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Believer’s Basics #2 – Repentance (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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October 25, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #2 – Repentance (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 25, 2022 6:00 am

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There must be confession to a man that I have wronged. In that sense, I have to repent. When James says, confess your trespasses to one another, that's what he's talking about.

Okay, you're saved. That repentance is that repentance. But then, if you as a Christian saved and going to heaven have wronged somebody, you've got to make good on that. You've got to have a change of mind about what you did wrong.

It's not enough to break with yesterday. We have to walk in the newness of life. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believer's Basics. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio.

Specifically, how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick brings you the second installment of his message called Repentance in Acts Chapter 8. In Acts Chapter 8, verse 36 through 38, this is the story of the Ethiopian eunuch that was intercepted by Philip, one of the servants of the church. Now, as they went down the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, see, here is water.

What hinders me from being baptized? Then Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. There was an action.

He did something about it. We read that as the Ethiopian was on the chariot heading home, he's reading out of the book of Isaiah, the 53rd chapter. The chapter that lays out the experience of the cross of Christ. It was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our sins.

Chastisement for our peace was upon him. That's what he was reading. The Bible says Philip was told to overtake the chariot, so he ran and he caught up to it. And he asked the Ethiopian, do you know what you're reading?

And he says, how can I unless someone tells me? Philip climbs aboard and opens up the scriptures to him and he makes a decision to follow the Lord because he was moved intellectually, emotionally and volitionally, an act of free will. It is available to all of us. Available to man is a deep awakening concerning the person of Jesus Christ. If we would accept the facts about God and ourselves, it's a humbling experience and it should be because as man is born and comes into, begins to grow, adolescence, young adulthood and onward, pride is there.

We all have it. We all are supposed to fight against it. It is a self-serving pride that I am talking about.

The pride that puffs up, that exaggerates itself, that thinks it's, that what we would say it this way has become too big for its britches. Jesus spoke about this concerning the Pharisees and their wrong and he gave an illustration of what it's like to humble oneself before the Lord. Luke 18, and he spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves. They thought they were good enough. They were religious enough. They were righteous enough. God owed them for obeying God's law. He says who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others. They looked down on other people.

They puffed themselves up. He continues, he says, two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. Now if you know the story, the Pharisees were the religious leaders of that time and the tax collectors were despised by the people of Israel even though they were themselves were Jews. They were looked upon as traitors, as greedy and some of them were greedy and some of them were traitors but not all of them. The Pharisees stood and prayed thus with themselves, God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterous or even this tax collector.

I fast twice a week, woohoo. I give tithes of all that I possess and the tax collector, now comes to contrast, standing afar off would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast indicating sorrow of heart saying God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you this, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. To humble yourself is to see who you are and accept it in Christ and not fall apart but to get up and do something with it. When we see great men of God lying flat on their face because of disaster, God's response is this, get up.

Joshua, I couldn't, how could we lose AI? We should have taken that little town and he goes before the Lord and he laments and God says get up. Ezekiel lies down before the Lord and just balls out to him and God says get up. Paul the apostle knocked off his high horse on the way to Damascus and God says get up.

He says that ever since. You sit there wallowing in your weakness and you'll stay weak but you can come to me and I can make you strong. And so summarizing these three elements, the intellect, the change of mind, how we think is a part of repentance, a change of heart, a heartfelt feeling concerning the things that we have been exposed to, that's the emotional side, the volitional side is the change of the will that does something. Man is an inferior trinity. He has a body, he has a soul and he has a spirit. If he is not a believer the spirit is dead.

If he is a believer the spirit is alive. These three are one. Body, soul, spirit. God is one. He is the trinity, the divine trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit and these three are one.

They are distinct. Your body is distinct from your soul. When you die your body stays behind and whatever happens happens to that but your soul will live forever.

Where will it live? Well, it depends on whether the spirit is alive or not. If the spirit is alive you go to heaven and you will receive a glorified body. The soul is that part of me that talks to you and your soul interacts with other humans. It belongs to the thinking processes. We talk to ourselves, it's the soul.

The body of course is just a vehicle, the material. The spirit is that which talks to God because it has been brought to life by God, born again. 1 Thessalonians 5. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely and may your whole soul, spirit, pardon me, spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And so there Paul points out that we are this inferior trinity under the divine trinity.

Body, soul and spirit and these three are one yet they are distinct and there we have a picture of how the trinity the Godhead can function. Who preached repentance? If it's such a big deal, did anybody of any importance preach this? Jonah. Jonah preached it to an entire city.

Walked through the city preaching repent or else you're going to be judged. Jesus said this about Jonah's preaching. They repented at the preaching of Jonah.

Just like that. You know how powerful that makes the book of Jonah? Do you know how much that says to us the riches, the wealth that is in that book because Jesus put his seal on it as he does with the entire canon? But don't think for one moment that because they are considered minor prophets in volume that they are minor in worth because they are not minor in worth.

