Repentance. What It Is? The premise of Biblical repentance is an exchanging of one's mind for the mind of Christ. That is, a change of mind that acknowledges one's sin of unbelief concerning the revelation of God's Word and their need of God's mercy resulting in a willful and direct turn to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith for the atonement of their sin (1 John 2:2). Thus, a changed life is wrought by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are not talking about turning from unbelief to belief. Rather, we are talking about turning from the sin that unbelief is and turning to Christ Jesus through faith for the forgiveness of sin. Unbelief is not saying there is no God, it is the sin of saying I don't need or want God. (Genesis 3:1,6).
Repentance is turning from sin while faith is turning to God. It is possible to repent from sin and not turn to God in faith and remain unsaved. It is, however, impossible to turn to God by faith without repentance from sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). Faith and repentance are made possible by the Grace of God and are therefore, inseparable in the reality of salvation (Eph 2:8,9).
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Repentance Is Not an act of reformation (work for salvation), nor is it an attitude of remorse that merely wrestles with regret (as did Judas). Repentance at it's core is wrought by the convicting Word of God under the labor of the the Holy Spirit who enables the sinner to realize their sin and it's consequence of eternal separation from God, while articulating the simplicity of faith in Christ who is the exclusive means of salvation (John 16:7-11; Acts 4:12).
Salvation can by no means be achieved apart from the atoning work of Jesus Christ. It is wholly by the grace of God that compels sinners to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Repentance is NOT the means to achieve salvation; it is a matter of turning to Christ and His vicarious work at the cross and receiving God's forgiveness and salvation by faith.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12, 13)
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger
COLLEGE OF THE OPEN BIBLE