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THE effects of regeneration are repentance and faith. Repentance, or rather that higher species of it called in Greek μETávola, is the gift of God, whereby the regenerate man perceiving with sorrow that he has offended God by sin, detests and avoids it, humbly turning to God through a sense of the divine mercy, and heartily striving to follow righteousness.
The gift of God; namely, of the Father through the Son. Acts v. 31. "him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel." Jer. xxxi. 18. "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus.....turn thou me and I shall be turned, for thou art Jehovah my God." Acts xi. 18. "then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." Rom. ii. 4, 5. "thinkest thou this......not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up," &c. 2 Tim. ii. 25. "if God peradventure will give them repent
Perceiving with sorrow. Psal. xxxviii. 4. "mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me." 2 Kings xxii. 19. "because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before Jehovah, when thou heardest what I spake against this place......and hast rent thy clothes and wept before me." Psal. li. 3, 4. "I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me against thee, thee only have I sinned." Jer. iii. 13. "only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Jehovah thy God." Ezek. xxxvi. 31. "then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities." v. 32. "be ashamed and confounded for your own ways." xliii. 10. "that they may be ashamed of their iniquities." Rom. vi. 21. "those things whereof ye are now ashamed." 2 Cor. vii. 10. "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." v. 11. "for behold this self-same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge."
Through a sense of the divine mercy. Deut. iv. 29 -31. "but if from thence thou shalt seek Jehovah thy God......with all thy heart." 2 Chron. xxx. 9. “for Jehovah your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him." Psal. li. 17. "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." cxxx. 4. "there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Isai. xix. 22.
"they shall return even to Jehovah, and he shall beintreated of them, and shall heal them." lv. 7. "let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him." lxvi. 2. "to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Jer. iii. 12. “return.....for I am merciful." Dan. ix. 4. 5. "I made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God-." Hos. xi. 8. "how shall I give thee up, O Ephraim?......mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together." Jonah iv. 10, 11. "thou hast had pity for the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured.....and should not 1 spare Nineveh ?" James iv. 9. "be afflicted, and mourn, and weep, let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness; humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." Prov. xxviii. 13. "he that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
Humbly turning to God. 1 Kings viii. 48. "and so return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul." Jer. iv. 4. "circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart." Hos. v. 15. "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face." Acts iii. 19. "repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out."
Detests and avoids sin, striving to follow righteousness. Psal. xxxiv. 14. "depart from evil, and do good." Isai. i. 16, 17. "wash you, make clean; put away the evil of your doings from before
mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good." Amos v. 14, 15. "hate the evil, and love the good." Matt. iii. 8. "bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Acts xxvi. 18. " to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." v. 20. "that they should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
By a comparison of these and similar texts, we may distinguish certain progressive steps in repentance; namely, conviction of sin, contrition, confession, departure from evil, conversion to good: all which, however, belong likewise in their respective degrees to the repentance of the unregenerate.
Confession of sin is made sometimes to God: 2 Sam. xxiv. 10. "David said unto Jehovah, I have sinned greatly in that I have done." Psal. xxxii. 5. "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, &c." 2 Chron. xxx. 22. "making confession to Jehovah, God of their fathers." Isai. lxiv. 6. "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Dan. ix. 4. "I made my confession, and said—.” Sometimes to men: and that either privately, as James v. 16. " confess your faults one to another;" or publicly, Neh. ix. 2. "the seed of Israel stood and confessed their sins." Matt. iii. 6. "they were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Acts xix. 18. "many that believed came and confessed, showing their deeds." Sometimes both to God and men: Josh. vii. 19. "give, I pray thee, glory to Jehovah God of Israel, and make confession unto him, and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me." Confession of faith, which is another kind, does not belong to the present subject.