Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Horatius Bonar on Repentance

"The word "repentance" signifies in the Greek, "change of mind"; and this change the Holy Spirit produces in connection with the gospel, not the law. "Repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15) does not mean, "get repentance by the law, and then believe the gospel"; but "let this good news about the kingdom which I am preaching lead you to change your views and receive the gospel." Repentance being put before faith here simply implies that there must be a turning from what is false in order to the reception of what is true. If I would turn my face to the north, I must turn it from the south; yet I should not think of calling the one of these preparatory to the other. If I want to get rid of the darkness, I must let in the light; but I should not say that the getting rid of the darkness is a preparation for receiving the light. These must, in the nature of things, go together. Repentance then is not, in any sense, a preliminary qualification for faith; least of all in the sense of sorrow for sin." (God's Way of Peace, p. 67)