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52 Weeks Discussion > Week 3, Day 3 thoughts - Genesis 42-45 - Jacob's family and Joseph

I love the author's pointing out the truth of the law of the sower. This is such a pivotal truth throughout the body of Scripture and our daily lives. If we would all just think about the truth of that before doing irresponsible things, we could save ourselves a lot of grief in life. Certainly, as the author points out, this truth was majorly played out in the lives of Joseph's brothers.

I do need to point out something that can be misleading in the author's wording where he states, "Salvation would be graciously offered to Joseph's brothers upon simple confession and repentance. Likewise, salvation in Christ is graciously offered to sinful men upon simple confession and repentance. (See Rom. 10:9-13; Acts 17:30.)" Again, the issue is one of what the author means by the use of the word, "repentance." Salvation has never been achieved by works of any kind; it's always been by faith (Rom: 3:20, 28: Gal. 2:16.) Even Abraham was justified by faith (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, 9, 22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23). If by using the word, "repentance," the author was referring to the "change of mind" in what brings about salvation, then it's a proper use of the word. For example, in Joseph's brothers' case - if they "changed their mind" about what they had done to their brother those years earlier (i.e. realizing that it was wrong and they were now getting what they deserved - the law of the sower), then the use of "repentance" here is appropriate. If he is using the word to mean "being sorry that they did it and that they wouldn't do it anymore", then that's problematic. And that is pointed out in the next sentence he writes, and what I have my bigger concern with. He's speaking of salvation in the New Testament and he writes this: "Salvation in Christ is graciously offered to sinful men upon simple confession and repentance." His choice of the passage in Acts is troublesome. That verse states, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent ...". Again, if the author is referring to repentance as a "change of mind" - i.e. that all people would "change their minds" about how and what they worship and turn to Christ, then that's a great passage to use. However, most people don't understand "repentance" in that way. Most people view "repentance" as being "sorry for your sins and committing to turn from that sin." If that's how the author intended to use the verse, then using Acts 17:30 as a proof text for obtaining salvation sends a wrong message, as that verse says absolutely nothing about faith in Christ. That's what saves, not repentance, not being sorry for your sins and committing not to sin anymore. There is no amount of repentance anyone can ever do that can eternally save them apart from faith in Christ. There are millions of people in the world that are 'sorry' for things they've done because they know they were wrong. But, they've never placed their faith in Christ. It's not the repentance that saves; it's faith in the One who can save. I wish he would have chosen the dozens of other Scriptures that speak of faith in Christ alone as how man is saved, not Acts 17:30.

Basically, the "sorry and committing to turn from your sin" kind of repentance is a work, plain and simple. That's what Paul was writing to the Galatians about. If that kind of "repentance" must come first, then our religion (faith) is no different than virtually any of the other religions on the planet. Don't get me wrong. Am I saying that that kind of repentance doesn't have a place in the Christian life? Of course not. Does God want us to change? Of course He does, but it's not the cause or the beginning of our salvation; it's the intended (or desired) result of it.

March 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPastor Ken