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Faith And Repentance (via Sinclair Ferguson)

Sinclair Ferguson considers faith and repentance.
Because they can be experienced differently and distinctly we might think they are separate.
But that is unhelpful.
From Ferguson:

In grammatical terms, then, the words repent and believe both function as a synecdoche — the figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole. Thus, repentance implies faith and faith implies repentance. One cannot exist without the other.
But which comes first, logically? Is it repentance? Is it faith? Or does neither have an absolute priority?
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We cannot separate turning from sin in repentance and coming to Christ in faith. They describe the same person in the same action, but from different perspectives. In one instance (repentance), the person is viewed in relation to sin; in the other (faith), the person is viewed in relation to the Lord Jesus. But the individual who trusts in Christ simultaneously turns away from sin. In believing he repents and in repenting believes.

Read the whole post at Ligonier.


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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 24

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 24

Chapter 15 – Of Repentance Unto Life (Cont.) (Paragraphs 4-6)

IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation; so there is no sin so great that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly.
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof, upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy: so he that scandalises his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended; who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.


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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 23

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 23

Chapter 15 – Of Repentance Unto Life (Paragraphs 1-3)
I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.


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How To Take Responsibility For A Major Mistake (via Michael Hyatt)

Showing leadership doesn’t always mean you’ll be sorry, but leadership requires doing it well when you should be sorry.
Four constructive points from Michael Hyatt.
He expands on these at his original post.

  1. Take ownership.
  2. Show remorse for the problem.
  3. Express gratitude for the reckoning.
  4. Resolve to take action.


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The Process Of Repentance (via Ligonier Blog)

A post by Benjamin Shaw on the Ligonier Blog about God’s work of repentance in the lives of Christians and how that process can take varying lengths of time in different individuals.
An excerpt:

Imagine repentance as a man walking in one direction who suddenly realizes that he is walking in the opposite direction from which he should be walking. He stops. He turns around. Then he begins walking in the new direction. It is a quick and simple process. He realizes. He stops. He turns. But imagine someone on a bicycle realizing he is going the wrong direction. In one sense, it is still obvious. He stops. He turns around. He begins bicycling in the new direction. But it is a longer process. He has to come to a stop. Depending on his speed, that may take some time. The turning around also takes longer. And it takes longer to get up to full speed in the new direction. The process is the same for a man in a car. But it takes longer than for the man on the bike, and it may require going somewhat out of his way before he gets back on the right track. The process is the same for a man in a speed boat. He has to slow down, enter the turn, and come back. But the time and distance required to do so is much longer than what was required for the man walking. Now imagine that the man is piloting a supertanker. It takes him miles to slow the ship down enough to even begin to make the turn. The turn itself is immense, taking him quite a distance from his intended course. Then again it also takes a large amount of time to get up to full speed in the new direction.
Now apply the images to repentance. Some sins are small and easy. We stop and walk the other way. Some sins, like the bicycle, are a little more difficult. In God’s work in the believer, He takes a little time to bring the believer to an awareness that his course is actually a sinful one. Then there is the process of coming to a stop, the process of the turn itself, and the process of getting up to speed in faithfulness. But some sins are enormous. We may not be aware that they really are sins. Or they may be so deeply ingrained in us that we are not willing, at first, to recognize them as sins. God works patiently with us, carefully slowing us down, as the captain does with the ship, so that He can bring us through the turn and into the new direction, where He can bring us up to full speed.

Read the whole post here.


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Discomfort In The Engine Room Of Repentance

Jennie Baddeley writes about the discomfort of true repentance; the process of living an examined life and how that from which we have to turn is ourselves.
From the post.

I dislike the assault on my pride which comes with repentance.
I have sinned.
I was not merely mistaken.
I did not err because I was gloriously human.
My circumstances didn’t force these actions, words, thoughts upon me.
I was the person who did this thing.
I did this thing because that is who I am and that is what I am like.
It wasn’t an accident or an aberration.
This is not my carefully constructed self-perception; the ‘me’ I clothe with half-truths and wheel out to convince family and friends that I am worthy of their love and regard. No, this is a glimpse I catch of my naked self in the glaring, fluorescent light of truth. Repenting provides me with an unwelcome reminder of my authentic self. Not that this is all that can be said of me – having met Jesus and being transformed by his Spirit. But it is still true and valid and deeply sobering.

Read the article here.


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Forgiven (preparing for mgpc 4/10/2015)

Songs of preparation: Lord Vindicate Me (Psalm 26) and Salvation Belongs To Our God.
Responsive call to worship:
Praise: From All That Dwell Below The Skies.
Prayer of Confession:
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: Jesus Paid It All; The Apostle’s Creed; Now To The King Of Heaven.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 25:1-17 – Chapters 25-32 contain a series of oracles against most of the states of the ancient Near East. Chapter 25 features prophecies against Ammon, Moab, Seir, Edam, and Philistia..
Bible memorisation: Psalm 3:3,4.
Praise: Consider Christ.
Reading: 2 Samuel 12:1-31
Sermon: Forgiven – God confronts David over his sin and David responds and is restored.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Bless The Lord, O My Soul – 10,000 Reasons.