John 5:16 often raises questions about sin and its consequences. This verse is about more than appears on the surface, and holds out hope for backsliders.
Footwashing is the initial part of the Passover ceremony. Why did Christ institute it? What is its purpose?
The Bible is full of commands to forgive and examples of forgiveness, and none of them stipulates that we wait for the sinner to repent before we forgive.
God and humankind are very different. God is spiritual, immortal, righteous, holy, and pure. Human beings, on the other hand, have the opposite attributes: physical, mortal, sinful, profane, and corrupt. Martin Collins begins a short series on the subject of propitiation to explain how God and man can be reconciled and …
Acts 5:32 declares that God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him, yet some argue that keeping God's law is not necessary. What is the truth?
The Trinitarian controversy surrounding I John 5:7-8 overshadows the record of what Jesus Christ did. It also hides key characteristics of God's children.
How often have we wished we could live some part of our lives over again to correct a wrong? God gives us multiple chances to change our character for the better.
It seems that some sins should be worse than others in God's eyes. Though all sin merits the death penalty, some sins carry greater consequences and penalties.
Are you saved already or are you being saved? What is salvation anyway? What part do we play? Here is a study of God's Word on salvation.
Ted Bowling, ruminating on God's purposeful act of forgetting, assures us that His active choosing not to remember sins is a sterling, Godly act of wisdom, one that we are commanded to emulate. God does not forget our sins because He cannot any longer remember them, but because He actively chooses to forget them upon our …
The old song speaks of "Amazing Grace" but do we really understand just how amazing it is? John Ritenbaugh fills in some details on this vital topic.
Martin Collins, appraising John's first epistle as a very encouraging document giving us a testimonial of what God has done, realizes that there are basic foundational things every Christian should know: that our sins have been forgiven and we have received life and wisdom through His name's sake, that Jesus Christ has overcome …
Baptism symbolizes a burial and resurrection, or the crucifixion of the carnal self. After a person realizes his ways have been wrong, he should counsel for baptism.
Repentance is something we must do with our God-given free moral agency. Reconciliation is an ongoing process that enables us to draw closer to what God is.
The signs that accompanied Peter's Pentecost sermon attracted attention, confirmed God's Word, and provided meaning to the effects of the Holy Spirit.
The fault of the Old Covenant was with the hearts of the people. Christ took it upon Himself to amend the fault enabling us to keep the commandments.
Kim Myers, asking us "How long do we think we have to live before Christ returns?" reminds us that God handpicked us for a specific purpose, just as He did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, and their extended families. God also handpicked second-generation Church members, though their environment as children often shielded …
Martin Collins, reflecting on the rich imagery of the holy days, reiterates that it is impossible to understand God's master plan unless one understands the symbolism and imagery of the Holy Days. Atonement has special uniqueness as a solemn day of affliction, fasting and rest, bringing about humility (or humbling) as a state of …
While we must express some of our own faith as we come to salvation, most of saving faith is a gift of God. Abel and Enoch illustrate the pattern of faith.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows the Passover. In it we see how hard it is to overcome and rid our lives of sin.
Martin Collins, reflecting on the devastating locust plagues described in Joel, marvels that the prophet, instead of promising a silver lining on a very black cloud, affirmed that things were going to get intensely worse before they got better. Nevertheless, Joel, whose name means Yahve is God, in the middle of his prophecy, …
In these days of psychology and feeling, doctrine is not very popular. But it is absolutely necessary for the salvation! Here are the basic doctrines.
Not one in a hundred knows what salvation is—how to get it or when you will receive it. Don't be too sure you do! Here is the truth, made plain.
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the incident of the blatant sinner in I Corinthians 5, observes Paul's administrative decision to disfellowship the offender pending his repentance, lest he contaminate the entire Corinthian congregation. Corinth may have been the wickedest city in the entire empire, having tolerance for the …
After we accept Christ's sacrifice, we desperately need to come out of sin, walking in light rather than darkness, having continuous fellowship with God.
Can a Christian commit a sin, and still be a Christian? Or would this be 'the unpardonable sin'? Or would it prove he never was a Christian?
Like the fable of the scorpion who stings the frog carrying him, our carnal nature is set, causing us to act in destructive ways. Repentance begins with changed thinking.
Christians prepare for Passover by engaging in a thorough, spiritual self-examination. An analysis of II Corinthians 13:5 shows us what we need to look for.
In this sermon contrasting Godless spirituality with genuine conversion, Martin Collins warns against a warm fuzzy emotional spirituality without a Deity, a worldly spirituality based upon a worldly syncretism of Eastern and Western philosphical thought, somewhat like a blending of mango and orange juice. True conversion …
We often hear of "innocent victims" dying in some tragic way, but are they truly innocent? John Ritenbaugh discusses God's perspective of the sinful, human condition.
Baptism is one of the initial acts that a new Christian must experience. This fundamental doctrine gives the right frame of mind for continuing in God's way.