WHAT IS SALVATION? Salvation is by faith turning from one’s own way (Is. 53:6) to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 20:21), past, present, and future (Rom. 4:5) and eternal life (1 John 5:11).
Let’s define Faith and Repentance:
Faith means “divine persuasion, a guarantee, the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).”
Repentance means “a change of mind, change in the inner man, turning around.”
Faith and Repentance are NOT two separate steps to salvation. Like two sides of a coin, they are one in the same!
- The Holy Spirit by “divine persuasion” (faith) influences you to “change your mind” and “turn around” (repentance).
- You cannot believe (have faith) without “turning around” (repenting) from unbelief.
- Believing the Gospel is repentance and faith (all at once) from “one’s own way” to trusting Christ for eternal cleansing and eternal life.
Repentance, like faith, is a positive response to something God has said or done.
Romans 4:5 makes it clear that faith alone justifies us and counts as righteousness: “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom. 4:5).
Salvation is NOT turning away from one’s sins to be forgiven by Christ. That would be working to earn God’s favor by one’s own effort (Rom. 9:16). Think about it… if we have to clean up our lives before we can be saved, we can never be saved.
Facing Holy God Almighty, the sinful man knows well he is an unholy sinner in desperate need of a Savior. At that moment, he believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is forever cleansed and saved.
The sinner who believes has repented.
The sinner who repents has believed.
Faith and repentance are one in the same (John 6:29).
In Gospel of John, the word, “believe,” is cited 85 times. Never does the word, repent, appear. Repentance is a sinner turning from unbelief to belief. He turns TO THE LORD from the Law’s condemnation of sin and his self-effort to have all sins removed in spiritual circumcision (Rom. 2:29) by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins IS repentance (John 6:29).
Salvation happens automatically by believing (John 6:29). Sanctification (conformity to Christ) is a subsequent process that happens as a result of salvation. Sanctification is NOT YOUR WORK. It’s the Holy Spirit’s work to perform in you from the inside out. Sanctification happens on God’s timetable. Not ours. He can set you free from things in a moment. Other issues can take a lifetime or never get resolved.
It’s His business. It’s His burden. It’s His blessing.
Eternal life is a free gift from God. A free gift is received, not performed. The moment you start trusting in your own efforts to be saved, be terrified… for you have fallen from grace (Gal. 5:4) and “severed yourself from Christ.”
Trying harder is not repentance.
Turning over a new leaf is not repentance.
Trying not to sin is not repentance.
Turning your back on a sinful world is not repentance.
Committing your life to Christ is not repentance.
Pure Biblical repentance is turning from your own way (Is. 53:6) toward God by faith in His only Son, Jesus Christ, to have your sins- past, present, and future- forgiven forever. Salvation is free and forever as we continue by faith in Him because salvation belongs to the Lord. It’s His eternal salvation (Ps. 119:41)!
Hallelujah for the wonderful simplicity of salvation!
Let’s become “like little children” and enter in (Matt. 18:3).
Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all
Romans 4:5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Romans 2:29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.
Psalm 119:41 May your unfailing love come to me, LORD, your salvation, according to your promise;
Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.