What good would it do to redeem man from his sins and not change his heart where all sins begin? Paul wrote to the church in Rome asking a very important question to those who had been redeemed by the blood of Christ. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2) Repentance is required in order for one to be saved for Jesus said, “I tell you no, you will all likewise perish, for unless you repent you will all perish.” (Luke 13:3) Repentance is turning from sin unto God. (Acts 3:19) What causes one to be repentive of his sins? In Romans 2:4 we are told, “The goodness of God now leads us to repentance.” God’s goodness was demonstrated in the highest when He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to take away our sins. On the day of Pentecost, as we read in Acts 2, Peter told his listeners they cwere guilty of crucifying the very Messiah they were waiting for. We read, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ–this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39″For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” These people were “pierced” in their hearts when recognizing what they had done when they crucified Jesus. When men today understand their sins are responsible for the death of Christ on the cross, they too are brought to repentance. They are changed from rebellious sinners to submissive children of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The cross has the power to totally change men’s hearts and lives.
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