Saving Faith and Repentance
BY Ken Blue
Certainly, there’s no shortage of Scripture on the subject of repentance. The shortage appears to be in the understanding of where, and how the word is used in Scripture. Strictly speaking, one may repent and still not be saved. Yes, repentance is a vital part of salvation. However, we discover that after we are saved, we spend the rest of our life repenting.
Now, in the matter of salvation, faith and repentance are just two sides of the same coin. Repentance is a “change of mind.” The Bible says 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.” Jonah 3:10. When God saw their repentance, He also repented! They turned and God turned. So, repentance is a change of mind that parallels turning.
When a person puts his faith in Jesus, he is believing. By believing he changed his mind about two things. One, he needed a Savior, and two, Jesus would save him. The Holy Spirit moves in and through the Word, begins a process we call Christian growth. Not all believers grow at the same pace, and it is a day by day decision. Paul said, “I die daily…”
The longer you are saved, the more you understand that your problem is not your sins, but a sinful heart!
I never tell a person he must repent, or turn from his sins. It only frustrates the grace of God, and leaves the convert confused. One person sows, another waters, but God gives the increase. Why not trust Him to bring about the change in the new born? When a sinner exercises saving faith, he is repenting! I think it is safe to say, in the context of saving faith, that faith is a synonym for repentance.
I never worry about the sinners’ repentance. I have discovered, once he believes in his heart, he has taken the first step of repentance. He will find that it is a lifelong process after that. Is there anything in your life, right now, of which you need to repent? The longer you are saved, the more you understand that your problem is not your sins, but a sinful heart! I know from personal experience.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.