Confession The Faith–The 1689 Baptist Confession for the 21st Century
Chapter 15 – Repentance to Life and Salvation
1. Some of the elect are converted after their early years, having lived in the naturala state for a time and served various evil desires and pleasures. God gives these repentance to life as part of their effectual calling.1
awithout the Spirit
2. There is no one who does good and does not sin.2 Even the best may fall into great sins and offenses, through the power and deceitfulness of the corruption in them, along with the strength of temptation. Therefore, God has mercifully provided in the covenant of grace that believers who sin and fall will be renewed through repentance to salvation.3
2Ecclesiastes 7:20. 3Luke 22:31, 32.
3. This saving repentance is a gospel grace4 in which those who are made aware by the Holy Spirit of the many evils of their sin, by faith in Christ humble themselves for it with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-loathing.5 They pray for pardon and strength of grace and determine and endeavor by provisions from the Spirit to live before God in a well-pleasing way in everything.6
4Zechariah 12:10; Acts 11:18. 5Ezekiel 36:31; 2 Corinthians 7:11. 6Psalms 119:6, 128.
4. Repentance must continue throughout our lives, because of the body of death and its activities. So it is everyone’s duty to repent of each specific, known sin specifically.7
7Luke 19:8; 1 Timothy 1:13, 15.
5. God has made full provision through Christ in the covenant of grace to preserve believers in their salvation. Thus, although there is no sin so small that it is undeserving of damnation,8 yet there is no sin so great that it will bring damnation on those who repent.9 This makes the constant preaching of repentance necessary.
8Romans 6:23. 9Isaiah 1:16–18; 55:7.
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,e which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ;f yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.g
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly.k
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;l upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;m so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended;n who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.o