They are major. There's major value on all the scripture. If Nineveh can repent, no one has an excuse. John the Baptist preached repentance.

He preached getting right with God, walking away from your sins, walking away from feeling good about your sins. How many children honor not their mother and father and think that's not a sin? Children of all ages as a matter of fact. You don't like something your mom or dad did or is doing, better watch it.

You don't have to agree with the wrong they do, but there are limits to how far you can go with bad mouthing your parents. Matthew chapter three, that was a little off the side. I just felt I needed to say that. Maybe that was for someone listening online or maybe it was someone here. Either way, we all need to hear it from time to time. Matthew three, John the Baptist preaching on repentance. In those days, I love the way John says that. In those days, he remembered because he was a follower of John the Baptist first. In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

God is right here. You better get it together was what John was saying. Then Jesus comes into public ministry and when he enters public ministry, he picks up John's message and that's what he preaches, but he adds the gospel to it. Matthew 4, 17, from that time, Jesus began to preach and to say, repent for the kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven is at hand. So John the Baptist and Jesus preached repentance.

Well, I know what I need to preach. The twelve, the twelve apostles, the hand-picked men that were sent out by Christ, Mark chapter six. So they went out and preached that people should repent. And the church, the true church, has been preaching that ever since. Peter in Acts chapter two, as well as our text this morning, but Acts chapter two, Peter said to them, repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Repent and do something. The first step is, step is, make your confession known.

That there be no mistake. If someone says, I am being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and the people watch him emerge in the water, there's no doubt. There's no doubt that he made a confession of Jesus Christ. This is easily proven to this day. Just jump on a plane and go to somewhere like Saudi Arabia and go in the middle of the city there and get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ renouncing everything else as false.

See what happens. And then there's, well, we're back to Peter a moment when he says, repent and let every one of you be baptized. He called them to change their minds and their views on Jesus Christ. He was preaching at what was then the temple of the Jews in Jerusalem before it was destroyed by the Romans. And he called upon those Jews who rejected Christ, thinking that he was a false Messiah, called upon them to change their views. And the ones that baptized changed the ones that were baptized. Then the apostle Paul, and he gives a, he tells this story, he says, truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent. It's a commandment from God. That's why he said at the beginning, it's a deal breaker.

It's not a suggestion to say, okay, you got that one wrong, but no, if you get that one wrong, it means you got none of them right. Our message is to the impenitent lost souls of the world. If we could just get a shot to preach to them, if we can help each other be strong enough so that the other one can be able to preach the gospel. This is why our witness is so important in the workplace. It doesn't matter how much you hate your job, hate your school, you're still called to be a witness. No matter what. Satan hates that you're a witness.

Well, that's a surprise. He hates everything about you anyway. You don't have to worry about getting Satan angry at you.

He's already there. What we have to concern ourselves with is pleasing the Lord. And, you know, that old, and I don't know how old it is, it's a saying, you got to be in it to win it. We understand that.

We buy a lottery ticket. You want to be used by God, you got to be in it. You've got to be available. Luke's gospel chapter 24. Jesus, after he, this is when he comes after the resurrection.

I'll just leave it at that. Because I've still got, well I don't have too far to go, I can just take my time at this point, I'm ahead of the game. Luke 24, he opened their understanding that they might comprehend the scriptures.

And pause right there. How many Christians, professed Christians opt out right there? I don't need a Bible study. I just want to dance.

I just want to sing. I want to have interpretive Christianity that interprets what I've made up. But I don't want the scriptures.

I'm sorry, if I sound a little hard saying that, I don't take it back. But I don't mean to be a bully, or to be angry, though it is frustrating to come across people who say, I go to church, I'm a good person, I just don't want to hear what the Bible has to say to me. It's equal to saying to God, could you please be quiet? And he opened his mouth, he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures. And he said to them, thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. You've witnessed the resurrection of Christ. You've witnessed the scripture become flesh in Jesus Christ. This is all relative to man. It is relative to God and to man. In Acts chapter 26, we read, Paul again speaking of his conversion, that after he was converted, he goes first to 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. And so you give your life to Christ, you've repented, you've acknowledged your sin, well now you have to do works worthy of repentance. You've got to back up your confession with something.

It's not a theory or philosophy. It will be in the face of all sorts of resistance. That doesn't give you a pass. It doesn't give me a pass to get out. And if I take a hit and I stumble and I fall, the Lord will pick me up. I don't have to worry about that. I do have to worry about not falling.

I don't want to do that. But if I do, I know his position. I've seen how he's handled Peter. I've seen how he handled David. I see how he handled the prodigal son.

And so I know that if Nineveh can repent, that he'll have mercy for me too. Repentance, it doesn't just look at the past. It looks forward because that's the direction we're going in.

It looks to the future. It doesn't treat the high standards of scripture as something for those people in the scripture only. It treats it as something that is for me and everyone around me also, whoever would have it. There must be confession to a man that I have wronged. In that sense, I have to repent. When James says confess your trespasses to one another, that's what he's talking about.

