When it comes to salvation there is always a question of just what role man plays in the act. On a large scale, this is the Calvinism v. Arminianism debate. However, on a local scale we can (most) all agree that whether God chooses us or we choose him, the clear teaching of Scripture is that man is resposnible for repenting of his sins. This is displayed clearly in Acts 2.37-38,
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Repent and be baptized! That’s why I’m a Baptist! (Well, not the only reason.) But seriously, if ever we could hope for a clear response in Scripture here it is. The people ask what they need to do and Peter tells them. Case closed.
So, knowing that repentance is a necessary response to God’s spirit of conviction in our hearts, it is then encumbent upon us to work out what authentic repentance is, both for ourselves and for testing others, since it is not too hard to imagine false repentance being offered instead of the real thing. It is because of this that we find passages such as 2 Corinthians 7.8-10 which distinguish for us between worldly and Godly grief.
Seeing this question and knowing its importance to the people of the church has led Matt Chandler of The Village Church (Dallas, TX) to develop a sermon series aimed at just that. For the past couple of weeks (and I think at least one more to come), Chandler has been walking his church, and those of us who join with them by podcast, through what authentic repentance and Godly grief look like, how to cultivate it, and how not to get discouraged and fall into the imposter varieties. Below I have posted what has been spoken so far (and I will update as more become available), so please take the time to check them out. Its hard to believe you won’t find this to be a good investment of your time. Enjoy!