Of Repentance unto Life

As an adden­dum to the pre­vi­ous post, I want to share what the “West­min­ster Con­fes­sion of Faith” says con­cern­ing repen­tance. This is chap­ter 15 of the con­fes­sion, titled “Of Repen­tance unto Life.”

  1. Repen­tance unto life is an evan­gel­i­cal grace (Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10; Zech. 12:10), the doc­trine where­of is to be preached by every min­is­ter of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ (Luke 24:47; Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21).
  2. 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 (Ezek. 18:30–31; 36:31; Isa. 30:22; ps. 51:4; Jer. 31:18–19; Joel 2:12–13; Amos 5:15; Ps. 119:128; 2 Cor. 7:11; 1 Thess. 1:9), pur­pos­ing and endeav­or­ing to walk with him in all the ways of his com­mand­ments (Ps. 119:6, 59, 106; 2 Kings 23:25; see Luke 1:6).
  3. Although repen­tance be not to be rest­ed in, as any sat­is­fac­tion for sin, or any cause of the par­don there­of (Ezek. 36:31–32; 16:61–63; Isa. 43:35), which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ (Hos. 14:2, 4; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7); yet it is of such neces­si­ty to all sin­ners, that none may expect par­don with­out it (Luke 13:3, 5; Mark 1:4; Acts 17:30–31).
  4. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damna­tion (Rom. 6:23; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 12:36); so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damna­tion upon those who tru­ly repent (Isa. 55:7; Rom. 8:1; Isa. 1:16–18).
  5. Men ought not to con­tent them­selves with a gen­er­al repen­tance, but it is every man’s duty to endeav­or to repent of his par­tic­u­lar sins, par­tic­u­lar­ly (Ps. 19:13; Matt. 26:75; Luke 19:8; 1 Tim. 1:13, 14).
  6. As every man is bound to make pri­vate con­fes­sion of his sins to God, pray­ing for the par­don there­of (Pss. 32:5–6; 51:1–14); upon which, and the for­sak­ing of them, he shall find mer­cy (Prov. 28:13; Isa. 55:7; 1 John 1:9); so, he that scan­dal­izeth 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 (James 5:16; Luke 17:3–4; Josh. 7:19; see Matt. 18:15–18), who are there­upon to be rec­on­ciled to him, and in love to receive him (2 Cor. 2:7–8; see Gal. 6:1–2).

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Rick Beckman