Repentance From Dead Works is the second volume in our foundational Bible College study manual series. The first step all of us take toward God is repentance, without which we remain lost. This study, then, is of paramount importance to understand and be able to teach. This principle is the first block in the building of our spiritual foundation, as laid out in Hebrews 6:1-3. All of us were like sheep going astray and turned everyone to our own way (Isaiah 53:6). When the gospel message came to us, however, we turned and started going in another direction – HIS direction. Even still, we have need to turn and repent. Repentance is a one-time experience, but it is also a way of life. We should never stop seeing our need to repent.
Turning around is never easy when someone has continued in a path for so many years. Sometimes it is hard to imagine being able to turn, especially when you consider we were born into sin (Psalms 51:5, Isaiah 48:8, 58:3, Romans 17:14), and that our nature is one of evil, not good (Psalms 39:5, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 17:5, 14-25, Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12, I John 1:8, 2:16-17, 5:19, Galatians 5:19-24). Such is the ministry of repentance – it turns us from the obvious path we are destined to follow and sets us on a new path, one that leads us to God and to truth. I’m so thankful that God has made such tremendous and incredible provision for us when we fall! If we will first repent, He will wash us, forgive us, and set us on our feet again!
Let’s not let our hearts become hardened through sin. Let’s continue to rejoice by always repenting when necessary. It is my sincere hope and prayer that this study of repentance shows us the way to God. As the Scripture declares, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Let us then do as Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3:40-41, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens.” And in turning comes the realization that we have just begun our journey back to what mankind originally had and what God ultimately desires for us. Let us say as Job did in Job 42:6, “Wherefore I abhor myself and repent…” Let us hear the command and first words of Jesus, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). To that end has this humble manual been written, to cover exhaustively all aspects of repentance.