ESV - 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
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We are born with a natural, carnal nature. We are born with a physical body, a natural body, with natural desires. We have a spirit from God within us that needs to be awakened. Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and He will not do? Or has He spoken, and He will not make it good." To repent is to recognize that we are separated from God, because of our nature. We must walk in a new direction, under God's rules. We must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He has removed our sins, and restored the connection to Sovereign God. Romans 8:34, "Who is He that condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Revelation 22:12, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me..." 2 Corinthians 5:9,10 - " Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 1Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Proverbs 27:20, "He'll and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied." (man's natural nature) John 3:16 Eternity is a long long time. What will you do with yours?
When we read this account, Jesus is talking to people who thought the Galileans who had died were worse sinners than they were, and that God had punished them for their great sin. (Verse 4) "Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?" What Jesus was trying to tell the people is that all men are sinners, and unless they, the Jews would repent, change their mind and accept Him as their savior, they would perish also. But they would not. Jesus came unto His own, the nation of Israel, but His own received Him not. The Jews believed they were saved by keeping the law, without faith toward God. They went about establishing their own righteousness under the law and so could not accept Jesus as their savior. They believed they were righteous in the flesh. When we get to the gospel of John, we see a transition of Jesus who has left the Jews and is now preaching the forgiveness sin to all who just believe on his name John 1:12 The Jews needed to repent, go from Judaism to salvation by grace and trust Jesus as their savior. The word repent, the Greek word is metanoia. Meta means change, and noia means mind. It simply means a change of mind. The Jews needed to repent, change their mind from trusting in keeping the law, to trusting in Jesus as their only way of salvation by grace. If you go to second Corinthians 7:8, you can see Paul used the same word, in writing to the Corinthian believers. He changed his mind. The Corinthian believers we living in all kinds of sin, and were about to be chastened by the Lord. Paul said some are sick among you because of your sinfulness. The Lord does chasten those who have believed but are living out of the will of God. They are saved but living like the world, and could lose there rewards in heaven. First Corinthians 3:12-21. So the word repent for salvation is to change your mind from what ever we were trusting in, Our works, or keeping the law, to faith in Jesus finished work on the cross as the only way of salvation by grace. Romans 11:6 Romans 4:5 and Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, and not by the deeds of the law. Galatians 2:21 I do not void the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Believers are no longer under the law but under grace. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Now we do those things in the law for rewards in heaven, not for salvation. Now we repent of our works, and trust in Jesus finished work as the only way of salvation by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9.
This is an interesting question. We need to repent because we all have heart problems, a heart malady. This is a universal problem. We need the Great Physician (Jesus) to do something about it. Our need is great. I once quoted this to a man at work, John, and he was convicted. Why do we need to repent? Because those who are sick need a physician. And we are all sick with sin! The universality of sin is spoken of by Isaiah the prophet after he tells us that sin is a sickness (Isaiah 1:5-6). He says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as a filthy rag. And we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." And, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). We need Jesus, the Great Physician, to save us from our sins. That's why we need to repent. We need to repent and believe in Jesus alone for our salvation. I can't trust my own goodness. I cannot trust that my good deeds will outweigh my bad deeds. To enter heaven, I must believe in Jesus ALONE to save me. I repented of my sins at a Billy Graham Crusade in Tempe, Arizona, to which my Grandma Mor Mor took me, many years ago. Have you repented? Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The NET Bible says of Jeremiah 17:9, “The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is ‘incurably bad.’ Who can understand it?” Or the phrase could be translated “incurably deceitful”; Heb “It is incurable.” For the word “deceitful” compare the usage of the verb in Gen 27:36 and a related noun in 2 Kgs 10:19. For the adjective “incurable” compare the usage in Jer 15:18. It is most commonly used with reference to wounds or of pain. In Jer 17:16 it is used metaphorically for a “woeful day” (i.e., day of irreparable devastation). The background for this verse is Deut. 29:18-19 (Dt 29:17-18 HT) and Deut. 30:17.
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