Matthew 9:10-13: And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus came to call publicans, sinners AND Pharisees to repentance. He wanted them to come to Him for forgiveness and begin doing what is right rather than sinning. The Pharisees did not believe that they were also sinners who needed to repent.

2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Obviously, the word has something to do with not perishing. It means: Compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication, reversal (of (another*s) decision). Now we must know the meaning of compunction: Disquietude caused by a sense of guilt. And now we must know the meaning of disquietude: A state of uneasiness and anxiety.

God wants us to know that we are guilty of sin and to feel uneasy and anxious about it. Knowing that our sin earns condemnation can be part of it, but knowing that it has offended God is more important. A felon may feel bad because he must go to prison but his feeling bad doesn*t include a desire to cease from offenses or to be forgiven for them. Guilt should be about our misdeeds and not just avoidance of their just punishment. It should desire forgiveness and should desire to avoid offenses against God in the future.

Matthew 3:8: Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Fruits meet for repentance are doing what is right instead of sinning. Doing what is right and avoiding sin should be the goal for everyone who has received Jesus. Receiving Jesus is the way we repent of rejecting Him. Pleasing God is the way we repent of displeasing Him.

Acts 20:21: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 3:11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Baptism without repentance and without receiving Jesus has no value. Jesus baptizes with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Hebrews 12:29: For our God is a consuming fire.

1 Peter 1:7: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

We cannot understand how God could cause a bush to burn without being consumed before Moses* eyes or how Jesus can baptize with fire. Perhaps He purifies our hearts (Acts 15:8-9). Perhaps He tests or purifies our faith. Some believe that His consuming fire is judgment upon the lost.

When we understand that becoming a child of God (John 1:12) and being born again (John 3:3) are simply two different ways to describe the same event, we can understand that the moment we receive Jesus He baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and we become children of God. If God has not yet given you that indispensable experience you need to receive Jesus now.

Care to discuss Repentance with Ron?

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