What Is Repentance?       Luke 3:1-3, 7-16       Sept. 19, 2004

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God's word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
7 He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?  8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don't start saying to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!  9 Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."  10 "What then should we do?" the crowds were asking him. 11 He replied to them, "The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same." 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" 13 He told them, "Don't collect any more than what you have been authorized." 14 Some soldiers also questioned him: "What should we do?" He said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages." 15 Now the people were waiting expectantly, and all of them were debating in their minds whether John might be the Messiah.  16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water, but One is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (HCSB)

Introduction
    The word for repentance in New Testament Greek is METANOEO, and refers to a change of mind or action.  It can have a military connotation as a sergeant wanted to give the command for an about face. I am told the evangelist Billy Sunday would run out into the audience abruptly stop, and then change directions to illustrate repentance. What relationship does repentance have to salvation? Can one receive salvation and then repent at a later time, or must repentance precede salvation. It is my opinion confession, belief, and repentance all occur at the same time resulting in salvation. I think they are simultaneous acts. Some theologians want to debate, and split hairs about the different words but this is my opinion. Let us look further to learn more about the subject, What Is Repentance.

1.    The Relationship of Repentance and Baptism. Vs 1-3
    As I write my comments about this lesson the front page of the paper includes a news item about a cave John the Baptist may have used during his ministry. Our text gives some preliminary dating prior to John entering upon the scene. These dates may help identify John's use of the cave. Divine intervention may have taken place in this cave, regardless it did take place, and God sent John to prepare the way for the Lord and He included baptism. John's preaching gave a discourse on the need for baptism as an expression that one had receive the forgiveness of their sins. I can say that by John's refusal to welcome some into the baptismal waters who gave no evidence of repentance. Today we have some who want to be baptized, and still live in sinful relationships. We should demand evidence of repentance just like John.

    Baptist spend more money to baptize their converts than most because we have a firm belief in the necessity of baptism by immersion. Do you realize Baptist get their name from baptism. We believe a person must be baptized into the church before they enjoy the total benefits of church membership. Some require baptism as part of a persons salvation, or at least to complete it. We believe if you are not saved before you enter the water all that happens to you in baptism is you go down a dry sinner and come up a wet one. I had a preacher friend who would say "you can be baptized in every river stream, and creek until you know every tadpole by name and it would not save you." Repentance and salvation precede baptism for it to agree with the biblical examples

A.    The . . Dated Relationship to Repentance and Baptism. v 2 b
    1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, . . . " wilderness.

B.    The . . Divine Intervention Related to Repentance and Baptism. v 2 b
    ". . . God's word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

C.    The . . Discourse Related to Repentance and Baptism. v 3
    3 He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness
    of sins,
 

2.    The Demanded Relationship of Repentance and Baptism. Vs 7-9
    John called for a provable relationship to the Lord before he would baptize. He demanded fruit consistent with repentance before he baptized. Recently I discovered what I think is important, God tells us to produce and investigate fruit not works. The people coming to John had many works but no fruit. Before they could claim being Jewish, and having a connection to God through their parents John negated the argument; saying God could make those kind of children from stones if He so chose. John makes a soon to be fulfilled prophecy as he speaks of the judgment Jesus will bring as He demands a relationship with Him that produces fruit easily identified with one who repented of their sin, and demonstrated the fruit of righteousness.

A.    The. . Proof Relationship to Repentance and Sin. Vs 7-8a
7 He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. . . . "

B.    The . . Parental Relationship to Repentance and Sin. Vs 8b
    ". . . And don't start saying to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones!

C.    The . . Productive Relationship to Repentance and Sin. v 9
    9 Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
 

3.    The Relationship of Repentance and Lifestyle. Vs 10-14
I find it interesting that the people wanted to know what needed to happen in their life if they demonstrated a relationship between repentance and their lifestyle. Jesus told them their would be a sharing relationship. They would share the necessities of life, such as clothing and food. Another quality of the lifestyle of repentance is submission to the desires of the Lord. He told the tax collectors how to be fair in their collections as they were submissive to authorities. They could have objected saying that would make a dent in their income, but they evidenced a desire to be submissive to the Lord . Then the solders are instructed to be satisfied about their wages.

A.    The . . Sharing Relationship to Repentance and Lifestyle. Vs 10-11
10 "What then should we do?" the crowds were asking him. 11 He replied to them, "The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same."

B.    The . . Submissive Relationship to Repentance and Lifestyle. Vs 12-13
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" 13 He told them, "Don't collect any more than what you have been authorized."

C.    The . . Satisfaction Relationship to Repentance and Lifestyle. v 14
14 Some soldiers also questioned him: "What should we do?" He said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages."

4.    The Relationship of Repentance and the . . Holy Spirit. Vs 15-16
The people began to debate concerning their theological opinions; is John the messiah? John tells them the Holy Spirit will be associated with the baptism of Jesus. Basically he give the people knowledge of the relationship of the Holy Spirit to truth. Of course the teaching of Jesus on this subject clarifies this matter for us but it is possible to see it here also. John's submission to Jesus is evident in his testimony. John testifies about the power, prestige, and preeminence of Jesus ministry. All of the above is included in answering the question; What Is Repentance. Amen? Amen!

A.    The . . Truth Relationship to Repentance and the Holy Spirit. v 15
15 Now the people were waiting expectantly, and all of them were debating in their minds whether John might be the Messiah.

B.    The . . Testimony Relationship to Repentance and the Holy Spirit. v 16
16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water, but One is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.