15.1 God Gives More: Repentance

Table of Contents

The Text

Job 25:4-6 (CSB) How can a human be justified before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
If even the moon does not shine
and the stars are not pure in his sight,
how much less a human, who is a maggot,
a son of man, who is a worm!

The Chapter

Such of the elect as are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.

The Confession

Titus 3:3–7 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

Such of the elect

At the risk of over-generalizing, there are really two sets of Christians. There are some, born into loving families, where one or both of their parents are believers in Christ, love the Lord their God and "repeated this law to them." (Deuteronomy 6:7) These children are especially blessed because they never have not known the love of God. By no means is it guaranteed that they would come to love and know God--that is solely dependent on his never ending mercy. But these kids cannot claim they did not know of the God of the Bible.

And then, in God's perfect timing, of his own sovereign will and good pleasure, in his steadfast never-ceasing love, and grace upon grace, chooses to regenerate some of his children at a later age--as the 1689 calls us in our "riper years".

I talk about being raised by my grandmother. But that really didn't start until I was 12 years. Before then, my brother and I were with her for a season while my dad and mom were going through a divorce.

My grandma loved the Lord her God. And I would have given anything to be raised by her. Perhaps even to be raised by my mom but she abandoned me and my brother when the divorce was final. But neither one of those options were available to me. Instead I raised by a cruel, depraved, utter wicked and perverted man. For most of my childhood, I was being raised by a horrendously wicked man and his new wife.

Instead being disciplined, we were beat about any part of our body black and blue and bloodied for misbehaving. Instead of being taken care of, we would go starving and confined to our rooms for days on end--usually having to use the facilities by sitting on the window sill as though we were in 1500s England. Instead of being loved, we were hated. And instead of being protected, we were sexually abused.

And instead of having a home filled with the word of God, we had pornography on our coffee tables and XXX film library for our VCR.

And because I was going through a traumatic ordeal and I was exposed to pornography at the age of 8, I was always addicted to porn since I was a kid.

And throughout my life, I never turned away from porn and anger and resentment and fear and insecurity.

And I was a slave to my own addiction. And when the Internet came about, it was a tool that fed my addiction on a rate that no one could have ever imagined. (So much so, I actually distributed porn on the Internet for a while. If you had ever looked at porn in the early 2000s, chances are it was from the work I produced.)

are converted at riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures

This was absolutely me. Early in my 20s, I was already given over to my own sin. (Romans 1:21-25). And I always claimed to know God but why and how? Just because I raised my hand back in Children's Church when asked if you didn't want to go to hell.

As you can only imagine, never being saved and never getting help for my trauma, I was a horrible depraved wicked soul. My closest relationships ended in disasters. I have attempted suicide twice before. I just wanted out of this life any way that I could.

There was absolutely positively nothing in me that was worth good or worth redeemed. I was a decent, "nice" guy on the outside. On the inside, I was messed up beyond all comprehension.

God did not see in ever in my life ever and saw that I did anything good. We think we are doing good until our eyes have been opened to goodness and loveliness of God and know that everything good I have ever tried to do has been infected by the sin in me.

I have sinned and I have fallen infinitely short of the only good that I have seen and known.

I read the Bible and it was clear as day. I was not an Abraham, Enoch, Noah, or David. I was the worst. I was the one who went to war against God. I was Goliath who would openly mock the God of Israel. I am like King Saul--brazenly stupid, unwise, and self-righteous. I am the Judas who would betray my friend for nothing in return. I am Saul who hated the church and considered myself above them.

I have been saved for about 17 years. Every day of my saved life I have had to call on the mercies of God because I keep sinning all the more. I do this in action and in thought. I feel the infection of sin. I feel it's backbreaking weight. I feel my sin grinding my bones into dust. I feel my own iniquity continuously tear my heart into two.

Romans 7:24 (CSB) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Who in their right mind can save me? Who has the power to save me from my own depravity and wickedness. Who can do this? I cannot do this. I am filled with sin and depravity. I am filled to brim with wickedness and ungodliness. I am the worthless man that God mentions over and over. Who who who can rescue me?!

Genesis 3:15 (CSB) I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

Genesis 6:18 (CSB) But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.

Genesis 15:6 (CSB) Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 22:8a (CSB) Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”

Genesis 49:10 (CSB) The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until he whose right it is comes and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.

Numbers 21:7-9 (CSB) The people then came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Intercede with the LORD so that he will take the snakes away from us.” And Moses interceded for the people.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake image and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover.” So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.

1 Kings 21:27–29 (AV 1873) And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.

1 Chronicles 29:14–15 (CSB) But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand. For we are aliens and temporary residents in your presence as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.

2 Samuel 12:7-13 (CSB) Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from Saul. I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. Why then have you despised the LORD’s command by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hethite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife — you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword. Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hethite to be your own wife.’

“This is what the LORD says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them in broad daylight. You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.’ ”

David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Then Nathan replied to David, “And the LORD has taken away your sin; you will not die.

