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Introduction: Repentance has an important part in our salvation and in our lives after a person is saved.

Jesus taught that one must repent in order to be saved. He also taught that we must believe in order to be saved. John 3:16. Is this a contradiction, or are we seeing something else? In other to understand teaching we need to understand how to interpret God's Word:

1. God's word is without error, therefore the Bible does not contradict itself. Some focus on the verses in Scripture that tell us we must believe in order to be saved. They say that only belief or faith saves. Others include that one must also repent.

2. So what we are seeing is two truths. Clearly Jesus said one must repent and other verses say we are to believe.

3. Thus we have two statements on the same subject which is salvation.

4. We must apply the truth found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3;16-17)

4. Understanding that all scripture is inspired of God, we know that both statements of God's word are true. They both tell us that repentance is a part of salvation as is believing. The answer is that both repentance and belief are apart of salvation and are simply two aspects of salvation.

I. Is there a verse of Scripture which teaches both repentance and faith?

A. YES: Paul said he preached same message to Jews and Gentiles. Acts 20:18-21

"And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many years, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

B. In Verse 27, Paul said he had not neglected to teach the whole or all the counsel of God.

C. Paul taught Repentance and Belief.

ILLUS: A penny has two sides. If I describe a penny and tell you it is a coin with President Abraham Lincoln's picture would that be accurate? Yes, because one side has a picture of Lincoln If I then say that a penny is a coin which has wheat symbols on one side or a picture of the Lincoln Memorial would it be accurate? The answer is yes, because a penny has one or the other on it. If I said a penny when lain on its side is about 1/16 of an inch and is smooth and blank because it is round would that be accurate? Yes, all three accurately describe a penny, or better, the parts or sides of a penny.

D. Belief, faith, trust and repentance are all aspects of salvation. All are a part of salvation and neither completely describes salvation but a part of it.

1. Problem: Today many teach what some called "Easy Believism" or salvation, by faith or belief with no Repentance.

2. Many individuals and churches practice soul-winning and use what is called the "Romans Road to Salvation." I too use the Roman's Road at times, but with an importance addition. That addition is Acts 20:20. It teaches repentance and faith.

3. There is often no repentance in the Romans Road as most people use it. It has the effect of telling people that all you have to do is accept the historical Jesus Christ and be saved. However, realizing and accepting the fact that one is a sinner and needs God's forgiveness is the first step toward salvation.

4. In accepting Jesus Christ, you are accepting the fact you do not deserve heaven, but that as a sinner we all are lost in trespasses and sin. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. . ." (Eph. 2:1). A person who does not believe God and accept this that will not be saved. If one thinks he is good enough or has not committed enough sins to keep him out of heaven he will never accept Jesus Christ and forgiveness because he does not believe he needs too.

Even the word "saved" means saved from something. The Gospel says that Christ died for our sins. Being saved means being saved from one's sin. It means being forgiven of our sins. The Gospel says we are sinners and Jesus died for our sins. One cannot be saved a part of accepting that he is a sinner and under the condemnation of their sin. Therefore believing the Gospel involves repentance which is accepting by faith God's word that we are sinners and that Jesus Christ offers us redemption by His grace and mercy if we will by faith accept it.

5. However, in true salvation, the person hears the Gospel and by faith accepts it will accept will understand that he is lost in his sins and needs a Savior because he cannot save himself. The person that is truly saved respond to the Gospel and will by faith put his trust in Jesus Christ to save and forgive him and in doing so he will repent of his sins.

E. The key to understanding the matter is to understand what the word "repentance" means. The most common definition of repentance is that when one repents they stop and go in the opposite way. In other words they turn around.

The word literally means "to perceive afterwards" which as Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words explains, is to imply that to repent means to understand "perceive" that one is a sinner and they realize they are living their lives apart from God who created them. They understand that Jesus Christ came to earth, God incarnate in man, to go to the cross and there to pay for the their sins. They believe the Gospel as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Believing God, the person who is saved, has a change of heart that comes when they believe. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) By putting their faith in Jesus Christ the person receives from God the spiritual birth and that changes them.

God says salvation is received by faith alone, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9) The spiritual birth is God's act changing the heart when a person believes, which then a changes how they see things. When one repents they perceive or understand that the way they lived their lives was wrong. Now knowing their past actions were wrong they stop doing those things and go in a new direction. That new direction for the Christian is to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. We then follow God, by following His word the Bible. In turn repentance means having a change of heart and action. This truth is expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:17 quoted above.

The one who truly believes in Jesus Christ and is saved becomes a new creature or creation of the Lord. God makes us a new person, by giving us a new nature, that is the nature of God which enables us to live righteous lives. 1. Too many today are the converts of individuals, TV evangelists, churches, and denominations, but are not the converts to Christ. The sad state of unrighteousness (righteousness means doing right) in the lives of many "professing" church members attest to this fact of modern Christianity. Many who profess to be Christians have not repented, meaning they do not perceive that the way they lived their past life a part from God was wrong. Many are told all they need do is to say a prayer and they will be saved. The evidence they have not been truly saved is do not then live godly lives, and obeying God's word. They have not repented of their sins. In the Lord's prayer recorded in John 17 Jesus is praying for believers just before He was to be crucified. Jesus said,

"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. . . . For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. (John 17:6,8)

Please note that Jesus said those who are saved, "have kept thy word" and "they have received" the words God gave to Him.

