REPENT AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL
Now after John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
Jesus’ move to Galilee was a fulfillment of Isaiah_9:1-2. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. The ignorant, superstitious Gentiles living in Galilee saw a great light—that is Christ, the Light of the world.
Jesus started His ministry with the same message people had heard John the Baptist saying: “Repent of your sins.” The message is the same today as when Jesus and John gave it. Becoming a follower of Christ means turning away from our self-centeredness and “self” control and turning our life over to Christ’s direction and control.
The kingdom of God was at hand; the King was present and was making an offer of the kingdom to the nation of Israel. The kingdom was at hand in the sense that the King had appeared on the scene. Men were called on to repent and believe in the gospel. To be eligible to enter the kingdom, they had to do an about-face regarding sin, and believe the good news concerning the Lord Jesus.
When you turn to Jesus Christ in faith, you are turning to Him from repentance. If there was not that turning from repentance, then apparently there was not a real turning to Christ. It is true that if there is a real turning to Christ, there will be a manifestation of a change in the life showing that the believer is turning from sin. The important thing is for the people to turn from sin and believe in the gospel, which is the good news for man’s salvation.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the great truths You preached. By repentance, we give glory to God our Creator whom we have offended. By faith, we give glory to You, our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. You have joined these two together, let no man think to put them asunder. And help us preach the gospel in repentance towards God, and faith in Thee for our salvation. Amen.