After believing grace, the biblical response is to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:36-38).
Repentance, however, is a powerful blessing from God that has been stripped of its potency.
The Greek word for repentance, metanoia, means after mindset. With this gift of hindsight, we see clearly to take the right path the path of living for God rather than for self.
Repentance is not a work that leads to salvation; rather, it is our awakening to come to our senses and live the way God had always intended for us.
It is more than a decision; it is God allowing us to see a new worldview, which always results in the fruit of a turned, changed life.
Romans 3:21-27 (Tap to Expand)
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[b] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.
All are in complete need of grace for all have sinned.
Christ is propitiation or atonement (temple illustration) for the wrath we’ve earned.
He redeems (slavery illustration) us; he justifies (legal illustration) us. Discuss the illustrations.
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (Tap to Expand)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- Why does Peter call us to repent as a response to the cross (Acts 2:38)?
- Because we are convinced of Jesus’ love for us through the cross. His love motivates us to repent; that is, to live for Him rather than for ourselves.
- Jesus’ resurrection opens our eyes to look beyond the earthly realm.
- The old is gone, the new has come! What does the new life look like?
- How do we view people through our new repentant eyes?
- Sinful deeds are obvious.
- What does will not inherit the Kingdom of God mean?
- Be as specific as necessary to both explain and share about the sins listed.
Luke 3:7-14 (Tap to Expand)
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
- The fruit of repentance is the evidence of a changed mindset. John the Baptist insisted on repentance before baptism. If you were to ask John, What should I do? how would he respond to you? (Notice that he directs no one to pray and weep before God, confessing how bad he or she feels about his or her sins which many people today confuse for repentance.)
- Has anyone ever shared empty words with you in order to minimize God’s wrath to sin and sinners?
- Exposing sin to the light is a great step toward proclaiming a real need for grace.
Mark 14:26, 15:41 (Tap to Expand)
26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
- Jesus chose to die for us. Who killed Jesus? I did. You did.
- Reflect on the reasons why Jesus endures these afflictions (my sins require it, and His love offers it).
1 Peter 2:21-25 (Tap to Expand)
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22 “He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[a]
23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[b] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
- Why did Jesus die on the cross for us?
- So that we might die to sin and live for the new righteousness that the cross provides.
- This is our response to the cross.
- Your sin has made a separation between you and your God.
- This study is not just about a list of sins, but instead about the depth of your separation from your Father.
Acts 2:36-41 (Tap to Expand)
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Peter has preached the message of the cross. What are the next steps?
John 3:16-21 (Tap to Expand)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
- Do you prefer the darkness over the light?
- Are you ready to move into the light of God’s grace?
- Isaiah 52-53
- Colossians 2:13-14
- Psalm 22
- Ephesians 2:1-10
- Acts 2:22-38
- John 1:29