Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Good thoughts on Repentance

These are two posts I liked from Virgil's blog at PlanetPreterist.
I have highlighted the parts that I especially liked in red. The thrust of each post is that in the New Testament repentance refers to changing one's mind regarding one's ability to keep the Law of Moses. Repentance is inextricably linked to the Law of the Old Covenant. Repentance is mentally moving on from the requirements of the Old Covenant to the fulfillments of the New Covenant.

My thanks to Ed and Barry for connecting these two concepts for me.

Ed Burley wrote:

David, et al,

Herein lies the rub. American Christianity, Futurism, has so infiltrated our thinking that even as preterists, we continue to think like one. Let me explain:

Repentance. We are taught by fundamentalists that we are supposed to "REPENT" (note the scream). But what does the bible mean when it calls for repentance? In Hebrews 6, we are told that one of the FOUNDATIONAL elements is "repentance from dead works." How would the Hebrew who reads this comment understand it? What are the "dead works" that he is supposed to "change his mind" about? Is it not the "keeping of the law for righteousness?" Isn't it human potential? Isn't it SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS? Of course it is. And so it is in the rest of the NT (and even the OT).

The message of Jesus was so radical, that Israel should change their thinking (repent) concerning the Law. The Law brought only condemnation upon God's people. It could not bring life, but death alone. God's people needed "salvation" from that condemnation/curse. This began with being humble enough to "admit you are a sinner." What did that mean? It meant that no way, no how, never in a million years, could you keep the law - stop thinking that you can get God's favor by doing so. That's why Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount - to confront the self-righteous with the reality that they were failing. They committed adultery with their lust. They committed murder with their anger and name-calling. They needed SALVATION, and this was only accomplished by God's people REPENTING of DEAD WORKS of the LAW. These people needed to put their trust in Jesus to "save them from their sins."

1Cor 15 says that the LAW was the power of SIN. People who "died in their sins" were those who still trusted in their own righteousness, and failed to trust Jesus for their salvation from the "wages of sin," which was DEATH, i.e., the destruction of the old covenant in AD70.

I could write more, but this thing only allows for so many characters. I have written these things before, these are ALL SCRIPTURAL, even though so many here continue to ask for scriptural support. I give it, and it is ignored. When ignored, and re-demanded time and again, I get frustrated, and then I am condemned by those who refuse to even acknowledge that I have done what they have asked.



Barry wrote:

good point Ed.

The scriptural precedent of what repentance was implying at the time is quite clear.

Mark 1:

14) “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD,”
15) “And saying, The TIME IS FULFILLED, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.”

Matt. 21:32

“For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, REPENTED NOT afterward THAT YE MIGHT BELIEVE HIM.”

Matt. 3:2


Matt. 3:3

“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Matt. 3:8

“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for REPENTANCE:”

Matt. 3:9

“And THINK NOT to say WITHIN YOURSELVES, WE HAVE ABRAHAM TO OUR FATHER: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

Acts 3:19

“REPENT YE therefore, and BE CONVERTED”

In the interim period it is repentance often preceded belief. These folks had to change their mind about the system that was then valid and did give covenantal validity to human potential and so imposed itself first upon the Jews and also upon the Gentiles. They had to change their minds about that system that then existed so that they could believe in the coming kingdom of God.

That seems quite scriptural to me!

blessings Barry


At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Mitch G. said...

This argument is so fundamental it's amazing - looking at the Law and striving to walk it's thin line can only be defined as "self-righteous" because who's the initiator of the behavior? YOU are. YOU must constantly be focused on YOU in order to attain this "righteousness." Now we look to the Cross, see what has BEEN DONE on our behalf in SPITE of our behavior.

Great post.


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