Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Jesus told His disciples, just prior to His Ascension, "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47).  The two, repentance and remission, need to be defined.  The dictionary definition of "repentance" is "to turn from one's sin," but the dictionary fails to say toward what one is to turn.  The obvious answer is to turn from being self-governing, to being obedient to the will of God. 

The word "remission," as it is used in the Bible, means "the pardon or forgiveness of sins."  However, since God's Word says that "the wages (payment) for sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), someone has to die for our sin.  Hebrews 9:22 says, ". . . without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission."  Jesus voluntarily paid that price for us.  Matthew 26:28 says, "For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."  Jesus died once, and for all:  "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 9:12; 10:18).  This is the message of the Gospel, the Good News, the message which has the power of salvation for all who hear and believe (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:8-17).   

Salvation requires both the acceptance of Christ as our Savior (remission), and our desire to turn to Jesus as our Lord (repentance).  Both actually happen simultaneously the instant we place our faith in Jesus.  When we believe Jesus died for our sins, out of gratitude, we want to please Him by allowing Him to reign as God in our lives.  These two can be seen in Peter's message on the Day of Pentecost:  "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . . " (Acts 2:38).

Because the early Church was totally made up of Jews, they were reluctant to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (all non-Jews).  But, in Acts 10:1-48, the Jews learned that God truly is no respecter of persons; God accepts all who will turn to Him (v. 34).  Peter continued, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins" (v. 43).  

Salvation results from faith in the work of the Savior, and our turning to Him as our Lord.


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