|written by Pastor David Wood|
FAITH AND REPENTANCE
Faith and repentance work hand in hand. While faith goes far beyond the meaning of repentance and repentance goes far beyond the meaning of faith, the two are joined in their application to salvation and must be considered as a unit.
"Wherever there is true faith, there is true repentance also. Since repentance and faith are but different sides or aspects of the same act of turning, faith is as inseparable from repentance as repentance is from faith."(1)
Both faith and repentance
at salvation involve a turning to God alone and renunciation of self-effort.
Acts 26:18 describes the way one receives forgiveness of sin; it includes
one act that involves two separate aspects:
Faith and repentance effectively work together. By understanding both we gain appreciation for the union between the two.
The acknowledgment factor
The attitude factor
The volition factor
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Nicodemus knew Israel's history detailed in Numbers 21. He knew the people willfully rejected and rebelled against God's provision. God sent a plague of serpents. Many were dying from the snake bites. Nicodemus knew that the serpent represented the sin problem of volitional rebellion. Anyone who turned from his own willful rebellion and believed in God's provision was delivered.
Faith involves more than intellectual assent. Even the devils believe in God with their intellect (James 2:19). Faith involves more than a stirred emotion. Faith involves more than a temporary need. "Temporary faith is as irrational and valueless as temporary repentance. It perhaps gained temporary blessing in the way of healing in the time of Christ, but, if not followed by complete surrender of the will, it might even aggravate one's sin." (3)
The heart will be moved in saving faith. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). True faith also involves the active will. The act of the will receives Christ. 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 (John 1:12). John 1:12 illustrates the decision of one's will as equivalent to belief.
Volitional faith consists of two elements.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31)
Romans 10:13 says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
A – Admit you are a
B – Believe on Jesus
C – Call on the Lord
(1) Augustus Hopkins
Strong, Systematic Theology (Philadelphia: The Judson Press, 1907), 836.
(2) Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1977), 405.
(3) Strong, 837.
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