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Mar 29 2010

Repent And Be Saved

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
James 2:19 (ESV)

That’s an oft-quoted verse that people use to demonstrate that mere belief in His existence does not save. Belief in God does not save. Belief in Jesus as the Savior does not save. Belief in Jesus as the way, the truth and life and that only through Him will one receive salvation – that also does not save. Certainly these are essential to salvation. One cannot be saved if they deny the existence of God or that no one comes to the Father except through Him. As James 2:19 states, even the demons believe and shudder yet they are damned.

Scripture tells us that we must REPENT.

“and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

Repent means to “think differently.” Why is it that the world takes exception to a Christian’s worldview on, let’s say, abortion? The world will say that we are intolerant because a woman’s right to choose should not be abrogated. A Christian sees abortion as a sin. We don’t see it as a sin simply because the Bible tells us that the killing of a innocent child is murder, but we KNOW that the killing of an innocent child is murder. We are not following a list of rules but we know in our conscious that abortion is a grave sin.

  • Belief in God or belief in a need for a savior is not enough. A person coming to faith must repent and belief. Throughout scripture, the word “repent” precedes any further action. Repentance comes first.
  • And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Act 2:38 )
  • Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, (Act 3:19)
  • Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. (Act 8:22)
  • but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (Act 26:20)
  • Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:5)
  • Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. (Rev 2:16)
  • Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, (Rev 2:22)

Repentance does not mean a change of behavior. That actually is really easy to do. Any one of us can change our behavior if there’s something in it for us. Repentance means that there is a change of mind or a change of heart with respect to sin.

What is salvation but rescue from the penalty of sin. The penalty of sin is death.

  • Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Belief is essential but belief alone will not save. One must have a change of heart over sin – that is repentance. In the end, if one does not change their mind over sin, one will not see a need for salvation. If one does not believe what God declared is wrong, how can one change their mind (repent) with respect to these sins. Repentance will lead to a change of action. This is always the case whether one is a Christian or not. People change their minds all the time about something and therefore change how they will act in certain situations. People attempt to quit smoking or lose weight because they have a change of mind as to their health. There would be no need to quit if they did not believe it was harmful.

The crux of the Gospel message is repent and be saved.

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Photo:  Free Artistic Photography

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  1. pttyann

    Good morning Tishrei,all sin is against God’s will,period.I believe when we try to point at one thing and say it’s worst than the other,we do grave damage to people that God truly love. The worst sin is unbelief,after all Jesus went through to save us,then to just ignore God’s son as if it’s nothing.God loves us truly and his blood will cleanse us from each and every sin,and that is what we should be holding out to others instead of pointing out their sins.We’ve all sinned and fallen short,but that does not mean God is against us.God is for us and he wants everybody he created to be saved!!! As you know this is a touchy and hard subject,and these are my views,do have a wonderful day.
    Love you

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Pat,

      I agree — all sin is against God’s will. People treat some sin as more grievous than others — but all sin condemns. That being said, even God treated sin differently as to punishment. A thief was ordered to pay restitution but an adulterer was put to death. Even so, without repentance, all will be condemned and judged by their works. There is no salvation without coming to the only one who can save — our Redeemer!

  2. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    How very right you are!….. In Matthew 4:17 we read about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry…. It says, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

    This “repentance”, this “changing of our minds” is the reason behind our change in behavior….. Repentance means we have seen God’s love for us and it’s like, “Wow! …. God really loves even me and is giving me salvation…. Oh, how I can now truly love the Lord for all the wonderful things He has done for me….. I want to serve Him with my whole being.”

    We love because He first loved us….. Love enables a repentant heart and mind — and life….. This is a great post….. Thank you.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      Him Margaret,

      YES YES YES — the changing of our mind is the reason behind the changing of our behavior. If we don’t change our mind, eventually we revert back to the behavior. Actually, that’s seen in all aspects of life. A person will change an unhealthy behavior because they come to the conclusion its best to do something else. That’s a change of mind.

      When we change our mind about sin — a change of heart, then we can really place our faith in Him.

  3. Omar Pineda

    WRONG!!!

    Repentance does not mean to stop sinning or turn from sin or forsake your sins but to think differently about SIN and it also means mostly importantly of all to feel remorse, guilt, compunction about your wicked deeds.

    because *IF* to repent really meant to CEASE FROM SINNING then it would contradict and make no sense where in LUKE 17:4 says that if your brother wrongs you, rebuke him, and if he says he repents forgive him. Now, if he sins against seven times a day and seven times he comes back to you and feels remorse (repent) forgive him

    I am so glad he said it!! thank you Jesus

    so feel compunction about ur sins and proclaim with ur mouth that u repent of ur sins, that u feel really bad about doing it, we all gonna keep on doing it here and then just not frequent and one day we will be perfected

  4. BJ

    To repent is to simply have a change of heart. To repent means a person geniuelly wants to change in heart and mind concerning present sins b/c a person realizes that they have lived uncontrary to the will of God. Most importantly, repentance DOES NOT equal salvation. In Acts 2:38, Peter clearly says repent AND be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Chris for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:41, those who received the word(3000)people were baptized and in verse (47) God added those to the church, Christ church. Once a person has heard the gospel, believes it and repents, confesses Jesus to be Lord and Christ and is baptized, baptism extinguishes the guily of sin and then a person becomes saved once they are baptized. I just wanted to share the message of truth.

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