Friday, August 21, 2009

#Repentance and #Faith Two Sides Of Same Coin

Some try to make repentance a separate step in salvation, as if it means God requires the person to help pay for his sins by feeling very sorry for them, or by reforming his life.  

Such an understanding, clearly fails to trust in Christ alone for salvation, as it implies His payment for our sin was not enough, and that now we must somehow make up the difference by changing our behavior. 

However, it is simply impossible for an unsaved person, in his fallen, spiritually powerless state, to walk in obedience to God. The natural man is at enmity with God, and cannot subject himself to His will (Romans 8:7). Living a yielded life requires the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 6), and is a constant struggle, even for the spiritually empowered believer (Romans 7). 

Ephesians 2 and Galatians clearly condemns any such attempt by man, to add his merits to the finished work of Christ, as a false gospel which will result in eternal damnation. Salvation is not by faith in Christ, plus feeling sorry for your sins.

Biblical repentance, however, is not a separate step from saving faith in Christ alone, but is the other side of the same coin. It is a 180 degree change of mind about Christ and your sin. Just as by the single act of turning to God, the Thessalonians simultaneously turned from their idols (1 Thess. 1:9), so the one who trusts in Christ alone for salvation, has thereby turned away from confidence in every other payment for his sin. 

With regard to salvation, no one can believe Christ died for his sins, without also simultaneously agreeing he is a sinner. That 180 degree change of mind about both our sin, and Christ's payment for it, is the repentance by which God effects our salvation. They are "two sides of the same coin". 

With regard to our _fellowship_ with God, however, 1 John 1 plainly states, "if we confess our sins...He is faithful and just to forgive them, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God can justly forgive our sins, by virtue of the fact Christ has satisfied all His righteous demands against them (1 John 2:1ff.). That doesn't mean we lose our salvation until we confess our sins, but that as believers, we are walking out of fellowship with God until we change our mind, and agree with Him we've sinned. 

Biblical repentance, then, is involved both in salvation and restored fellowship with God, but it is not a step of personal merit we can add to the finished work of Christ. It is simply that through the single means of faith in Christ's payment for our sin, we thereby agree we have sinned, and turn to His atonement from every other confidence. Faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin. 

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The Gospel


Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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