Repentance And Faith Are Inseparable

By David J. Stewart | April 2014 | Updated September 2016

       There is a false doctrine, called “Lordship Salvation,” which Satan has crept into many churches today, which errantly teaches that a person must repent first, and then have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Advocates of the Lordship Salvation heresy errantly teach that repentance means to turn away from the act of sin, to intent to reform, and to cease from sinful bad habits. And then afterwards, only if the person has met the prerequisite of forsaking a lifestyle of sin in their heart, then it is said that they can acceptably place their faith in Jesus as the Christ.

May I say, in sharp contrast, the Bible teaches that repentance and faith are inseparable and happen at the SAME time. You don't repent of your sins and then secondarily place your faith in Christ. Salvation doesn't work that way. Biblically, the man who has repented has believed, and the man who believes has repented. This truth is evidenced by the fact that the Gospel of John mentions the words “believe” and “believed” 85 times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once.

Repentance and faith are properly demonstrated by the illustration of an evangelist who travels upon an airplane flying from Michigan to Hawaii. The evangelist doesn't leave Michigan first, and then travel toward Hawaii. No, rather, the evangelist is leaving his origin as he travels toward his destination AT THE SAME TIME, simultaneously. Likewise, the person who repents and believes is turning and moving toward Jesus Christ while at the same time turning their back against, and moving away from, sin in their mind and heart. A changed lifestyle is the FRUIT of genuine repentance unto salvation, and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith. To demand that a person have intent to reform as a requirement for salvation is self-righteousness. The intent to reform is a result, that is, FRUIT, of repenting (a change of mind) concerning sin and the Savior.

Biblical salvation must includes BOTH repentance and faith. You'll never find the term “repentance from sin” in the Bible. Biblical repentance includes faith, which means that repentance is turning toward the Savior to be forgiven of one's sins. The TURNING (change of mind) is not just from sin, nor is it just toward the Savior; but rather, it is BOTH repentance and faith occurring at the SAME time. Repentance CANNOT be adequately defined apart from the inclusion of faith. Repentance and faith are like the two sides of one coin, that is, you cannot turn one without also turning the other. When a sinner turns by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, they have also turned their back against sin. This doesn't mean that a person must forsake sins to be saved, God forbid, because that is works for salvation. It simply means that to be saved, a person must admit they are a guilty sinner in God's sight (Romans 3:19).

Thus, repentance is the admission that I am as guilty a sinner as a holy God has declared me to be in His holy Word, which accompanies TURNING by faith to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be forgiven and saved, obtaining eternal life by God's righteousness alone in Christ Jesus, and these two parts of salvation happen at the same time. Repentance and faith are not two steps to salvation; but rather, two parts of ONE STEP (as Dr. John R. Rice termed it). The new birth in Christ is instant, not a process, although sanctification and discipleship are a process which require a lifetime to become Christlike.

That is what true Biblical repentance unto salvation means. To repent without faith is false repentance, the mere admission of sinnership. Judas was sorry that he got caught, having a false form of repentance in Matthew 27:3. Judas felt remorse for betraying the innocent Savior, even attempting to return the 30 pieces of silver, but Judas had no faith in Jesus as the Christ and went to Hell in the sin of unbelief. Repentance without faith is mere reformation and does not produce the new birth (salvation).

In Matthew 7:21-23 we learn about a sincere group of religious people who had faith in Christ but had never repented of their dead works. Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.” They foolishly said, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” These were religious people who had “DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS,” which was their whole problem. They were trusting in THEIR WORKS, instead of resting in Jesus Christ.

God's will is to REST completely in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:1-11). Repentance includes the admission that I CANNOT SAVE MYSELF! Repentance is realizing my guilt of sin and TURNING to Christ by faith as my Savior. Romans 10:3-4, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

I read from a book today by a missionary whom I greatly admire (I won't mention his name), but he is misled on the matter of salvation. He defines repentance as a drastic change of mind that includes a strong desire to stop living in sin, and such a deep sense of conviction that a person has totally abandoned any desire to continue in wickedness. And he believes that until a person has adopted such an attitude that Christ will not accept their faith as valid. I couldn't disagree more with him! The Bible does NOT teach that! Repentance is defined in Romans 3:19... THAT EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED AND ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD!
 

Pastor's Jack Hyles, Bob Gray Sr. & Harry Ironside Are 100% Correct On Repentance

Pastor Hyles accurately states...

“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!'” —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE!

Listen to what Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951) correctly states about repentance in chapter 16 of his book, EXCEPT YE REPENT . . .

“In all that I have written I have failed completely to express what was surging up in my soul if I have given anyone the impression that I think of repentance as something meritorious which must be produced in man by self-effort ere he is fit to come to God for salvation.”

SOURCE: Dr. Harry Ironside, a quote from chapter 16, THE PREACHING THAT PRODUCES REPENTANCE, from his timeless classic book, EXCEPT YE REPENT.

I agree 100%! The entire concept of Lordship Salvation is based in human effort. Most of our evangelical churches today have bought into the lie that it's not enough to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved. The Gospel is that Jesus Christ DIED, was BURIED and RESURRECTED from the dead three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). If you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, then you are saved. But don't I have to repent? Yes, of course! Biblical repentance is “a change of mind” that causes a person to believe the Gospel. Repentance is NOT a desire to stop sinning. Repentance is realizing that you are a SINNER and need the Savior, and so you believe the Gospel and are saved. Repentance is changing your mind about whatever was previously hindering you from completely resting in Christ for salvation.

Pastor Bob Gray Sr. at the Longview Baptist Temple church in Texas correctly preaches . . .

