Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When the Wicked Man Turneth: The Doctrine of Repentance in the Daily Office; particularly the Absolution

By Jordan Lavender
Special to Virtueonline
January 15, 2014

Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).

Repentance is an important idea, perhaps one of the most, in the teaching of Jesus and subsequently the entire Bible. Consequently, repentance is equally important in our Prayer Book (1662). For instance, the first sentence of Scripture for use in Morning Prayer reads: When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive (Ezekiel 18:27). This echoes the first exhortation of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). It was the message of the disciples when they were sent out to preach the Gospel, "And they went out, and preached that men should repent" (Mark 6:12). We can safely conclude that repentance is crucial to the message of the Gospel itself, seeing the importance it is given in these texts.

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