Repentance in Salvation – book of Mark – Pt. 9

by Ronald Shea of Clear Gospel Campaign


Part 9

john 21-15-17Part 8 can be seen here, and/or you can search Ron Shea repentance and find the other articles.

This is a verse by verse coverage of the Biblical usage of Repentance in the Word of God.  Here we cover the Gospel of Mark.

Verse: Mark 1:4


4          John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:

Those being baptized by John


Object of that repentance:

Not expressly stated.  Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the concepts or propositions about which men are invited to change their mind.  In Mark 1:7, the only thing we are told that John specifically preached was:

“There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.”  This is the only suggestion in the context of what might have been the object of repentance preached by John.  And that object was not sin, it was Jesus Christ.

Consequence of lack of repentance:

The remission of sins.

As noted in conjunction with Matthew 9:2-6 and 12-13, Jesus use of the word “remission” throughout the gospels is probably more akin to justification than to restoration of fellowship.  To interpret the message of John the Baptist to a message of restored fellowship is to make the cross of our redemption an afterthought in the mind of John the Baptist.  This is an unthinkable absurdity.  We conclude two things from this passage.  Repentance is a requirement for salvation, and saving repentance is not directed at sin.  It is directed at Jesus Christ.

Verse: Mark 1:15


14        Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15        And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:

The people who heard the preaching of Jesus.

Object of that repentance:

Repentance here is presented appositionally to belief in the gospel  That is, saving repentance is simply believing the gospel.  Because Jesus had not yet died for the sins of man, the hearers of His message would only be responsible for believing a lesser level of progressive revelation about Jesus.  In this context, that content of faith would probably be simply that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Consequence of lack of repentance:

Not stated in the immediate context.  However, this verse is only separated by eleven verses from John the Baptist’s call for repentance unto the remission of sins, it would be reasonable to infer the same consequence from Jesus’ call to repentance.  One believes the gospel unto the remission of sins.

Verse: Mark 2:17


5          When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6          But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7          Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8          And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9          Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10        But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11        I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

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16        And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

17        When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


Subject Repenting, not repenting, etc.:


Object of that repentance:

Not expressly stated.  Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the concepts or propositions about which men must change their mind.  In the context, the only thing about which men were called to change their mind was their unbelief that Jesus can forgive sins.  Jesus’ public miracle was performed “that you may know that the Son hath power to forgive sins” (verse 10).

Consequence of lack of repentance:

Not explicitly stated, but reasonably inferred from the context to be the forgiveness of sins.

Verse: Mark 6:12


2          And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

3          Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

4          But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

5          And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

6          And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

7          And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

8          And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

9          But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

10        And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

11        And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

12        And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

13        And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

14        And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

15        Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

16        But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

Subject Repenting (verse 12):

The persons to whom the twelve would be preaching when they went out.

Object of that repentance:

Not expressly stated.  Since repentance means “a change of mind,” we can only inferentially determine the object of repentance by determining the concepts or propositions about which men must change their mind.  The passage begins in verse 2-3 with Jesus doing many mighty works, but they were offended at Him, and reasoned that he was merely a man, the son of a carpenter.  In verse 6, Jesus calls their attitude one of unbelief.  In verse 7, Jesus gives his apostles the power to do mighty works as he had just done in verse 2, and sends them out preaching that men should repent.  They perform the same mighty works (vs. 12), but we see the dispute of who Jesus is continuing on.  Some said that Jesus was John the Baptist.  Others that he was Elias or one of the prophets.  The object of repentance, therefore, is Jesus Christ . . . specifically that he was more than just a prophet or a carpenter.

Consequence of lack of repentance:

Judgment day will not be a pleasant experience.  “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city” (vs. 11).  This soteriological nature of this passage is unmistakable.  Before and after the twelve went out preaching that men should repent, the question was who Jesus was.  And the consequences were of a soteriological nature.  Men would regret their decision on judgment day.

See Part 10 here

About The Author

Ron Shea attended Villanova University on a four year scholarship from the United States Navy. After earning a Bachelor of Electrical engineering, he served four years as a naval officer. He then attended Dallas Theological Seminary where he majored in New Testament Literature and Exegesis, translating the entire New Testament from the original Greek language. He graduated with honors from the four-year Master of Theology program. He went on to earn a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, where he earned awards in Admiralty, Jurisprudence, and Oral Argument.  He has pastored churches in New Orleans and San Francisco, and is the founder and president of Clear Gospel Crusade.

7 Responses to “Repentance in Salvation – book of Mark – Pt. 9

  • I would recommend that everyone take the time to access the full section on repentance at Clear Gospel.

    It is well worth the time, and can help to dispel the many myths regarding biblical repentance, particularly with respect to usages of repentance having to do with eternal life.

  • Comment on Mark 1:4: The baptism of repentance which John preached is better understood when looking at Acts 19:4, “…John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” In other words, the baptism of repentance was about BELIEVING in the one who shed his blood for the remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22). John was saying the same thing that Paul was saying in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God , and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is only one solution for the sins the people were confessing in Mark 1:5, i.e., draw near to God and put your faith in Jesus for the remission of your sins.

  • Repentance for salvation is simply an acknowledgement (mind change) that your sin has separated you from God and that only Jesus can save you. Then, a person places their faith in Christ (believes) and is saved. So there you have it, repentance and faith for salvation. It really is easy. A person has eternal life at that moment of belief, and eternal is eternal. Salvation can never be lost. If somebody doesn’t understand the seriousness of their sin and their need for a Savior, then they haven’t repented, and they can’t believe. If somebody says they believe Jesus died for their sin and rose again, but they just don’t want to be a Christian, then they haven’t repented, and they didn’t really believe. In their heart, they still think it’s a joke, so they just say they believe. They haven’t come to grips with the seriousness of their sin.

    • Brad I appreciate that you may think you are making it ‘easy’ however, in my mind’s eye, it seems the opposite as I watch you comment. You go beyond what is written. Repent (meta – change, noia – mind/thought/thinking). If you add, ‘if somebody hasn’t understood the SERIOUSNESS of their sin’ — then they haven’t somehow repented.

      Have you really thought about what you are saying?

      Did you really understand the seriousness of your sin? How much Brad? What percentage of understanding the seriousness is enough? May I once again suggest you use the Word vs. your own parameters and additions?

        For the wages of sin is death; >>>but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 3:23

        And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27

        And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Heb 9:27

      By all means if you think someone doesn’t understand they have sinned (by lying once even) and that means eternal separation from God in a place called hell (Rev 21:8), then please go further and add Rom 3:23, Is 53:6, Rom 5:12, Ez 18:4, 1 Pet 3:18, Rom 3:12, Ps 53:3, etc.

      No, if someone doesn’t understand their need to be saved, they won’t ask ‘what must I do to be saved’?

      Let’s not complicate the simple.

      In Christ, Holly

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