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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jordan Kurecki, May 9, 2014.
Simply put, What is it?
And is it necessary for Salvation?
Repentance is a change of mind or belief. When the Bible commands us to repent, it is to change our mind from a false belief that will not save us, to believing on Jesus.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Usually, when you see the word repent or repentance in the scriptures, if you keep reading you will see what you are to change your mind about. In Mat 3:7-9 we see the Pharisees and Sadducees come to John the Baptist to be baptized. What did John tell them to repent of?
John told them not to say within themselves they have Abraham for their father. This was their false hope for salvation, they believed that simply being the physical descendants of Abraham guaranteed they were saved. John tells them to repent of this false belief.
Another example is found in Luke 13;
Luk 13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Here is one of the most misquoted and misinterpreted passages in scripture. Is Jesus telling these persons they must stop sinning or perish? NO, he is telling them they must repent of the false belief that they are righteous because nothing bad has happened to them.
Many Jews thought that when some bad event happened to a person, this proved they were a very wicked sinner and that God was punishing them. They believed that those persons whom Pilate killed, and the eighteen persons whom were killed when a tower fell on them were such terrible sinners.
Jesus tells them to repent of this false belief, and not to think they were righteous simply because nothing bad has happened to them.
We see the disciples also believed this false belief when they encountered the blind man.
Jhn 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
The disciples had the same false belief as those persons in Luke 13, they asked Jesus who had sinned, this man, or his parents that he was born blind.
Jesus tells them it had nothing to do with this man or his parents sinning, but that he could manifest God's works by healing this man.
So, repentance means to turn from false belief, especially concerning salvation. You can not inherit salvation from your parents, or because you follow a certain religion. Every man must realize he is not righteous, we are ALL sinners. You must trust Jesus and him alone to save you.
Repentance does not mean to stop sinning. If so, no one has ever repented.
Repentance, in it's simplest form, is a mourning or sorrow over sin that causes one to change their actions. It's a change of mind that results in a change of life. It is also seen as turning from false gods and turning to Jesus.
To say it has nothing to do with turning from sin slaughters the clear meaning of John the Baptist's words:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. - Mat 3:7-10 ESV
And Jesus' words in Revelation:
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 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 2:4-5 ESV
And the apostles teaching/preaching:
"Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 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 26:19-20 ESV
It is absolutely essential.
and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." - Mar 1:15 ESV
So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. - Mar 6:12 ESV
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, - Act 3:19 ESV
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, - Act 17:30 ESV
11 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For a godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death
One must have sorrow to repent. There are two kind of sorrow, a sorrow that the world worketh to repentance of natural things as a man might be sorry for a crime he committed after he got caught and there is a sorrow that God worketh in the heart called a godly sorrow that leads to salvation.
Repent does not mean to turn from sin, else God is a sinner.
Jon 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
This verse is not actually saying God turned from evil, as God never sins, but it is saying he changed his mind and did not destroy Nineveh.
Gen 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
This verse also does not mean God turned from sin, but that God was sorry he had created man, and that sinful man grieved him to his heart.
Exo 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
Again, this verse does not mean God stopped sinning, but God changed his mind and did not destroy the Israelites when they sinned in the wilderness.
To repent does not mean to stop sinning, there are more scriptures that say God repented in the Bible than verses that say man repented. It means a change of mind or belief, as when God changed his mind and did not destroy the people for their sin.
If we have to stop sinning to be saved, then we are saved by works.
So we don't have to repent of our sin?
We don't have to have a change of mind about sin?
David Cloud says:
ERROR NUMBER 2: DEFINING REPENTANCE MERELY AS A CHANGE OF MIND
Another man who has widely influenced the doctrine of repentance held by independent Baptists is the late Curtis Hutson, former editor of the Sword of the Lord. His 1986 booklet “Repentance: What Does the Bible Teach?” has been distributed widely and is still used today in many churches. Hutson denied that repentance means to turn from sin (p. 4). He denied that repentance is sorrow for sin (p. 8). He even denied that repentance means “a change of mind that leads to a change of action” (p. 16). He claimed that repentance simply is “to change one’s mind” and that it did not necessarily result in a change of life. In an attempt to build his doctrine of repentance, Curtis Hutson quoted Scripture that appears to support his position but he ignored the Scriptures that plainly refute it. He misquoted the writings of men like his predecessor John R. Rice. He also mixed in a heavy dose of human reasoning.
