The Doctrine of Repentance

The Doctrine of RepentanceKnowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essential to true Christianity. Jesus Christ himself said that if we do not repent, we will perish! It is vital, therefore, to read and study what Scripture has to say about this theme. Few better guides have existed in this or any other area of spiritual experience than The Doctrine of Repentance. Watson was a master of both Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twenty-first century.
 
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The Hypocrite is a Saint in Jest

The Hypocrite or stage-player has gone a step beyond the moralist and dressed himself in the garb of religion. He pretends to a form of godliness but denies the power (II Tim. 3:5). The hypocrite is a saint in jest. He makes a magnificent show, like an ape clothed in ermine or purple. The hypocrite is like a house with a beautiful facade, but every room within is dark. He is a rotten post fairly gilded. Under his mask of profession he hides his plague-sores. The hypocrite is against painting of faces, but he paints holiness. He is seemingly good so that he can be really bad. In Samuel’s mantle he plays the devil. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 68

Sin is a Mere Cheat

Sin is a mere cheat. While it pretends to please us, it beguiles us! Sin does as Jael did. First she brought the milk and butter to Sisera, then she struck the nail through his temples so that he died (Judg. 5:26). Sin first courts, and then kills. It is first a fox and then a lion. Whoever sin kills it betrays. . . Sin is like the usurer who feeds a man with money and then makes him mortgage his land. Sin feeds the sinner with delightful objects and then makes him mortgage his soul. Judas please himself with thirty pieces of silver, but they proved deceitful riches. Ask him now how he likes his bargain. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 110

Confession must be Voluntary

Confession must be voluntary. It must come as water out of a spring, freely. The confession of the wicked is extorted, like the confession of a man upon a rack. When a spark of God’s wrath flies into their conscience, or they are in fear of death, then they will fall to their confessions. Balaam, when he saw the angels’ naked sword, could say, ‘I have sinned’ (Numb. 22:34). But true confession drops from the lips as myrrh from the tree or honey from the comb, freely. ‘I have sinned against heaven, and before thee’ (Luke 15:18): the prodigal charged himself with sin before his father charged him with it. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 29

Sin is Worse than Hell

“Sin is worse than hell, but yet God, by His mighty over ruling power, makes sin turn to the good of His people. Hence that golden saying of Augustine, ‘God would never permit evil, if He could not bring good out of evil.'” ~ “Doctrine of Repentance

The Hypocrite Confesses Sin but Loves It

Our hearts must go along with our confessions. The hypocrite confesses sin but loves it, like a thief who confesses to stolen goods, yet loves stealing. How many confess pride and covetousness with their lips but roll them as honey under their tongue. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 29

A Hard Heart is a Receptacle for Satan

The justice of God, like the angel, stands with a drawn sword in its hand ready to strike, but sinners have not eyes as good as those of Balaam’s ass to see the sword. God smites on men’s backs, but they do not, as Ephraim did, smite upon their thigh (Jer. 31:19). It was a sad complaint the prophet took up: ‘thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved’ (Jer. 5:3). That is surely reprobate silver which contracts hardness in the furnace. ‘In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz’ (II Chron. 28:22). A hard heart is a receptacle for Satan. As God has two place He dwells in, heaven and a humble heart, so the devil has two places he dwells in, hell and a hard heart. It is not falling into water that drowns, but lying in it. It is not falling into sin that damns, but lying in it without repentance: ‘having their conscience seared with a hot iron’ (I Tim. 4:2). “Doctrine of Repentance”  pg 62

It is One Thing to be a Terrified Sinner and Another to be a Repenting Sinner

A man has gone on long in sin. At last God arrests him, shows him what desperate hazard he has run, and he is filled with anguish. Within a while the tempest of conscience is blown over, and he is quiet. Then he concludes that he is a true penitent because he has felt some bitterness in sin. Do not be deceived: this is not repentance. Ahab and Judas had some trouble of mind. It is one thing to be a terrified sinner and another to be a repenting sinner. “Doctrine of Repentance”  pg. 15

Sin Hangs Weights Upon Us

Original sin may be compared to that fish Pliny speaks of, a sea-lamprey, which cleaves to the keel of the ship and hinders it when it is under sail. Sin hangs weights upon us so that we move but slowly to heaven. O this adherence of sin! Paul shook the viper which was on his hand into the fire (Acts 28:5), but we cannot shake off original corruption in this life. Sin does not come as a lodger for a night, but as an indweller: ‘sin that dwelleth in me’ (Rom. 7:17). It is with us as with one who has a hectic fever upon him; though he changes the air, yet still he carries his disease with him. Original sin is inexhaustible. This ocean cannot be emptied. Though the stock of sin spends, yet it is not at all diminished. The more we sin, the fuller we are of sin. Original corruption is like the widow’s oil which increased by pouring out. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 73

Original Sin

Original sin may be compared to that fish Pliny speaks of, a sea-lamprey, which cleaves to the keel of the ship and hinders it when it is under sail. Sin hangs weights upon us so that we move but slowly to heaven. O this adherence of sin! Paul shook the viper which was on his hand into the fire (Acts 28:5), but we cannot shake off original corruption in this life. Sin does not come as a lodger  for a night, but as an indweller: ‘sin that dwelleth in me’ (Rom. 7:17). It is with us as with one who has a hectic fever upon him; though he changes the air, yet still he carries his disease with him. Original sin is inexhaustible. This ocean cannot be emptied. Though the stock of sin spends, yet it is not at all diminished. The more we sin, the fuller we are of sin. Original corruption is like the widow’s oil which increased by pouring out. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 73

Molding a Heart of Lead

A piece of lead, while it is in the lump, can be put to no use, but melt it, and you may then cast it into any mold, and it is made useful. So a heart that is hardened into a lump of sin is good for nothing, but when it is dissolved by repentance, it is useful. A melting heart is fit to pray. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 76