“Repentance means to change your mind—change your mind—change your mind about how you want to get to Heaven to what God says you've got to do to get to Heaven. If you've got to repent of all your sins, you're still headed for Hell tonight.” —Pastor Bob Gray Sr., a quote from the awesome MP3 sermon, Why You Should Be A Part Of A Growing Church

Will Jesus Christ Say to You in Eternity, “I Never Knew You!”?

In his excellent book, I NEVER KNEW YOU, Michael Patrick Bowen states . . .

You can live for Christ, you can love Christ, you can serve Him with all your might, time, talent and wealth. You can pray to Him, read your Bible, get water-baptized, join a church, witness to people, and do every wonderful work contained within the realm of Christianity, but if you fail to trust Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, He will “dump” you.

SOURCE: I NEVER KNEW YOU (.pdf), by Michael P. Bowen; by Barbour Books, © 2009; page 77.

Beware of the false teaching in most churches today, even many Baptist churches, which says that you have to forsake sinful living to get saved, commit your life to Christ and surrender fully to Christ's Lordship. Satan loves to corrupt the gospel by either requiring good works to be saved, or by subtracting bad works to be saved. Whether good or bad, both are DEAD WORKS! (Hebrews 6:1).

Michael Patrick Bowen correctly explains Biblical repentance...

“Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”

SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (Page 114)

God's law is a measuring stick, which shows us that WE CANNOT SAVE OURSELVES because of our ungodly condition, and then the law BRINGS US to Christ. Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” The whole notion that a person has to experience a profound regret for sin, and a consuming desire to depart from sin, and intent to reform, have NOTHING to do with Biblical repentance unto salvation. Repentance is turning to Jesus by faith because you realize that you are a guilty sinner incapable of saving yourself and you rest totally in the death of Christ upon the cross, His burial and His resurrection from the dead three days later. That's the gospel!

The sorrow, regret and painful emotion caused by sin are not required for salvation; but rather, are fruits of salvation. The moment that you get saved, you have become a NEW CREATURE in Christ Jesus (2nd Corinthians 5:17), and only then can godly sorrow begin to form in our new life in the Spirit. An unsaved person does not have the Holy Spirit and cannot discern spiritual things, including godly sorrow. To be saved, you simply need to acknowledge your SINNERSHIP and COMPLETELY REST in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listen to what Pastor Harry Ironside (1876-1951) correctly states about repentance in chapter 16 of his book, EXCEPT YE REPENT . . .

“In all that I have written I have failed completely to express what was surging up in my soul if I have given anyone the impression that I think of repentance as something meritorious which must be produced in man by self-effort ere he is fit to come to God for salvation.”

SOURCE: Dr. Harry Ironside, a quote from chapter 16, THE PREACHING THAT PRODUCES REPENTANCE, from his timeless classic book, EXCEPT YE REPENT.

I agree 100%! The entire concept of Lordship Salvation is based in human effort. Most of our evangelical churches today have bought into the lie that it's not enough to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved. The Gospel is that Jesus Christ DIED, was BURIED and RESURRECTED from the dead three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). If you receive Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full payment for your sins, then you are saved. But don't I have to repent? Yes, of course! Biblical repentance is “a change of mind” that causes a person to believe the Gospel. Repentance is NOT a desire to stop sinning. Repentance is realizing that you are a SINNER and need the Savior, and so you believe the Gospel and are saved. Repentance is changing your mind about whatever was previously hindering you from completely resting in Christ for salvation.

Repentance and faith can be properly demonstrated by looking up to God the Father, admitting that one is a guilty sinner, and then turning around and placing one's faith in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, Who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead three days later. This is the gospel; namely, Christ's death on the cross for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Repentance and faith all happen as ONE BIG DEAL, one package. They all happen at the same time. The acknowledgment of our sins before God the Father and placing our heart's trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ are not two steps, or a process, to salvation; but rather, repentance and faith are two parts of ONE STEP. This is what Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) believed and taught, and I agree with him 100%, because that's exactly what the Bible teaches as well.

The ONLY thing that you need to repent of to be saved is whatever it is that's been keeping you from coming to Christ to be saved.

So when you speak of repentance, always include faith and you won't be led astray concerning what repentance means Biblically. Anyone who teaches that you must first repent, and then place your faith in Christ, is confused and doesn't understand how the new birth works. Repentance is NOT a separate act unto itself; but rather, it is a change of mind that accompanies our turning to Christ by faith to be forgiven of our sins and saved. If we didn't repent, then we wouldn't come to Christ to be saved, as John 3:20 plainly teaches, because repentance and faith happen together at the same time.

A man cannot truly have saving faith without repentance, nor can any person truly have saving repentance without faith. They are inseparable. Again, this marvellous truth is evidenced by the fact that the Gospel of John mentions the words “believe” and “believed” 85 times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. Clearly, the person who believes has repented, and the one who repents has believed.

Concerning salvation, Biblical repentance is simply changing your mind from what you want to do to get to Heaven, to what God says you must do to get to Heaven, which is to by faith receive Christ's payment on the cross as full payment for your sins, believing that He was buried and resurrected from the dead three days later. This is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Believe and the work is done. John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Please read my article titled, REPENT! REPENT! REPENT!


3,000 Converts Baptized In One Day!
(beware of anyone who criticizes easy-believism and immediate baptism)

“Repent, as Christ meant it to be in terms of salvation, means to change your
mind from trusting in what you can do for God to trusting only in what He can do for you.”

SOURCE: Michael Patrick Bowen, a quote from the awesome book, “I NEVER NEW YOU” (Page 114)

Good Works Or Bad Works, Both Are Works!

Mark 1:15: “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

It's Not The Shedding Of Jesus' Blood That Saves, But The 'SPRINKLING' Of That Shed Blood


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