Year 2 Day 39
Read - Mark 1:14-15
Message - Alan Burke
Today we think of what it is to repent and believe the gospel. Let’s start with repent, it means to renounce. That’s not a word that we use very often today but when we renounce something we declare that is not ours. Repentance is to renounce our sin in favour of the kingdom of God and it is not a momentary thing, that one night in the hall, or when we were 15, repentance is an on going continual response to the gospel, repentance is on going as we seek to die to self and to live for Christ, as we learn to obey all that Christ has taught.
Jesus preaches repentance, it calls us to recognise of our guilt and sin. For that is our human condition, we may not want to see it that way but, we are sinners, each and everyone of us, unless we repent of it then there can be no salvation. Today though we dare not mention sin, it is a word that has no place in Britain in the 21st century unless it’s an MP fiddling their expenses, but sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God (1 John 3:4). Each and everyone of us is sinful and we need to repent. This message of repentance is one that we all need to hear, it needs to be proclaimed, it was the message Jesus brought and we are to likewise take out. This is the first command of the gospel or Mark, we are told here is to repent. Repent because of the arrival of the Kingdom of God in order to enter than kingdom. Literally this is to turn from, to change ones mind set, to change our fundamental attitudes and outlooks on life. This is an about turn, a 180 degree change that is a total transformation in our orientation.
But repentance is not an end in itself, for with repentance goes belief, we are to believe. For we are to from our sin, to renounced it and to believe in Jesus Christ crucified living in response to what he has done, obeying the gospel. If you say that you believe, but there are no substantial changes in your life, in your attitude to sin, then you had better consider carefully whether you truly believe. The urgency of this call remains, repent and believe, "The kingdom of God is near. The time has come.” And as we repent and believe, as we understand the gospel in its narrow sense as well as its broad sense we are able to live more and more as ambassadors, citizens of heaven, as the children of living God, making the ‘invisible kingdom visible’ in this world of darkness.
Q50 What is required in the second commandment?
The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his Word. (Deut. 32:46, Matt. 28:20, Acts 2:42)