“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32.
“And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:3.
“A repentance such as this, is beyond the reach of our own power to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high and has given gifts unto men.
Just here is a point on which many may err, and hence they fail of receiving the help that Christ desires to give them. They think that they cannot come to Christ unless they first repent, and that repentance prepares for the forgiveness of their sins. It is true that repentance does precede the forgiveness of sins; for it is only the broken and contrite heart that will feel the need of a Saviour. But must the sinner wait till he has repented before he can come to Jesus? Is repentance to be made an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour?
The Bible does not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ that leads to genuine repentance. –Steps to Christ, pp. 25, 26.
Questions to think about:
What kind of gifts are given to men?
Is repentance an obstacle between the sinner and the Saviour?
What does genuine repentance mean?