"Make ready the way of the Lord" (Luke 3:4)

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by JTB.SDG, Jan 18, 2019.

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  1. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Most scholars/commentators take this as: the King is coming, so clear out all obstacles for His arrival; something to that effect. Something about this thinking doesn't quite sit right with me, even though it seems to be the plain reading of the text. I think it's because it seems to make repentance the condition of God's acceptance, whereas we know repentance is the gift of God and that regeneration precedes faith and repentance.

    But though it's true that regeneration precedes faith (and repentance), it seems it may also be no less true that humbling ourselves before the Lord/calling upon Him can indeed precede regeneration. Is this the way to think about it? "Draw near to God and He will draw near to You." That there IS a real role we play in coming to faith, it's just that that role isn't to try to change ourselves--but rather to HUMBLE ourselves and call upon the Lord to grant us the gift of repentance and faith. Thoughts?
  2. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Bruce wrote this on a previous thread: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/repentance.82742/#post-1039462

    "Repentance is not given (by Scripture's treatment) a means-relation to our salvation, the way faith is credited instrumentally with accomplishing it (e.g. Eph.2:8).

    Because of the close association between these two things (repentance & faith) in Scripture (e.g., Mk.1:15; Act.20:21; Heb.6:1), when we talk about conversion in terms of the (logical) order of salvation, we often speak of these two as "alternate sides of one coin," or some similar analogy."
  3. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with your statement above where you say "whereas we know," etc., but in the preaching of Jesus and the apostles, is not repentance spoken of as a logical first step in the chain of salvation? Mark 1:15; Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mark 6:12; Acts 2:38; etc. The order is always repent and believe the gospel. Repentance is never an afterthought. Repentance is more than simply a fruit of faith, but is itself an Evangelical grace that should be taught in addition to faith in Christ.

    From the Westminster Confession chapter 15.
    1. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace, the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.
    2. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.
    3. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.
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