When Jesus started preaching in Galilee, He tells us the Kingdom of God is at hand. His message was “repent and believe.” Because Jesus is King…His kingdom is both a present reality and a future hope. In the person of Jesus Christ, we are confronted with the Kingdom of God.
The coming of the Kingdom of God is God’s person visitation to our fallen world. God’s rule on this earth through the coming of Jesus was what all of human history has been marching toward since the beginning of time.
Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of God is right here, right now. And He calls people to follow Him without delay. The question we have to ask ourselves is…”how should we respond to Jesus’ call”? Thankfully in Mark 1:14-15, Jesus gives us two commands when it comes to following Him.
Mark 1:14–15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
REPENT AND BELIEVE
TO REPENT simply means to change one’s thinking. It is a change of mind leading to a change in behavior. To repent means to begin view sin as God views sin. It doesn’t mean that we will never struggle with sin. Often our spiritual lives look more like “three steps forward, two steps back”. But repentance does mean we change our attitude towards and tolerance of sin.
TO BELIEVE means to accept something as being true. In the case of the following Jesus, it means to accept the fact that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again three days later. We are to belief and accept that only Jesus’ sacrificial death is sufficient for our salvation.
The problem is that we often try to separate belief and repentance. Scripture is clear that we are redeemed by grace through faith alone. Think about it this way…authentic, saving faith puts repentance and belief together. Repentance deals with the question of our sin & prepares our hearts for belief. Belief accepts what God says about Jesus to be true & looks to Jesus & Jesus alone for salvation. Together they describe just one action. Together they make up saving faith!
Repentance and belief is not a momentary, one time decision. It is a constant state of fleeing from sin and trusting in Jesus. As disciples we never stop repenting and believing!
“REPENT & BELIEVE” reveal the heart of Jesus’ message. To miss either is to miss it all. We receive salvation thru repentance & belief.