|2. Fundamentals vs. New Age -> Repentance vs New Age Repentance -> Intention to Holiness|
Intention to Holiness Essential.
Paul states that "the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Gal 3:24 The focus of the person is on the Holiness and Righteous Person of God and also His Person in Justice, Mercy, and Love in Jesus Christ. He turns toward this Person, Almighty Holy God, through Jesus Christ for help. It is not more knowledge or a trust in knowledge.
Repentance is a person to Person transaction: A sinful wicked heart to a Holy God. God cannot accept people on their own terms, and He cannot barter any part of Himself, His Eternal Principles of Character. THEY must repent, and have a new intention toward and into Him. God cannot change (Mal 3:6); He must be faithful to Who He is (2 Tim 2:13). We are the ones who must REPENT.
Whether Calvin or Arminius, both agree that the grace of God acting in enlightenment and circumstances (prevenient grace) must first bring the person to repentance and believing, and that faith follows regeneration. See footnote.3 The true Calvinist believes that repentance and committing to Christ's Lordship and subsequent faith occurs irresistibly and simultaneously. The Arminian believes man can resist and reject the prevenient grace, and thereby reject repentance and commitment resulting in the subsequent new birth with indwelling faith.
But from the outset it is important to understand that repentance has been the scriptural expectation throughout historic Christianity from the time of Christ and John the Baptist. It is a change of intention of mind toward God and, therefore, away from sin (self-centeredness).
Repentance is not just a change of mind in intellectual assent or knowledge or trust about anything. It is the work of the Holy Spirit enlightening the mind and heart to its unholiness in relation to a Holy God, resulting in the person's grieving changed intention toward God. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to (eis, for the purpose or result of) salvation not to be repented of" (2 Cor. 7:10).
This understanding avoids much polemics and misunderstanding, which the Godless Dispensational "grace" regardless teachers clearly have. This understanding explains why the "grace" regardless teachers must think omitting repentance in the salvation message is valid.
At the start they assert that "believing" is just a mental assent or trust in facts of the gospel presented. This is why they then must insist that repentance and believing are synonyms. Otherwise, any true repentance would imply an experiencial perception of God's Love and Holiness, which would weaken their simple mental affirmation only, without any moral intent.
They refuse to accept the plain scriptures concerning repentance. This would destroy their entire starting unscriptural assertion of what "believing" is, as simply a mental notation of some sort called trust or just believing something. If believing is committing to Lordship, all their doctrines would be destroyed in logical sequence. Repentance would be a reasonable association of committing. And repentance and committing could not be synonymous.
More than just a false mental assent and trust (their false concept of believe--see next article on believing), there must be a change of intention toward an Immutable Holy God, their Saviour and Lord.
Most all their apologetics center on sins or sinning and works vs. grace. In essence, their apologetics is stuck in their own mire concerning the most simplistic principles of salvation, which they can't seem to get beyond. In their writings they seem to think that repentance is actually some type of "work of penance" or action of a person.
Witness this statement by one of them. "If repentance were a condition of eternal salvation, one must know that he has repented in order to have assurance of salvation. If turning from sins were a condition of eternal salvation, one could never be sure he was saved. One would always be unsure if he had turned from enough sins to be saved."1
This type of Catholic Augustinian man-centered-works conceptions concerning repentance is characteristic of the Dallas Theological Seminary graduates. Notice they always turn salvation concepts upon what a man thinks or may reason about it. They reason from this perspective in all scripture interpretations. They do not concern themselves with what God Himself plainly says and does within men's hearts. Indeed, they reject such plain readings of scripture and reinterpret the plain words to mean something else.
If this author perceived that repentance was an attitude of mind, an intention, from his "sin condition" and "sinful way" to God's way in a moment of decisive time, he could not wonder "if he had turned from enough sins." Either one has a change of intention in an existential sense or one doesn't, and any person is certainly aware of such a decision as that.
It is not a matter of remembering any sins in particular, but an intention to reject sin and his perceived unholy ways altogether in turning to Lord Jesus Christ's HOLINESS, forgiveness, and Life. This cannot be a willful mind changing of intention, but one coming from a genuine Godly (God illuminated) sorrow. "The sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Cor.7:10). Repentance (intention change) and believing committing (yourself to Him) is a life for Life exchange. Repentance is not a bartering transaction.
Another of their authors writes this: "To make repentance a condition for eternal salvation is nothing less than a regression toward Roman Catholic dogma."2
Obviously they think that repentance is a work of some sort. The Douay version of the Roman Catholic Bible translates repentance as "do penance." This may be confusing them. Neither the Calvinists nor the Arminians think that what goes on in a person's head is a work, it is a change of intention of mind. Any one who thinks that "thinking" is a work is in danger of terminal coma.
[[ Do not "try to stop thinking" by meditative practices; this opens your mind to demons, like the present Post-modern Emerging church of today is teaching all people to do "to experience god." A blanked passive mind is an invitation to demons to speak to you or affect you, a damnable teaching.]]
Repentance need not even be an outward grieving and fearfulness, although this may accompany repentance, as the Philippian jailor did in fearfully prostrating himself before Paul and Silas saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Repentance is in essence a changing of intention or focus toward God for forgiveness and existence because we perceive our sin in His eyes of Holiness. This is truly the Godly sorrow mentioned by Paul when he said, "For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Cor 7:10
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