Chapter 15: Of Repentance Unto Life and Salvation

  1. Some of the elect are converted in later years, having lived for a time in the state of nature [as unconverted] and in that state having served various lusts [sinful desires] and pleasures. God gives to such repentance to life, in connection with their effectual calling.1

1 Ti 3.2-5

  1. There is no-one who does good and does not sin.2 Even the best of men may – as a result of the power and deceitfulness of their corruption dwelling in them, together with the effective force of temptation – fall into great sins and provocations [of God]. Because of this, God in the covenant of grace has mercifully provided that believers who sin and fall in this way shall be renewed through repentance to salvation.3

2 Ecc 7.20 3 Lk 22.31-32

  1. This saving repentance is an evangelical [gospel] grace.4 By this grace, when a person is made aware by the Holy Spirit of the multiplied evils of his sin, he does – by faith in Christ – humble himself for his sin, with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-loathing [shame]. He prays for pardon and strength of grace,5 then determines and endeavours, as one supplied [with power] by the Spirit, to walk before God having respect to all his will, so as to please him fully in all things.6

4 Zec 12.10; Acts 11.18 5 Ezek 36.31; 2Cor 7.11 6 Ps 119.6; Ps 119.128

  1. Repentance must be continued through the whole course of our lives, because of the body of death and its actions and inclinations. It is therefore every man’s duty to repent of his particular [specific] known sins particularly [specifically].7

7 Lk 19.8; 1Tim 1.13, 15

  1. God, through Christ, in the covenant of grace, has made such a provision for the preservation of believers in their salvation that although there is no sin so small that it does not deserve damnation,8 yet there is no sin so great that it shall bring damnation on those who repent.9 This makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.

8 Rom 6.23 9 Is 1.16-18; Is 55.7