Last week I did a few posts on the word “repent.” Repentance, in relationship to salvation, means to turn. You make a choice to turn from sin and turn to God. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 is a good example of repentance in action.
One of the major differences between Law and Grace is who God is dealing with. Under the Mosaic Law God is dealing with Israel as a nation. He often tells them about the day when they will turn from their sin and follow God in reference to the Kingdom when Messiah will reign.
When John the Baptist and Jesus Himself came preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins, this had to be somewhat of a shock. Individuals could repent of sin and come to God and be saved! This is out of character for what we’ve seen with turning in the OT.
Turning to God for salvation in the OT was largely under the context of the Nation rather than the individual. God’s Kingdom consisted of a Nation in a Land. God’s people now consists of individuals who have come to Christ regardless of nationality or land.
Certainly it took individuals to turn if the nation were going to, but if you read the passages talking about the restoration of the Israelite Kingdom you will note it’s used in regard to the nation, not the individual.
The great thing about salvation in our day is the glory of it is not dependent on others! It’s dependent on you getting yourself right with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Israel has to wait for God to move in them collectively to get their Nation glorified. Again, thank God for grace and the freedom we have as individuals to enter the throne of grace with boldness.