March 2010

Emotional Repentance?

In studying for 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, the issue of repentance has come up. In this passage, Paul is recounting both his arrival (with Silas and Timothy) into Thessalonica as well as their reception of them, which is summed up in v.9. As a result of  powerful preaching (the power of the Spirit and the message and not personal power of Paul-v.5), the elect in Thessalonica (v.4) believed in Jesus Christ and thus were justified before God. Now, what is interesting is the wordplay that Paul uses concerning the effect the gospel had upon these dear people. They 1) believed the gospel (vv.5,8), 2) turned from idols (v.9), 3) turned to God (v.9). They now (then) serve God and wait for the return of His Son, Jesus Christ. These were faithful disciples. These were people in whom true salvation was evident; so much so that the entire known world was talking about their faith (v. 8). That is the power of the gospel! It alone is the power of God (Romans 1:16). It is the only message that brings faith, repentance, and righteousness. It is important, critical really, to keep in mind that only true repentance, one that God produces (cf. 2 Timothy 2:25; Acts 11:18; 2 Corinthians 7:10) and thus recognizes, leads to eternal life. Thus, salvation is all the work of God, even the faith to believe is from Him. To God alone belongs the glory!

New Opportunity

Currently, I am pastor of Harvest Community Church (www.harvestmaroa.org) in Maroa, Illinois. Because of the studies that I have been able to do in order to prepare for the various messages throughout the week, I find that I have a lot more to say than I can say in a single sermon. And, in the interest of not inundating God’s people in Maroa, I have decided to attempt a blog that will allow me to ‘preach’ in writing. My hope and interest is to edify those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and abide in His word, as well to evangelize those who do not believe the gospel. My intent will be to write from studies or related thinking on the word of God. I am not so interested in social problems, politics or entertainment ‘who’s-who’ per se. Rather, in the interest of not getting entangled in the affairs of everyday life (2 Timothy 2:4), and in the interest of focusing primarily upon God’s flock in Maroa, I will only concentrate on expounding God’s word and/or related topics that are edifying.

May God be glorified-1 Corinthians 10:31

Pastor Charlie

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