“Repentance” vs. Saving Faith

Often it is preached that a person must first repent of his or her sins (turn from his or her sins), and then believe in Jesus in order to be saved. This understanding is wrong because it makes turning from your sins, or reforming your life, a condition of salvation, which it is not. Salvation is by faith, not by works. To repent, (the Greek verb, “metanoeo”) means to “change your mind.” What “repent” really means in this context is to “repent” or “change your mind,” about ~believing in Jesus~ . As Jesus says, be not unbelieving, but believing (1). Change your mind about your unbelief. Repent of your unbelief.

Of course, repenting ~of your sins~ –changing your mind about your sins and forsaking them, is good, either before or after salvation. But reforming your life is ~not~ a condition or a part of salvation. Salvation is a free gift (2).

God wants unbelievers to repent of their unbelief and to believe in Jesus. Jesus immediately and irrevocably forgives all of the sins, (past, present and future), of those who believe in Him, in the very moment of faith in Him (3).

(1) John 20:27
(2) Ephesians 2:8,9
(3) John 6:47

Curtis Smale

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