Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 18, 2019

“God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 11:1-18.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+11&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.  And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”  But Peter began speaking and proceeded to explain to them in orderly sequence, saying, …  And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.  And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’  Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”  When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”  Acts 11:1-18.

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Other doctrine teaches that “repentance that leads to life” is a free-will act of man.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that “repentance that leads to life” is a sovereign act (a grant) of God. 

“He (Jesus) is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Acts 5:31.

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”  2 Timothy 2:24-26.

Reformed Doctrine sharply contrasts God’s grant of “repentance that leads to life” with man’s sin leading to death.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—”  Romans 5:12.

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin;  and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”  James 1:14-15.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:4-6.

Regarding being “joined to another” (Christ), “… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing;  but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;  for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.  FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.  This mystery is great;  but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”  Ephesians 5:26-31.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23.


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