Okay, you're saved. That repentance is that repentance. But then, if you as a Christian saved and going to heaven have wronged somebody, you've got to make good on that. You've got to have a change of mind about what you did wrong.

It's not enough to break with yesterday. We have to walk in the newness of life from yesterday forward. And to do that, it means that confession of our wrongs, we have to take up. It's not always easy, but it is always necessary. It is costly, but the return is priceless. And you cannot afford to be impenitent. And that's my message to the world. We say to the person who will not repent, you can't afford this. You can't pay the price of refusing to repent to God. You've got to get it out in the open.

You've got to admit who you are in front of him. None of this stuff, but I am a good person junk. Because next to God, you are. Well, in the language of scripture, all your righteousness is like filthy rags.

And that word in the Hebrew for filthy rags is really revolting. Jesus, I'm glad I have a little time. I didn't know if I'd get to this. But this should leave us all understanding how critical repentance is to believers in the eyes of God. Once we've become Christians, there is still this life that we ought to live. And if we drift away from it, we're to get it repaired quickly. Maybe you know a backslidden Christian. Maybe this part of it is not for you, but it is to flow through you. Maybe you know someone who used to believe, and now they avoid everything that has to do with Christ for whatever reason.

Maybe a little fear will jolt them back into reality. In Revelation, in the second and third chapter, Jesus, as most of you know, addresses seven churches. Two of the churches were performing very well. One was persecuted, the other one stayed steady in his word. The church at Sardis, pardon me, Smyrna, and Philadelphia.

But the other five, five out of seven, were in bad shape. The church at Ephesus that enjoyed the preaching of the apostles, of Timothy, of Apollos, of so many anointed preachers. That darling church of the early days of the faith, she left the first love. Other things became more important than Christ. Remember we were talking about, if you don't love the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul said, let you be anathema. It's that critical that you love the Lord.

It's what separates us. And so he says, remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works. You see, repent and get back to doing the things you know you're supposed to do.

He goes on to say, or else, just like that. Repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent. The back of the sanctuary there's a seven stem lampstand on the table that I can see that's there for me.

That reminds me that he can take that lampstand, that I can mess it up. My response is, so help me Lord, your help, I ain't messing it up. In Revelation 2 he talks to the church at Progamos. He says, repent or else. This severely is high language coming from God to a church. Or else I will come quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

There are places out there calling themselves churches and Jesus is saying to them, I am fighting against you. You refuse to repent. You're not following me. You become a social club, an institution for the culture to express itself using my name nonetheless, you frauds. I'm not saying that as though I'm better than them, but that's the fact. These are the facts.

I don't make them up. I don't mind pointing them out to the church at Thyatira. He says, and I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality and she did not repent. You see the emphasis on that word repent in just these two chapters from Revelation and so far we're just in chapter 2. Again he says, indeed I will cast her children into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds. And now Revelation 3 to the church of Sardis.

Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. I'm going to ambush you. If you don't get your act together church, I am going to ambush you says God Almighty. He said God is holy.

He is awesome. I know, I know we live in a culture that have tried to have stolen that word, they've cheapened that word. I try not to go on a rant about it, but I might not try very hard. Reserve that word for things that are truly awesome. When you ask somebody, how are you doing? I'm doing alright.

Awesome. That's not awesome. It's okay, it's good, it's fortunate, but it doesn't drop my jaw down and go, oh wow. God does that and this is my point I'm getting to. As much as we love his grace and his friendship and his fellowship, he is holy, he is pure. The saints trembled in his presence.

John at the Revelation needed the hand of Jesus on him just to get up. May we not lose sight of these things. We're not afraid to be afraid this way of our God. To the sickening church, Revelation 3 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten, therefore be zealous and repent. See this is the church that he said, you know I'm outside.

You think I'm inside with you, but I stand at the door and I knock and if you just open the door, I'll come in. And then he says to this church, you make me, you make me sick, but if I love you, faithful are the wounds of a friend. Paul said to the Galatians, because I tell you the truth, am I your enemy now? So we see Jesus reaching out to each one of these churches saying, repent. It is an invitation to get it right. He says, therefore be zealous and repent.

Question, you're here this morning, maybe you're listening online. Have you repented? Have you come to Christ? Have you opened your heart and given your life to him? Is he your Lord and Savior and do you love him?

And if not, why not? Who has bewitched you? What lie have you followed? God has not told you to go to the university or coworkers or Wikipedia or anywhere else to find out about him. He has preserved his word and he also preserves his church.

You'll know them by their fruits, whether it is from the scripture or not. Paul says this, do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance and long suffering? Not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance.

It's God's goodness. Those of us who have repented is because of his goodness, not ours. And I'll close with this verse from Luke's Gospel chapter 15. Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angel, angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Repentance is that big a deal that it moves those in heaven. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We hope you've been blessed by this believers basic series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-12 11:32:38 / 2022-11-12 11:43:02 / 10

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