Repentance And Faith | The Institute for Creation Research
Repentance And Faith

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

Repentance and faith are like two sides of the coin of salvation. Each is distinct from the other, yet each implies the other, and both are essential if the salvation is real. It is also important to understand that neither is an emotion. Repentance is a change of mind; faith, a decision of the will. They may or may not be accompanied by intense emotion, but one should never mistake his “feelings” for either.

Repentance is absolutely essential for salvation. “Except ye repent,” said Jesus, “ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “[God] now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). The Greek word for repent means, “have a different mind”—that is, no longer should one allow his mind to be “conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). True repentance involves a change of mind toward God, acknowledging Him both as offended Creator and redeeming, loving Savior.

So also is faith essential for salvation—not some vague feeling of hopefulness, but a volitional and intelligent commitment of one’s life and soul to Jesus Christ. This is not an act of blind credulity, but a rational trust in the only One who completely merits that trust.

Before one can make such a choice of faith, however, he must first have repented—changed his mind about God and sin and about his personal need of forgiveness and cleansing through the work of Christ. By the same token, when one has, indeed, so repented, he will inevitably have placed his faith in Christ. Thus repentance and faith go together. Unless a person repents, he will perish, said Jesus. But He also said: “Whosoever believeth in [me] should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). HMM

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