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REPENTANCE
REPENTANCE IS PROBABLY THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

What Saving Repentance Is Not:

  1. Saving repentance is not being sorry for your sins.
  2. Saving repentance is not turning from your sins or reforming your life
  3. Saving repentance is not the willingness to turn your life over to God so that He can direct your path.


Saving repentance has absolutely nothing to do with regretting your sins or resolving to turn from them.  God is willing to save your just the way you are.  The Bible says:

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
What Saving Repentance Is:
Saving repentance is rejecting religion, religious rituals, or obedience to God's law to gain eternal life.
The word "repent" comes from a Greek word which means "to change one's mind."  Those who believe that eternal life can be earned through good works are commanded in Scripture to change their mind or "repent."  They are told to stop trusting in their works, and come to God on the basis of grace through faith alone.

In Matthew 3:7-9 some religious men believed that they were going to heaven because they were descendants of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people.  God Himself had chosen the Jewish race and established their religion.  These men believed that because they were o f the right religion they would go to heaven.  John the Baptist told them that they must repent.  That is, they must stop trusting in their religion to get them to heaven.

Luke 13:1-5 tells of some religious men who believed that God's judgment fell only on the worst sinners.  By this reasoning, they believed that they would enter heaven on their own righteousness since they had obeyed the Ten Commandments better than most men.  Jesus told them that if they continued to trust in their own righteousness to save them they would perish in hell.  Jesus told them that they must repent -- that is, they must stop hoping to earn eternal life through their own righteousness, and trust in Jesus alone for their salvation.

In Hebrews 9:9-14 the Bible calls sacraments or religious rituals through which men try to reach God "dead works."  A few chapters earlier, the same author tells us in Hebrews 6:1 that the "foundation" of the Christian faith is "repentance from dead works and faith towards God."  That is to say, one must stop trusting in "dead works" (i.e. religious rituals, sacraments, etc.) before he can exercise a genuine saving faith in God.

The Biblical command is clear.  If a man believes that his religion will get him to heaven, he must repent.  (Matthew 3:7-9).  If he believes that obeying the law of God is necessary to get to heaven, he must repent.  (Luke 13:1-5)  And if he believes that he must perform some religious ritual or sacrament to be saved, he must repent, and stop trusting in any of those things to save him.  (Hebrews 6:1)  Like the one attempting to buy grace, he must put his "money" back in his pocket and accept eternal life as a free gift!
 

Faith in Jesus will not save you if, while believing that Jesus died for your sins, you also believe that you must be baptized, go to church, or obey the Ten Commandments to "help" get you to heaven.  You cannot simply add Christ to a long list of other things that you must do or be to get to heaven.  You must utterly reject all of those other things as having no saving value whatsoever and trust in Christ alone.

SAVING REPENTANCE

IF FAITH IS THE HAND THAT ACCEPTS SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, REPENTANCE IS THE HAND THAT REJECTS SALVATION BY ANY OTHER MEANS.
 

Saving faith does not simply affirm that Jesus' death is "necessary," it must affirm that His death is enough!  That it is sufficient all by itself to pay for your sins apart from any human effort or good work, and that it is a free gift available only through faith and apart from any human effort or good work.  (see Galatians 2:21; 3:10-14; 5:1-5)

Recall the questions you were asked in the beginning?  What was your answer to "Why God should let you into heaven?  If you said you must be baptized, live a good life, or anything else other than simply trusting Christ, you must repent.  You must stop trusting in any religious things you have done in the past or might do in the future, and trust in Christ alone.

TO SUMMARIZE THEN:

Since sin separates man from God, and since Jesus paid for our sins at the cross, man can have a relationship with God only through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said unto him: "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."  John 14:6

 
Have you ever believed that living up to some standard of goodness or performing some religious ordinance was necessary to go to heaven? Do you understand what Jesus did at the cross for you?  Could you explain it in your own words right now?
Are you still trusting in those things to save you? Has anyone ever explained it to you in this way before?
The Gospel, gospel, Jesus, Bible, gospel, heaven, eternal gospel gospel gospel
Right now, in the best way you know how, are you trusting in what Jesus has done on the cross for you as being all you will ever need to take away your sins and get you to heaven?

 
 
   

Clear Gospel Crusade
Ronald R. Shea, President
P.O Box 431
Metairie, Louisiana 70004

Copyright 1988-1999 Ronald R. Shea, Th.M.  All Rights Reserved.
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