Friday, October 12, 2007

Lord, Grant Repentance to the Sinner

Over the past decade (wow, I can actually use that length of time while talking about my adult life) I have struggled over the doctrinal issues surrounding Calvinism and Arminianism. Almost two years ago, though (at about the same time as the birth of my second son, Noah), I settled this issue. I am a firm believer in the doctrines of grace, more commonly called Calvinism. And it was from this foundational understanding of God’s work in the salvation of man that many different phrases, in discussion and prayer, have seeped into my daily lexicon. One such phrase has been, “May God grant you (whomever) grace and repentance.” God’s gift to the believer is faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) and grace is, by definition, a gifting form God. Working from that understanding, I extrapolated that any repentant heart and action must come from God’s initiating work. Could I have pointed to a Scripture that said this specifically in this way (i.e. you repented because God gave you repentance), not really, but any response to God done correctly by a sinful man must, in my understanding, have it’s root cause in God, not man. Praise be to God for today and John MacArthur’s radio broadcast because he referenced a Scripture, that up until now, I have missed.

“When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:18)

Repentance is a gift, just like faith is a gift, that God’s working of salvation produces in the believer. Hallelujah! Salvation is all of God, and nothing of my own.

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