Repenting of Sin

Peter Barnes: Acts 19:18-20

(24 March 2019)


Confession of sin and forsaking it associated with becoming a Christian, and growing as a Christian. Proverbs 28:13.

1. Confessing our sins.

– 19:18. Eustathius tells of an Ephesian wrestler at Olympia who was unbeatable while he wore an amulet on his ankle.

– the Auchterarder creed of 1717: ‘I believe that it is not sound and orthodox to teach that we forsake sin in order to our coming to Christ, and instating us in covenant with God.’ Do you have to make yourself better in order to come to Christ? No, you come – Matt.11:28. But can you come to Christ and not confess your hatred of your own sins? No, faith in Christ implies a confession of sin.

2. Forsaking our sins.

– 19:19. In Deventer in 1372 Gerhard Groote fell seriously ill, and was only able to receive Holy Communion if he first renounced his magic books and burned them.

– Luke 19:6-10. Zacchaeus could not say: ‘I feel bad about stealing all this money, but I will trust in Christ and keep the loot.’ A friend who had been a 33rd degree Freemason told me: ‘When I became a Christian, I burnt all my Masonic books.’

– costly; Matt.16:24-26; Rom.6:5-6, 10-12; Col.3:5. Magic books are a bondage, pornography is a bondage, a bad temper is a bondage, bad habits like watching rubbish on television are a bondage.

3. The Word expands.

– 19:20. The Church in the book of Acts expands; it does not retreat (cf. Acts 2:47; 6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5). Obedience leads to blessing.