ILLUS: In witnessing to others, I find myself probably eight times out of ten, talking with people who claims to be a Christian of some sort. I recently had correspondence with a American living in Japan. He proudly claimed to be a Christian. Yet, he bragged about drinking and going to bars. He even said, as a conservative Christian I would not consider him to be a Christian by what he believed or the way he lived. He was right!

In talking with a person who claimed to be a Christian I ask him. What do you do that identifies you as a Christian to others? Do you go to church? Answer, NO. Do you give thanksgiving offerings and tithes to the Lord work? Do you read your Bible? Do you attempt to witness and win others to Christ? All questions were answered in the negative.

Is it proper for you to make a cola soft drink and call it a Pepsi? What about if you opened a fast foods restaurant and called your burger's "Big Mac's?" No individual has the right to use a title or trade mark unless he uses it legitimately. If I buy a Pepsi plant, buy the Pepsi franchise, use the Pepsi formula, and pay the royalties I can call my soft drink a Pepsi. Why, because that is what it is. It legitimately is, in content, what a real Pepsi is. It can be tested and proven to be a real Pepsi.

I suggest that many who use the name Christian, fail every test that determines what a real Christian is. When I was in Vietnam I could buy a Rolex watch for $50.00! It looked like one and had the name on it. The problem is that genuine Rolex watches sell for thousand of dollars and although these claimed to be Rolex watches...they were in fact fakes. If you tested the watch it proved to not to be genuine.

The fact is Rolex did not make the watches. I suggest that men or churches make many converts and they are not made by God.

F. Satan is the author of error. He surely has large part in the omitting the need of repentance from receiving Christ as one's Savior. He wants men to accept a counterfeit gospel that does not save, but let a man think he is saved..

1. Satan desires to deceive.

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Rev. 12:9)

2. Sometimes people deceive themselves;

Titus 3:3 "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. "(Titus 3:3)

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. " (Eph. 4:14 )

ILLUS: I was once ask to visit a young lady in hospital. She claimed to be saved and know the Lord. Yet, she lived with man she was not married to. He also claimed to be a Christian. Neither went to church or outwardly did anything a child of God does. The boyfriend was a guitar player and claimed he wanted to get into Christian music. At present was he said he was playing in a rock band in a bar to support himself and in preparation for starting a Christian group. He said he needed to get a reputation. Both said they were Christians and believed God. Both claimed to be saved because they believed in Christ.

3. Question? Do you think they were saved? The answer is we do not know for sure, because Christians can sin. But if this pattern continued in their lives of having not regard for sin you be pretty sure these folks did not know the Lord. You see the had not had a change of heart, nor outwardly perceived that living a sinful life was wrong. They clearly had not repented of their sins....because they continued to live in sin.

4. A Christians attitude about sin is different than the world's. A true Christian understands that the sin he commits today, Christ had to suffer for 2000 years ago on the cross.

II. What is a True Christian's Attitude Toward Sin?

A. Many who claim to receive Christ and yet there is something missing in their lives. One reason is that they do not have a biblical view of sin. Many who claim to be saved have never rejected sin. Many of the TV evangelists and the "easy believism" churches, who have such a hold on so many people, ignore the matter of addressing sin in one's life.

1. Jesus said he came to save sinners. He said.. "He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Matt. 9:13) It is sin that separated men from God. It is sin that destroys the individual and causes so much heartache in the world. Without sin there would be no wars, no broken homes, no murder, stealing, destructive pride, no sorrow and no tears. Jesus came to overcome these things in our lives. We know that we live in a world dominated by sin and we all are effected by it. But the believer in Jesus Christ has the Spirit of God which brings a peace inside in the midst of this sinful world. For the believer who lives a godly live they reject sin and thus lives not governed by sin. We all are effected by sin from the outside, which is the world's sin, but if we live for Christ, our lives will be so much better. Further we will be a testimony of God's mercy and grace to others. Everyone who lives a godly life makes his life, his families life and the lives of those around him better.

2. The popular idea today is continue in sin, live like you want, no change of heart, no change of mind, no conviction, yet I'm OK , why? I believe there is a Jesus. Think about the message of the TV evangelists and many churches today. It is to emphasize that God wants you healthy and wealthy. The only sin they mention is not giving your money to their "ministry." The fact is it is sin to finance these false teachers.

3. James 2:19, says the even the devils believe that there is one God, they believe and tremble...the point is that their belief is a head knowledge of truth, but there is not acceptance of that true.

B. Salvation is FROM <<<--- SIN is to --->>> Righteousness.

1. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Rom. 8:29)

2. Being "conformed to Christ" means to be conformed what Christ stands for and He stand against sin, all sin.

3. Ephesians 1:11-12, says we are predestined to ". . . be the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ." A person whose life is dominated by sin is not a testimony or any glory to Christ, whether he calls himself a Christian or not.

