Apr 25, 2010

Acts 3:19 - William Tant

Acts 3:19. " Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." This verse contains with in itself a refutation of an offer system ; because it speaks of repentance "when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Whatever may be the allusion of the apostle, at the time he made use of this language, to the after calamities of the Jews. I can not think that the apostle here meant that true repentance or conversion was in their own hands; for they are both the gift of God. Nor can I understand the apostle in any other way than as if he had said, "through ignorance ye put Christ to death, but when this vail, 2 Cor. iii. 15. shall be removed from your hearts by the awakening and illuminating power of God, ye will believe in Christ crucified, and repent of what you have done antecedent, concomitant, and subsequent to his death." The two following are parallel passages, Phil. ii. 11, 13., and Gal. ii. 20. In the former the apostle says, "work out your own Salvation, with fear and trembling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his own good pleasure." Here the apostle does not speak of working out salvation when it was not worked in, neither does he mean that the Philippians should work at salvation that it might be worked in; but he is exhorting living believers, who have, by a given faith, inwardly appropriated the righteousness of Christ, taking it as their own, and have the Holy Ghost dwelling in them, to bring forth the effects of righteousness, and the fruits of the Spirit, namely, love to his word, joy in his salvation, peace with God and conscience, long-suffering for the truth amidst persecution, gentleness to fellow believers, goodness in struggling with the carnality and corruption of old nature, resisting the devil and living above the world, faith in the doctrines of the gospel, meekness in enduring all reproaches for Christ's name sake, and temperance in all things, so as not to be carried away with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, Gal vi. 22, 23. And in the latter the apostle says, I live." This, strictly speaking, no man can say while in the flesh ; for self is nothing but a " body of death," Rom. vii. 24., therefore Paul corrects himself, and says, " yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Yes, this is gospel language, dear reader, and every true born child of God can adopt it as his own.

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