For example, he stated that repentance couldn’t mean to turn from sin because man cannot turn from all sin. That is a smokescreen, because no one has defined repentance as turning from all sin. The historic definition of repentance, as it applies to salvation, is a change of mind toward God and sin that results in a change of life. Repentance is not turning from all sin in the sense of some sort of sinless perfection; it is a change of mind toward sin so that the sinner no longer intends to walk in rebellion against God. The turning is in the mind and heart. It is not a change of life; it is a dramatic change of mind, and that results in a change of life.
Dr. Hutson also reasoned that saying that repentance will result in turning from sin is a works salvation. That is nonsense. The Thessalonians turned from the sin of idolatry (1 Thess. 1:9). Obviously, that does not mean they thought that their works had a part in their salvation. It was the product of turning to God. The fact that God requires that we turn from sin does not mean that salvation is by works. We know that the works are the fruit of genuine salvation, not the cause of it. Repentance, defined as turning to God from sin, is not a works salvation, as Dr. Hutson falsely claimed. It is the sinner’s obedient response to the Holy Spirit’s conviction (John 16:8). Dr. Hutson’s entire line of reasoning about repentance was unscriptural and dangerous.
Repentence is salvation it is admitting we can not run our lives and that we need Jesus as Lord and commit our lives to Him, if we commit our lives to Him then He will lead us away from sin.
What do you mean by a change of mind about sin? Did you believe sin was good before you trusted Jesus?
All I'm saying is that if we have to quit sinning to be saved, then salvation is by works. Isn't that so? You are saying your personal performance determines whether you are saved or not.
Salvation is a FREE GIFT. You simply receive it. What you must repent of is the false belief that you can MERIT IT.
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
We are told to repent and believe the gospel. And what is the gospel?
1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Does Paul tell us to quit sinning here? No, he tells us the gospel is that Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures, he was buried, and that he rose again the third day. This is what we are to believe, and this is how we are saved.
Lots of folks think John the Baptist was telling people to quit sinning, but that is not what he preached at all. We are told what he meant by repentance in Acts 19.
Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Was John telling the Jews they must stop sinning to be saved? NO, he told them they must believe on him which should come after him, which was Jesus Christ.
If you stop sinning, you will be the first person ever who has done so, and that still won't save you. The only way to be saved is to trust, depend, or rely on Jesus alone to save you.
“Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they REPENT OF THEIR DEEDS” (Rev. 2:22).
“And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and REPENTED NOT OF THEIR DEEDS” (Rev. 16:11).
“If someone says: repent for sins or you are not saved, what do they mean by that? Do they mean, when I turn from sin, I turn from all practice of sin, that I will never sin again? ... I am curious to know if there are any people living today who can say that God, Christ, is one hundred percent Lord of my life? ... When you speak of Lordship Salvation; when you make the statement: If Christ is not your Lord, you are not saved. Or, you can only be saved if you make Christ your Lord. What do you mean by that statement? Do you mean He must be the Lord every moment of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year? Does that mean that when you are a carnal Christian, as is taught in Corinthians, that you are really not saved? ... I would like to ask, when someone says to a sinner that he must accept Christ as Saviour and Lord, do they take him and give him a month or six weeks or three months of discipleship so that he can understand what Saviour and Lord means; so then he can accept Him as Saviour and Lord? ... I really don’t know anyone who would dare say: Christ is one hundred percent Lord of my life” (Tolbert Moore, The Gospel Preacher).
We do not support any idea of “Lordship Salvation” that teaches that an individual must make Jesus Christ Lord of every area of his life before he can be saved. Salvation does not produce perfect obedience nor does it require perfect understanding of theology. A genuinely born again Christian can be carnal. The Bible plainly teaches this (1 Corinthians 3).
To require that a sinner make Jesus Christ Lord of every area of his life is an impossibility and would be the greatest form of works salvation ever devised. This false doctrine is taught by some independent Baptists, but we do not support it. It is a very dangerous doctrine that causes people to look inside themselves and to examine their experience rather than to look solely upon the Lord Jesus Christ and to trust solely upon His shed blood.