Job 42:1–6 (CSB) Then Job replied to the LORD: I know that you can do anything and no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, “Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?” Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wondrous for me to know. You said, “Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform me.” I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.

Daniel 9:4–5 (CSB) I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: Ah, Lord—the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps his gracious covenant with those who love him and keep his commands—we have sinned, done wrong, acted wickedly, rebelled, and turned away from your commands and ordinances.

Psalm 73 (CSB)
A psalm of Asaph.

1 God is indeed good to Israel, to the pure in heart.

2 But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my steps nearly went astray.

3 For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well fed.

5 They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people.

6 Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment.

7 Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild.

8 They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression.

9 They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth.

10 Therefore his people turn to them and drink in their overflowing words.

11 The wicked say, “How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?”

12 Look at them—the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth.

13 Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?

14 For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning.

15 If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed your people.

16 When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless

17 until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny.

18 Indeed, you put them in slippery places; you make them fall into ruin.

19 How suddenly they become a desolation! They come to an end, swept away by terrors.

20 Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, you will despise their image.

21 When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded,

22 I was stupid and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward you.

23 Yet I am always with you; you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me up in glory.

25 Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.

27 Those far from you will certainly perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, so I can tell about all you do.

Jonah 3:4-10 (CSB) Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished! ” Then the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth — from the greatest of them to the least.

When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he issued a decree in Nineveh:

By order of the king and his nobles: No person or animal, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. Furthermore, both people and animals must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God. Each must turn from his evil ways and from his wrongdoing. Who knows? God may turn and relent; he may turn from his burning anger so that we will not perish.

God saw their actions — that they had turned from their evil ways — so God relented from the disaster he had threatened them with. And he did not do it.

Matthew 4:17 (CSB) From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Luke 18:13 (CSB) “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner! ’

Luke 19:4-10 (CSB) So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since he was about to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today it is necessary for me to stay at your house.”

So he quickly came down and welcomed him joyfully. All who saw it began to complain, “He’s gone to stay with a sinful man.”

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, I’ll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord. And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much.”

“Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus told him, “because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

John 3:14–17 (CSB) “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:36 (CSB) The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.

If God gives us everything we need for salvation, including his Son, his Spirit, his heart, righteousness, holiness, love, grace, mercy, faith, adoption, growth, and himself, then why would we think that somehow repentance is something within our own power.

We are born of Adam--born into sin and of sin. Sin has infected and affected us down to our core. To turn away from sin and unto God cannot be done in our power--not even the littlest bit. God has called us to repent but he "remembers that we are made from dust" and has the deepest compassionate.

You and I are called to repent. But unless something outside of us happens, we are powerless to repent of our sin?

Again, who can save us from this body of death? We are called to repent but we cannot repent. God must do something for us and to us in order that we can turn away from our sin and turn to God!

Acts 11:18 (CSB) When they heard this they became silent. And they glorified God, saying, “So then, God has given repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles.”

2 Timothy 2:25 (CSB) instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth.

Hebrews 12:17 (CSB) For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.

God gives everything to us in order to save us. God gives us himself, his Son, his Spirit, his heart, righteousness, holiness, love, grace, mercy, faith, adoption, growth, and repentance.

To even us, those saved in our "riper years", those of us who have sinned enough and filled with enough debauchery to last multiple lifetimes, to fill our hearts with lusts and wicked desires, to be given over to our depravity, to us who have fallen a billion times to our seemingly endless sin, God has and always give us grace to stand once more.

Proverbs 24:16 (CSB) Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

To us, the older ones, know with absolutely certainty that I am no different than the most wicked person who has ever lived. The only difference between me and the wicked is God. God is the only difference. He saw me in my heinously and vile treason against his kingdom. What did he decide to do?

Romans 5:8 (CSB) But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And again:

Titus 3:3–7 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

And again:

1 Timothy 1:12–17 (CSB) I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry—even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Answer the unrhetorical question:

Romans 7:24 (CSB) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Who will do it? Christ Jesus is name! And tho I struggle mighted under the weight of my depravity and sin, God has grant me grace and mercy to look up to his blessed Son and be saved by him.

Romans 8:1 (CSB) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,

This is the blessed assurance that Jesus Christ is mine and mine for always! I will always have the Christ because God has given him to me and I am his and he is mine forever.

Romans 11:29 (CSB) since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable.

I am in Christ. No condemnation and no seperation.

Romans 8:38–39 (CSB) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am the tax collector. I cried out to God, "Have mercy on me, A SINNER!"

How does the Almighty King of kings, Lord of Lords, ruler of heaven, earth, and hell, who holds the universe with his thought, the Champion who has put the forces of sin, Satan, demons, hell, and death to open shame, who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Worthy Lamb who was Slained, who alone is Holy, Holy, Holy, Good, Faithful and True, the Way, Truth, and Life, and Love, this Son of God who is God. What does he say to my desperate plea?

Luke 18:14 (CSB) I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God has given me repentance. God has granted me humility. God has given me his only begotten Son.

God, be glorify in my life today.