Jul 22, 2010

Evangelical and Legal Repentance - John Stevens

"Evangelical is, again, to be distinguished from legal or moral repentance. It is the duty of men individually or collectively to repent of and abandon any known transgression. Thus it was incumbent on Simon the Sorcerer, to repent of his sin (Acts 8:22); on the inhabitants of Ninevah to repent of their malpractices (Jonah 2:10); on the Jewish nation to repent of their departure from the will and ways of God (Matt. 3:2, etc.); on the heathen to repent of idolatry when commanded by God (Acts 17:30); but all these forms of repentance merely required that exercise of natural reason and conscience, and involved nothing that was spiritual and sanctifying. See also Matt. 4:17, 5:20, 12:41, 21:29 and 32, and 27:3; Mark 1:15 and 6:12; Luke 13:3, 5; 1 Kings 9:47-49; 2 Chron. 12:5-12; and Acts 14:15-16. “However such Scriptures may be accommodated to illustrate spiritual things—their direct sense is to require a natural and legal repentance, answerable to the kind of relation (see chapter 17, page 204) in which the persons addressed were standing to God and one another." —John Stevens.

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