Biblical Prescription for Repentance

National Day of Repentance

On this National Day of Repentance, perhaps we should take time to read Abba’s prescription for repentance, recorded in the 26th chapter of Leviticus. This biblical mandate was followed by Solomon (1 Kings 8, 2 Chron. 7), Daniel (chapter 9), and Nehemiah (chapter 9). Have we wrongly believed that the repentance preached by John the Baptist and Yeshua, as well as His disciples, was of another brand? 

Peter, to Israelites and proselytes on the Day of Pentecost: And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)   [Were there separate standards of repentance for Jew and Gentile?]

Paul, to the Gentiles: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)

… also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (Acts 26?20)

[What was Paul calling them to repent from? Can people repent if they don’t know what to repent for? Is there a new definition of sin in the New Testament? ]

Messiah Yeshua said:

 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:17-19)
It is written:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 3:2)
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat. 4:17)
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. (Mat. 11:20)
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. (Mark 6:12)
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”(Luke 13:5)
And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ (Luke 16:30)
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”(Luke 17:4)
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19)
Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. (Acts 8:22)
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. (Acts 17:30)
… also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (Acts 26?20)
For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (Heb. 12:17)
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev. 2:5)
Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.(Rev. 2:16)
I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Rev_2:22  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works. (Rev. 2:21-22)
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Rev. 3:3)
Rev_3:19  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Rev. 3:19)
The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Rev. 9:20-21)
They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. (Rev. 16:9-11)
Paul, writing to Timothy, admonished him to lean on the Scripture “for instruction in righteousness” and in order to be “perfect.”
 ALL SCRIPTURE [from Genesis 1:1 to Rev. 22:21) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:17, emphasis added)
As there was NO New Testament at the time, John the Baptist, Yeshua, Paul, and the other apostles were, by necessity, referring to the Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets.

sin no more

Perhaps it is time to take another look to make sure we have not overlooked something very significant on this National Day of Repentance. If we are to, “go and sin no more,”  shouldn’t we be very certain of the definition of sin?  If we are to turn from our “wicked ways,” shouldn’t we make very certain we understand what is “wicked” in the sight of our Savior?

The New Testament definition of sin is recorded by “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4 KJV)  The Good News Bible puts it a bit more simply:  Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law, because sin is a breaking of the law. 
It was not God’s law that was nailed to Yeshua’s cross; it was the charges against you and me for breaking it. God’s law is our teacher. Without it, we cannot know what pleases God and what is an abomination to Him and more than without state and local laws we cannot know what the government expects of its citizens. And, that, my friends, is exactly the state of our nation today. We do not know the definition of sin because the “Old Testament” has been thrown out of the pulpit and we find ourselves in the same sad condition as Israel in the book of Judges when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Prov 14:12)
But to the wicked, God says, “What is it to you, to declare My Precepts, and to take up My covenant in your mouth?  Yea, you hate to be taught, and you toss My Words behind you (Ps. 50:16-17).
That is quite an indictment. Abba Yahweh, help us to understand today what YOU expect of us so that we can truly repent and return to YOU!  In Yeshua’s mighty name!
Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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