Repentance and Faith

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Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

“We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; I John 5:1); whereby, being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (John 16:8; Acts 16:30,31), we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (Luke 18:13; Romans 10:12,13; Psalm 51); at the same time heartily receiving the LORD Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour (Romans 10:9-11; II Timothy 1:12).”

The Repentance that is inseparably linked with faith, and leads to salvation, is of a Godly nature (II Corinthians 7:10), and can arise only when the Holy Spirit has moved upon-the heart  (John 16:7-11).  The Faith receiving God’s salvation is a conscious acceptance of Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour  (Romans 10:6-13).  The Holy Spirit quickens the soul unto Godly Repentance and Saving Faith, the inseparable graces, which are also sacred duties.

When the human will responds to the influence of the Holy Spirit there will be contrition.  The sense of sin and guilt will be real. By way of illustration, read the two-fold record of the thief on the cross  (Matthew 27:44; Luke 23:39-43). Also, in Repentance there will be confession (Matthew 3:6; Romans 10:9,10).  The failure to confess is art indication that no true Repentance has taken place  (Matthew 3:8).  And, there is a calling on the LORD  (Acts 9:11).  Because Repentance is a change of mind toward God, there will be a turning to Gad from idols  (I Thessalonians 1:9).

The one who “repents toward God,” also. “believes on the LORD Jesus Christ.”  The LORD Jesus Christ is received by faith  (John 1:12).  The one who Repents toward God, and believes of the LORD Jesus Christ, is regenerated by the Holy Spirit and thus enters into a new life, in which there is a new affection  (Colossians 3:lff); a new obedience  (Romans 6:17); and a new purpose (Romans 12:lff).

Repentance is always mentioned first in Scripture.  One “repents and believes,” never the other way around.  Repentance is not remorse; nor is Repentance a kind of reformation.  Repentance is a change of mind toward God.  It is the operation of the Holy Spirit that leads to Repentance toward God and saving faith in Christ  (Acts 16:14).

The Author of Repentance is God operating by truth upon the heart  (Acts 5:31).  It is God who “grants repentance unto life”  (Acts 11:18).  God uses the proclaimed word, which when heard receives the LORD Jesus Christ by faith.

Faith is God’s instrument in salvation  (Romans 3:28). What does the Scripture mean by faith? That faith is a personal reliance upon Christ for salvation because God’s word shows us that the LORD Jesus Christ is the All-sufficient Saviour.  We look to Him by faith, we are invited to come to the Saviour, to lay hold on eternal life, to receive Him (John 1:12), to call on the name of the LORD.

- - - - The Scriptures below are referenced in the doctrinal statement - - - -

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Acts 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

1 John 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

John 16:8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Acts 16:30-31  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Luke 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Romans 10:12-13  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Psalm 51:1-7 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (2) Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (6) Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. (7) Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Romans 10:9-11  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

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