Saturday, April 27, 2013


There is much debate within the Christian faith about the meaning and significance of repentance, and its role in ones salvation.  Those who believe one must "do something" in order to be saved, often cite God's call to repentance as proof that a man must "turn over a new leaf," or "clean up his act," in order to be saved.  In other words, they believe man must make a conscious decision to begin living a holy life in order to be saved.  Those who hold to the view that salvation is a free gift, that a man is simply chosen by God and is miraculously changed, view repentance as being the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of one being born again.  But what does the Bible say about repentance?

First of all, let's look at the definition of the word "repent."  The Hebrew נָחַם (nacham), means to "be sorry" or "to regret" ones words or actions.  The Greek μετανοέω (metanoeō), means "to have a change of mind."  Coupled together, the two appear to describe a Gestalt Switch, or a sudden change in the way a man views his own way of life.  It is a sudden belief that Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected to be his Savior because he is lost and needs to be saved.  It is like a two-sided coin; on one side, he sees the truth about himself, and on the other, he sees the truth about Jesus.  Hence, repentance and faith occur when he believes!  There is little doubt that Jesus had this in mind when He said, ". . . repentance and remission of sins should be preached in (My) name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47)!

When some men asked Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?"  Jesus replied, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:28-29).  The word "believe" appears forty-six times in the Gospel of John; that is twice the number of times it appears in the Synoptic Gospels (Mt., Mk., Lk.), and two more than the rest of the entire New Testament!  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.  He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (Jn. 3:16-18).
When you believe Jesus died to be your Savior, you will turn and follow Him!

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