Repentance & Faith
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Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” It’s not enough to educate a mind - we have to renew a heart. The only way that can be done is to encounter Christ – on a personal level. I did not fall in love with the doctrine about Jesus. But if I had the right doctrine it would help me to fall in love with Jesus. I did not go to seminary to hopefully find a lot of things about God, I wanted to know God. Paul was the leading candidate for theologian of the year when Christ struck him down [on the road to Damascus]. Pharisee of Pharisees, studied under Gamaliel, Hebrew of Hebrews, as far as the law – found blameless. He said, “I count it all as rubbish apart from the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." And when we are in ministry, I don’t care if you are a counselor, discipler or pastor… And if God's will for our life is our sanctification you've got one primary focus to get this person so radically right with God and reestablish a relationship that is so critical, but if you hold iniquity in your heart God will not hear you. If you hang on to your bitterness and won’t forgive, God himself will turn you over to the tormentors. If you want to hang onto your pride God will be opposed to you. And you aren’t going to get on with God in that way. And unless we come to terms with those issues there will be no repentance, there will be no revival while we’re waiting for God to do something. Let me ask you an honest question, what more does God need to do for you to live a victorious, fruitful, productive life in him? What more does He need to do? He defeated the devil. He forgave you your sins. He equipped you with eternal life. He gave you the Holy Spirit to lead into all truth, the Word of God, the lamp unto your feet. It’s finished folks. The only missing ingredient here is our repentance and faith in Him. And helping our people to deeply repent and grow in Christ by faith.
When Jesus first started his ministry what was his first instruction to us?
...Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17 ESV)
...Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15 ESV)