Location: New England, United States

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Salvation - God's Plan or Man's Plan?

"What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir,' but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him." Matthew 21:28-32 RSV

Many believe that penance and repentance are synonymous, however, the meaning for each are strikingly different from each other. The Greek word for repentance (Metanoia) is mentioned no less than fifty- eight times in the New Testament and means - a changing of one's heart or mind about something.

The idea of penance (from the Latin, poenitentia) did not originate until well after the apostolic age when men such as Justin and Augustine searched for some type of contrition by man to justify the sinner and restore him to the Spirit of God.

The originators of the Reformation rejected the idea of post baptism forgiveness of sins by contrition and penance. Both John the Baptist and Jesus called sinners to repentance, not to penance because the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus was the only payment necessary for the forgiveness of sin. This payment included the past, present and future sins of the believer.

Both Judas and Peter rejected Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Judas handed Jesus over to the authorities and Peter denied knowing Jesus three times after his arrest. Which was forgiven for their denial?

There is no doubt that Judas was sorry (contrition) for what he had done, and he certainly paid his penance (death). However, it was Peter who was forgiven. He turned away from his denial and became the first and strongest witness to God's plan of salvation.


Blogger Jerry DePoy Jr. said...

You should write a book.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Thank you Jerry. I chuckled when I read your comment. I am working on my fourth book - do you know any publishers?

Thank you for visiting my blog. May God bless you.

9:39 PM  

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