Follow up to the question about how salvation is articulated and do we associate with those of differing views (see Q&A #24 Another Gospel). You did a very good job explaining the real issue: faith in Christ not ourselves. I really appreciated your explanation, however, could you deal with the proper role repentance plays? Thank you.
Thank you for your follow-up question!
As I mentioned in Q&A #24 Another Gospel, repentance is the flip-side of faith. The Scripture reveals this, for example, in Acts 19:4, “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” Here the word repentance equates to the phrase believe on…Christ Jesus. Repentance and faith have different emphases, but are the same in essence. Repentance, often in the aorist tense, focuses more on the moment of transfer of dependence to Jesus, whereas faith, often in the present tense, focuses more on the dependence now on Jesus.
The natural man does not understand spiritual truth on his own (1 Cor. 2:14). So the Spirit convinces the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). This is to bring people to see (be convinced) that sin is the problem, hell is the consequence, and Christ alone is the answer—so that they repent—change their thinking by depending on Christ as their Savior. Whether they are pagan idolaters who depend on idols, or self-righteous moralists who depend on themselves, or simply irreligious who don’t care, the Holy Spirit convicts as He convinces people they must depend on Jesus to save them from sin and hell. This is repentance, yet this is faith. Both focus on Christ as the object of salvation.
This is the Gospel! These are the waters that should not be muddied through confusing articulations of Gospel presentation.
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