The Gift Of Repentance: Whom God Pardons He First Makes Penitent

Illustration-Title-The Gift Of Repentance. Whom God Pardons He First Makes Penitent-text-logo-Bible verse

The gift of repentance is the gift of God through Christ. By God’s love manifested upon the cross and pleading of His Spirit, He pursues believer’s repentance.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all unto Me. John 12:32.

Christ came to manifest the love of God to the world and draw the hearts of all humans to Himself. The first step toward salvation is to respond to the drawing of the love of Christ. 

The sweetest joy comes to humankind through their sincere repentance toward God for the transgression of His Law, and through faith in Christ as the sinner’s Redeemer and Advocate. 

If we respond to His drawing and yielding our hearts to His grace, God will lead us on step by step to full knowledge of Himself – and this is life eternal.

Christ invites us: 

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.

Thus humans must come to Christ seeing Him as their Savior and only Helper, enabling them to repent.

For if they could repent without coming to Christ, they could also be saved without Christ. 

Christ draws the sinner by the exhibition of His love upon the cross.

This softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition and repentance in the soul.

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31.

The gift of repentance is for everyone

A principle of divine origin must pervade his or her conduct and bind them to God. Without the divine working, humankind can do nothing toward the perfection of their character.

They can not even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon their heart.

On the other hand the Lord wants no one to wait until he or she thinks they have repented, before they turn toward Jesus. The Savior is continually drawing all to repentance.

They need only to submit to be drawn and their hearts will be melted and subdued – fit temples for the indwelling of Christ.

It is not now the work of the sinners to make peace with God, but to accept Christ as their peace and righteousness. Thus humanity becomes one with Christ and one with God.

Many think that repentance is a kind of preparation which people must originate themselves before they can come to Christ. Furthermore, they must take steps themselves in order to find Christ a mediator in their behalf.

It is true that there must be repentance before there is a pardon. At the same time the sinner must come to Christ before he or she can find repentance.

It is the grace of Christ that strengthens and enlightens the soul, that repentance may be godly and acceptable. 

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8.

Repentance is as much the gift of God as is forgiveness

Illustration-background-colorful flowers-title-Him God exalted in Acts 5 verse 31-text-Bible verse

Repentance cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. We can’t repent without the Spirit of Christ. For the gift of repentance is the gift of God through Christ, and whom He pardons He first makes penitent.

All who live have sins to wash away. They may have good intentions and good purposes. Moreover, they may have noble traits of character and live moral lives.

Notwithstanding, they need a Savior. Jesus speaks to them as He did to Nicodemus:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 3:5.

The first steps in the new birth which Christ told Nicodemus he must experience in order to be saved were:

  • true repentance of sin and faith in the merits of Jesus Christ
  • baptism into His death in order to be raised out of the water to live a new life.

The words of Christ to Nicodemus apply to every man, woman, and child, that should live in the world.

Furthermore, Paul tells us:

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5.

We are safe in following the example of Christ. Therefore, we are not safe in pursuing any other course.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. 1 Samuel 15:22.

God requires and will accept willing obedience on our part

The gift of repentance cannot be experienced without Christ

It is the repentance of which He is the author that is the ground upon which we may apply for pardon. Contrition and the gift of pardon come from the grace of Christ.

Furthermore, repentance as well as forgiveness of sins is procured only through the atoning blood of Jesus. Those whom God pardons He first makes penitent.

When the sinner beholds Jesus:

  • lifted up upon the cross
  • suffering the guilt of the transgressor
  • bearing the penalty of sin

he or she is led to repentance toward God because of their transgression of His Law which is holy, just, and good.

They exercise faith in Christ, because the divine Savior has become their Substitute, Surety, and Advocate, the One in whom their very life is centered.

Thus to the repenting sinners God can show His mercy and truth, and bestow upon them His forgiveness and love. All Heaven has been poured out in one rich gift.

For when God gave His Son, He gave the choicest gift of Heaven. Yet to the repenting soul the enemy will seek to represent God as stern and persistent, unwilling to pardon the transgressor.  

Christ alone can bridge the gulf that sin has made between Earth and Heaven

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I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6.

In order that man might be thus privileged, Christ, the divine Son of God, joined himself to human nature.

For the reason that we might understand that the living true God would have every son and daughter of Adam a partaker of the divine nature through union with himself.

Furthermore, thus it has been manifested to our world, unfallen worlds, and to the synagogue of Satan, that the redemption of the fallen race is possible.

God would have His children bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the fallen race is redeemed, reclaimed, and reinstated to their holy privileges, having free access to the tree of life (eternal life).

Moreover, that through the grace of Christ, they may represent Christ-likeness of character, and find greatest joy in the assurance of His great love wherewith He has loved us. Ephesians 2:4.

Once separated from God by the lying devices of Satan, we are reunited to Him by learning the lesson of redeeming love. It has been manifested in the great sacrifice of Christ in giving His precious life for humanity.

All the arts of Satan can not induce those who believe in the love of God to continue in transgression of the Law of God. 


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 Holy Spirit convinces us of sin   

Thus we feel our need of pardon. God is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities and He will help us. He will hear the prayer of faith.

The sincerity of prayer can be proved only by our efforts to bring ourselves into harmony with the great moral standard which will test every individual’s character.

We need to open our hearts to the influence of the Spirit and to experience its transforming power. We should be moulding our lives after the Divine Model as we put aside:

  • worldliness
  • love of display
  • desire for supremacy
  • world’s customs and maxims.

Thus our covenant-keeping God will restore unto us the joys of His salvation and uphold us by His Spirit.

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:11.

In conclusion

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When God gave Christ to our world, He gave in this one gift all the treasures of Heaven. God can do no more than He has done to bring humans to repentance and has no means held in reserve for their salvation trough Christ.

For the same reason it is a dangerous thing to doubt the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. For if this agency is doubted, there is no reserve power of God left by which to operate on the human heart.

Whatever may be the sin, if the soul repents and believes, guilt may be washed away by the atoning blood of Christ. 

If individual refuses to permit the Holy Spirit to melt his or her heart into tenderness and contrition, that which should have softened them is looked upon as fanaticism.

Thus they are led to refuse the heavenly gift. The habit of resistance is fixed.

They have so long interpreted light to be darkness and fanaticism, that the most manifest working of God’s Holy Spirit becomes to them not a savor of life unto life, but through their unbelief, a savor of death unto death. 


  1. RH, Apr, 1890; YI, Feb, 1874; YI, Dec, 6, 1894; ST, Sep, 1911; ST, Apr, 1895; RH, Sep, 1901; RH, Feb, 1894; – The Ellen G. White Estate
  2. King James Bible Version

Why Wait Longer?


Your Creator And Redeemer Longs For You – Take Him At His Word

Learn to trust in God’s love and His power to save and restore His image in you. The Spirit of God is pleading with you to seek for those things that alone can give you peace and rest – the grace of Christ and the joy of holiness. Give to Christ your guilt and fear today. He can satisfy the craving of your heart. Believe the Son of God. He will receive you.

His hand is stretched out still. Why wait longer?


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