ILLUS: Question? What about a denomination who said you could sin, and the next day or at a later date, pay some money, confess you did it to one of their priests, or do some good deed to pay for it.

According to our God and Creator as He has recorded in His word the Bible, "Who is the only one who can pay for sin?" The answer is Jesus Christ and Him only! 1 John 2:2, says he is the "propitiation" for our sins, but not for ours only, but for the world." Where in that verse or any verse does man pay for his own sin?

III. Repentance means to have a change of mind.

A. Repentance is at the heart of salvation and the evidence of true saving faith.

B. Actions outwardly qualify or show evidence of one's faith. If there is a change of heart and mind toward sin, then it is true saving faith! If no change of heart or mind...there is no salvation. Believe without repentance is only a head knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is hardly anyone in the world who does not know that Jesus was a real person. I saw a Jewish anthropologist on TV and she was asked the question, "Was Jesus a real person?" She replied certainly he was and there is much evidence of him. But just knowing about Jesus and wanting to go to heaven is not enough. We must believe with full acceptance of the fact as to why all men are not going to heaven. We must understand that we, the individual has sinned against God. Note what God says about this:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12)

The person who sees himself as a sinner sees that sins is rebellion against God. He sees that it is destructive and dishonors the sinner and our God and Creator. That is what the Gospel teaches, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save men from their sins. It teaches that one must believe that and by faith put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. When one truly understands this truth, he can believe and by faith put his trust in Jesus Christ and be saved. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit who bring conviction to a person's heart when they hear the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. That convicting act of the Holy Spirit enables a person to believe and be saved by God's grace.

C. If there is no change of heart or mind - there is no saving faith - no true faith, and no salvation.

I Cor. 2:14-16, 2 Cor. 5:17.

D. The believer before salvation sins and feels no real guilt or desire to stop sinning. If his sins causes him trouble or he gets caught he might feel sorry, because he was caught....but that is not biblical repentance. Biblical repentance means one has a change of mind that comes by faith in accepting Jesus Christ.

1. 2 Cor. 10:9-10 says: "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. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

2. Godly sorrow produces repentance which forsakes sin and turns from it.

C. After salvation a believer is tempted to sin and does not want to sin. He knows it is wrong and destructive and is repulsed by it. Even a true Christian can enjoy sin for a moment, however it will not be the same as before. When he sins, there is something that was not there before...that is conviction for sin.

1. The Christian believes God and knows sin as the destructive thing it is. He knows it will destroy his life and his testimony before other and bring shame on the Lord Jesus.

2. Sin bothers a true does not bother the lost man. Note what Paul said about this in Romans 7:15-25.

3. Paul says there is warfare in the life of a true believer with the old carnal nature that wants to sin. The lost man is not engage in the conflict between sin and righteousness. He has only one side...the sinful side that is satisfied with sin.

IV. The Action and Result of God's Grace.

A. Grace begins , WHEN - belief accepts God's word and that produces a change of mind toward sin and a change of mind toward sin is repentance and produces a turning away from sin. B. You can be outwardly moral - yet be in sin.

1. Pharisees were outwardly righteous men yet inside Jesus said they were corrupt.

2. They were very religious.

C. Except a person believes and repents of his sin he will die in sin and be condemned to hell.

1. Jesus said, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9) "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32.

2. Paul preached repentance, to the Jew and the Gentile:

Acts 26:20 "But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance."

3. He preached that sorrow works to repentance to salvation, showing the necessity of repentance in salvation.

4. 2 Cor. 7:10 "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

5. The writer of Hebrews, makes it clear the it would be impossible to restore a person to repentance who had rejected his salvation, and renew that person to repentance. This again show the necessity of repentance in salvation.

Hebrew 6:6 states, "If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

V. Repentance in the Life of a Believer.

Matt. 6:24 ...You cannot serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve sin and Christ. If one is truly saved he turns from sin.

A. REPENTANCE is turning from sin to righteousness.

B. Can Christians sin? Do Christians sin?

Yes, believers will sin. Question? Why are some church members are miserable! Answer! They have not and do not confessed their sins. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)

C. When believers do not confess their sins, they are not right with God, because they have a light view of sin. They are going against the new nature God put in them!

1. If the believer does not in repentance confess their sin, they will not turned from sin, and thus they reaped the fruit of sin which is unrest and no peace in one's heart.

2. Where does true peace come from? Note, Rom. 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

3. Christians are not discerning of sin are trying to be good and can't. They sin but don't enjoy it! They want peace and it alludes them.

Conclusion. What is the answer?

1. For the lost man God says, believe God's word and by faith repent from one's sins.

2. Christ came to save sinners, if you will believe and confess your are a sinner in repentance, God says you will be saved. In that moment....the matter will be settled for all time. You will become a child of God, and have victory over sin. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6.

3. For the believer God says to confess your sins to God. Stop fighting with God and obey Him. That is the only way to overcome remaining sin in your life and have peace.

4. You can not add Jesus to your sin and think it will do any good. It would be like making soup and putting in to much salt. You cannot add enough sugar and make it right.

5. Luke 24:46-47 says, "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47)

The verse says where forgiveness takes place also repentance is present.

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