Salvation isn’t a byproduct of our doing.
Salvation is God applying what He has already done.
(The following was taken from chapter 1 of my book “Christianity Vs Religion”)
~ Repentance ~
The misinformation about the meaning of “repentance” in relation to someone’s justification before God is perhaps the most common, & spiritually-deadly deception of religion. This is A HUGE DEAL, (I can’t over emphasize the importance of this matter).
So please pay very close attention to what you’re about to read.
Repentance is required for anyone to be saved.
Therefore it’s paramount that we understand what repentance means, (not what religion says that it means, but what it actually means).
~ “Repentance” defined ~
Is repentance a degree of remorse? No, but people are often remorseful when they repent and believe the gospel.
Is repentance turning away from sinful behaviors? No, but people often turn away from sinful behaviors when they repent and believe the gospel.
So then what does “repentance” mean?
“Repentance” means a change of one’s mind/heart about something.
Incidentally, if you’ll research your king James bible, you’ll find that God Himself frequently “repented.” And certainly God wasn’t turning away from sins, (because He’s not capable of sinning).
Look please at Jonah 3.10 as one example of where God repented:
“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.”
It’s false religion, false prophets, and corrupt modern bible versions which teach that you have to repent “of your sins” to be saved.
So now allow me please to give you three examples of why it’s damning heresy to teach that someone has to repent “of their sins” to be saved.
1. Scripture clearly teaches us that salvation is the free gift from God by grace through faith, not of our works.
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
“17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
2. No living person has ever stopped sinning.
The requirement that someone has to repent “of their sins” to be saved is to put an impossible burden on someone to accomplish. Why? Because it’s impossible for anyone to stop sinning, regardless of whether they’re saved or unsaved, (see Romans 7.14-25).
And someone’s good efforts to stop sinning counts for nothing where justification before God is concerned.
God doesn’t grade people on a curve to let them into heaven. A person is either fully righteous as the free gift from God, or they’re fully unrighteous, and under His wrath. (There is no middle ground).
3. The Lord Jesus Christ’s redemptive work for the salvation of God’s people is finished.
You and I add nothing to that which has already been perfectly accomplished in the Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Our supposed morality can’t supplement that which God has already perfectly done any more than we can supplement last Monday’s weather.
9 “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
~ Here’s an example of real repentance in salvation ~
God the Holy Ghost convicts a sinner of their sin-guilt, and that sinner subsequently cries out to the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy. God gives that sinner the faith of Christ, and he or she believes that the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ has fully accomplished their forgiveness and right-standing with God the Father.
That person repented (changed their mind) and believed the gospel.
~ They changed their mind in that they previously believed that they were a basically good person, but then they came to see that they are entirely bankrupt of any personal merit.
~ They changed their mind about (and abandoned), whatever false religious beliefs they held, and clung to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as their only & entire rightstanding with God.
Do you now see why it’s damning heresy to tell someone that they have to repent “of their sins” to be saved?
Such is not only an impossibility for anyone to perform to satisfy God’s justice where man’s sins are concerned,…
But such thinking that someone has to repent “of their sins” to be saved, reflects the disbelief that the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ has justified God’s people.
Such thinking fails to see one’s own merit or morality as the filthy rags that it is.
Such thinking tramples underfoot the blood of the covenant, regarding Jesus’ sacrifice as insufficient by itself to fully cleanse & justify a guilty sinner before God.
~ The bait & switch ~
Maybe you already know this, but it’s worth mentioning anyway because of the prolific danger that it poses.
That being, preachers of every description (and professing Christians in general), will often tell you that they believe that salvation is by grace through faith, and they will even claim that in their statements-of-faith. But far too often, when you immerse yourself into their teaching, you eventually discover that they don’t really believe that righteousness really is the free gift from God by the obedience of one (Romans 5.17-19). Their bait-and-switch deception is made evident when they eventually infer that you must repent “of your sins” to be saved.
However now you’re armed with enough information that you shouldn’t be deceived by those sorts of tactics anymore.