We believe and are sure that salvation changes a man’s life, and we preach this boldly. One of the Way of Life booklets is entitled “Does Salvation Make a Difference?” The answer is YES! If a person says he is saved but he has absolutely nothing to prove it, he is deceived (2 Corinthians 5:17). To continually examine oneself, though, and to continually look at one’s experience as the basis for determining if one is saved, is extremely dangerous. Even the Apostle Paul, who, in our estimation, was the most dedicated Christian who ever lived, said of his own experience, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18). That is the experience of every born again child of God. The old flesh is still there even after salvation.
Having said all of this and having renounced Lordship Salvation as previously defined, I am also convinced that some men use the “Lordship Salvation” thing as a smokescreen to hide their “quick prayerism” error. Salvation does not produce perfection, but it does require repentance, and repentance is a change of mind toward God and sin and Jesus Christ and the Bible that will result in a change of action. Salvation does not require obedience, but salvation will result in obedience; and if it does not, at least to some degree or other, it is not biblical salvation. Faith in Christ cannot be divorced from repentance toward God. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Heres a link to the whole article I have been quoting from.
Yes, sometimes the scriptures are telling us to turn from a particular sin. But when it comes to salvation, we are to turn from useless works and believe on Jesus alone to save us.
Always read the context. You saw in Acts 19 that Paul was telling us that what John the Baptist was preaching was to believe on Jesus, not turn from sins.
Nobody truly turns from sins. And again, if you have to turn from sin to be saved, then that is salvation by works.
If you believe you have to stop sinning to be saved, then you must be absolutely perfect. If you sin any sin, you are guilty of all.
Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Good luck not sinning.
I don't believe a person must stop sinning.
But I do believe a person must change their mind about their sin, and be willing to trust God to save them from sin.
There is a difference.
What is the difference?
You are going to get all caught up in Lordship Salvation. These folks are always implying if you sin you are not saved, but they can never tell you how often you must sin, or what degree of sin you must sin to be lost.
What usually results is that you sin so much you can't stand it, so then you convince yourself you don't sin at all. Then you spend all your time being a "fruit counter" judging other folks.
I knew a fellow that told me some folks in his church had not sinned in years. He was dead serious.
One day I got fed up and bet him he couldn't go 24 hours without sinning. He said, Oh, that's easy! I can go 24 hours without sinning no problem.
I said, Well the Bible says boasting is a sin, and you just boasted.
He got angry and turned red in the face, I actually thought he was going to hit me. After that he barely ever spoke to me again.
But that's what happens when you get all wrapped up in Lordship Salvation. You'll either be miserable with no assurance, or you will be self-righteous and nobody will be able to stand you.
a good friend of mine says this:
Of course it is. But an unbiblical emphasis of it is not. Repentance is me seeing my sinfulness and inability to do anything to save myself. It's when I stop trusting in dead works and trust only God. Hebrews calls it "Repentance from dead works." Faith is when I look to Christ as the answer to my need. So faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin. Repentance sees its sinfulness and says, "I'm undone, I can't save myself." While faith sees Christ's finished work and says, "I trust Christ to do for me what I cannot do myself." There will obviously be varying degrees of awareness of sin. There will also be different expressions of concern about sin depending on personalities. The point is that the person has seen himself as a helpless sinner and turns to Christ. To tell them that they must turn from or stop sinning (how much) confuses the whole issue and is hazardously similar to the theology of 7th Day Adventism. It places man's actions as a prerequisite for salvation. True, they must see themselves as sinners, and recognize their need for deliverance, but do we honestly think a sinner will begin to hate his sin prior to Christ coming into his heart? No, they will recognize that their problem is their love of sin, which cannot be fixed by any form of reformation, and that Christ alone, through regeneration, can transform the heart.
You are saying what I was saying now. It is turning from the false belief that you can save yourself, and trusting in Jesus Christ alone.
Read about the Samaritan woman at the well. She had five husbands and was living in sin with another man when Jesus spoke to her. Did he tell her she had to give up her lover to be saved?
Jhn 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
Jesus knew all about this ladies sin. Did he tell her she had to stop sinning to be saved? NO, he told her all she had to do was ASK, and he would give her living water.
We don't get better to get saved, we get saved to get better.
Well im in the process of defining Repentance for myself.
I would probably after thinking have to agree that it is a change of mind about self.