Step Three and Four - Repentance and Confession

Jesus, just before being carried into heaven, told his disciples in Luke 24:46-47 that it behoved Him to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, "46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

Repentance is not an option but a requirement. In Acts 17:30 we read, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent . . . " God requires repentance if we are to be saved. This repentance must come from the heart since from the heart proceeds all evil. Jesus tells us in Mark 7:21-23, "21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." This repentance from the heart will result in us putting these things out of our life. Colossians 3:8-9 says, "8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;" This is repentance that reflects godly sorrow as seen in 2 Corinthians 7:10, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

When we are truly repentant, we will confess Christ. Paul told the Romans in Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Jesus promised us in Matthew 10:32, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." As we can see, confession of Christ is part of our road to salvation. If we fail to confess Christ, then we will find ourselves in the condition of the chief rulers in John 12:42-43, "42Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

In conclusion, we cannot be pleasing to God and obtain salvation when we fail to repent and confess Jesus Christ is the Son of the God (Acts 8:37).

Charles D. Royal, Decatur AL