Tag Archives: change

Repentance Toward God #1955

20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:20–21, NKJV)

Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ will not exist in a person’s life until that person repents toward God. Repentance is changing the mind toward its object (in this case, toward God). It is about thinking differently, and then we live differently. Repentance is not the regret of feeling sorry toward God. Genuine repentance results from godly sorrow over sin (2 Cor. 7:9-10). Some think to repent means “to turn,” but this is also incorrect. Only when we think differently about God and our sin against Him will we turn to God for salvation. Paul shows the difference between repentance and turning to God in Acts 26:20 when he explained he preached the gospel to people so “that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” Paul did not say, “turn (repent), and turn to God.” He said to repent (change your mind) and turn to God. Repentance, produced by godly sorrow, bears the fruit of turning to God (that is, “works befitting repentance,” cf. Lk. 3:7-14). The gospel requires repentance 1) Toward God, Acts 20:21; 2) Of sins, Lk. 5:32; 13:3, 5; Acts 8:22; 3) For the remission of sins, Acts 2:38; 3:19; and 4) Because God commands it, Acts 17:30. Without repentance, we will not escape the condemnation our sins bring from God (Rom. 2:3-5).

“I do not change” #827

“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’” (Malachi 3:6–7, NKJV)

The nature of God is marked by immutability. By contrast, Israel had changed time and again, turning away from and disobeying God’s law. Yet still, God called them to return, and if they would do so, He would forgive them. God’s unchanging nature includes His constant willingness to forgive. Our passage shows that God’s unchanging nature also includes the fact that He always keeps His word. He kept His word to not completely consume Israel for her sins (Jer. 30:11). Yet, Israel continued to act as if she had done nothing wrong, turning away from the Lord. God would judge their pride (Mal. 4:1). We must not think that because “God is love” He is not also a God of truth and justice. He calls sinners to repent. He is ready to forgive. And, He will judge those who refuse Him. He does not change.