Friday, August 17, 2007
Mar 1:15 (MKJV) and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent, and believe the gospel.
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.
(1.) The verb metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Mat_27:3).
(2.) Metanoeo, meaning to change one's mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.
(3.) This verb, with the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Psa_119:128; Job_42:5, Job_42:6; 2Co_7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments. Repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Psa_51:1; Psa_130:4).
Observe, (1.) The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. This refers to the Old Testament, in which the kingdom of the Messiah was promised, and the time fixed for the introducing of it. They were not so well versed in those prophecies, nor did they so well observe the signs of the times, as to understand it themselves, and therefore Christ gives them notice of it; “The time prefixed is now at hand; glorious discoveries of divine light, life, and love, are now to be made; a new dispensation far more spiritual and heavenly than that which you have hitherto been under, is now to commence.” Note, God keeps time; when the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand, for the vision is for an appointed time, which will be punctually observed, though it tarry past our time.
(2.) Christ gave them to understand the times that they might know what Israel ought to do; Christ tells them, in the prospect of that kingdom approaching, they must repent, and believe the gospel. They had broken the moral law, and could not be saved by a covenant of innocence, for both Jew and Gentile are concluded under guilt. They must therefore take the benefit of a covenant of grace, must submit to a remedial law, and this is it - repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. By repentance we must lament and forsake our sins, and by faith we must receive the forgiveness of them. By repentance we must give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we must give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Both these must go together; we must not think either that reforming our lives will save us without trusting in the righteousness and grace of Christ, or that trusting in Christ will save us without the reformation of our hearts and lives. Christ hath joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder. They will mutually assist and befriend each other. Repentance will quicken faith, and faith will make repentance evangelical; thus the preaching of the gospel began, and thus it continues; still the calls is, Repent, and believe, and live a life of repentance and a life of faith.