November 07, 2022 – Monday
Yet Still More on Forgiveness
Mark 1:4 NIV
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
This is a little bit different today as it is John the Baptist preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. But who was John the Baptist? And more importantly what is repentance?
We can go to many secular sources about John the Baptist, but the preceding three verses tell us what we have to know, namely, 1The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet [40:3]: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” — 3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
It is useful to know the book of Isaiah was written 700 years prior to the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. From Luke 1 we find his father was Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; and his mother, Elizabeth, was also a descendant of Aaron. Also, in Luke 1 we find Elizabeth was a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus and that John was 3-6 months older than Jesus. But their sons would not cross paths after their mothers’ meeting until John baptized Jesus. John was the first prophet Israel had seen in the 400 years of the intertestamental period between the Old and the New Testament. He has been called the last of the Old Testament prophets even though he is found in the New Testament.
Knowing what we do about John, what is repentance or repentance for the forgiveness of sins? Before looking up a definition of repentance let’s consider what we think about repentance. Most people will say it is about being sorry about one’s sins. This certainly seems to go in the correct direction but looking for more let’s look at the Bible versions without the word repentance in this verse.
CEB – calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.
CJB – proclaiming an immersion involving turning to God from sin in order to be forgiven.
GNT – “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.”
WE – He told them to stop doing wrong things and be baptised, and God would forgive them for the wrong things they did.
There are a few others, but from these we can say repentance in much more than being sorry about one’s sins. Plus, it was God’s forgiveness that was being sought. Repentance involves a change of heart and a change in one’s life away from sin and towards God!
The word repentance comes from the Greek 3341 metanoia which Strong’s Concordance defines as a change of mind, change in the inner mind. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon expands upon this with, especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds
To this I would add H.A. Ironside’s definition found in his book Except Ye Repent in the chapter on John the Baptist, Repentance is the recognition, the avowed recognition, of God’s estimate of the hopeless character of our hearts till renewed by the Word and Spirit of God. To this he added The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately [literally incurably] wicked, quoting Jeremiah 17:9. Therefore the need of a new heart and a new spirit.
Bottom Line: Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins so we might repent and obtain a new heart and a new spirit.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to truly repent and be forgiven of all our sins. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton