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Joined: 2011/4/24
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Repentance is Ultimately Christ in You [Quotes from J.I. Packer, Charles Spurgeon, and Watchman Nee]

"To the question: what must I do to be saved? the old gospel [Calvinism] replies: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. To the further question: what does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? its reply is: it means knowing oneself to be a sinner, and Christ to have died for sinners; abandoning all self-righteousness and self-confidence, and casting oneself wholly upon Him for pardon and peace; and exchanging one’s natural enmity and rebellion against God for a spirit of grateful submission to the will of Christ through the renewing of one’s heart by the Holy Ghost.

And to the further question still: how am I to go about believing on Christ and repenting, if I have no natural ability to do these things? it answers: look to Christ, speak to Christ, cry to Christ, just as you are; confess your sin, your impenitence, your unbelief, and cast yourself on His mercy; ask Him to give you a new heart, working in you true repentance and firm faith; ask Him to take away your evil heart of unbelief and to write His law within you, that you may never henceforth stray from Him. Turn to Him and trust Him as best you can, and pray for grace to turn and trust more thoroughly; use the means of grace expectantly, looking to Christ to draw near to you as you seek to draw near to Him; watch, pray, read, and hear God’s Word, worship and commune with God’s people, and so continue till you know in yourself beyond doubt that you are indeed a changed being, a penitent believer, and the new heart which you desired has been put within you." -J.I. Packer [The Quest for Godliness (Wheaton: Crossway, 1994), p. 144]

"Join with me in prayer at this moment, I entreat you. Join with me while I put words into your mouths, and speak them on your behalf — “Lord, I am guilty, I deserve thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to will and to do thy good pleasure.

Thou alone hast power, I know,
To save a wretch like me;
To whom, or whither should I go
If I should run from thee?

But I now do from my very soul call upon thy name. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon thee, O Lord. I trust the blood and righteousness of thy dear Son. . . . Lord, save me tonight, for Jesus’ sake.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon [Quoted in Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), pp. 101–102.]

[Or again, the Word tells us that we are to repent. What if we have no desire whatever to repent? I met a student once who said it was too early for him to come to the Lord. He wanted more time in which to taste the pleasures of sin and to enjoy himself. He said to me, "The thief on the cross was saved, but he had had his fling, and it was high time that he repented. But I - I am young." "Well, what do you want to do?" I asked him. He replied, "I want to wait for another forty years and have a good time, and then I will repent." So I said, "Let us pray." "Oh, I can't pray," he answered. "Yes, you can," I said. You can tell the Lord all you have told me. He is the Friend of unrepentant sinners like you." "Oh, I couldn't say that to Him." "Why not?" "Oh, but I could not." "Well, be quite honest. Whatever is in your heart, you tell it to Him. He will help you." Finally, he prayed, and told the Lord that he did not want to repent and be saved, but that he knew he needed a Saviour; and he just cried to Him for help. The Lord worked repentance in him and he got up a saved man.] -Watchman Nee, What Shall This Man Do?

The gist of it all is: don't try to force repentance on yourself. Look to Christ, talk to Him like He's your friend, be honest with Him, and you will do well. That's why He's the Saviour and He's the One who does the saving....not you!

- Amen!

Michael Liao

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