“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

Many have been confused and hindered in their relationship with God because of misunderstanding the concepts represented in the words repent and believe. Repentance is often turned into works causing some to doubt their salvation. Faith is sometimes watered down to mere acknowledgment without volitional trust.

Down through the centuries, theological extremes have produced other theological extremes. The needed confrontation of one extreme has too often generated a reaction that adopts the opposite extreme. Certainly, the gospel has not been exempted from this pendulum effect. What does one need to know in order to be “saved”? What constitutes in simple form the transaction of salvation? Where and how does the process of spiritual growth fit into this picture?

Jesus said, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). What does repent mean? What does it mean to believe? Does the condition for salvation have one step or two? Why do so many passages just mention believe? Why do others just mention repent? What about the passages that mention both? Is the mention of believe or repent always an indication of salvation, or are these words sometimes used in the sense of personal revival or spiritual growth?

We will seek to answer these and similar questions in this series of articles, “Repent and Believe.” May the Word and the Spirit blow away any fog of confusion regarding these important biblical concepts.

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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