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LindaR

Is Repentance Necessary For Salvation?

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This is part of an article by John R. Rice: What Must I Do To Be Saved?

WHAT ABOUT REPENTANCE?

Does not the Bible say that we must repent? Yes, the Bible plainly says that "God ... commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30), and again, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3, 5). This was the preaching of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of Peter and of Paul, that men should repent. And certainly repentance is God's plan of salvation. The trouble here, however, is that men misunderstand what repentance means, and there has grown up an idea that repentance means a period of weeping and mourning over sin, or sorrow for sins. This idea comes from the Douay Version of the Bible which instead of "repent" says "do penance." So the place of inquiry, where people should be taught the plan of salvation from the Bible, in revival meetings, became "the mourner's bench" and thousands of people have been taught that God would not hear their prayer nor forgive their sins until they went through a process of sorrow and mourning over their sins!

Do not misunderstand me. God is anxious for you to have a penitent, broken heart over your sins. You have gone away from God. You have trampled under foot the blood of Jesus Christ, wasted years of your life which you can never live over again. You have served your father, the Devil. There is plenty for you to weep over, and I am not surprised if you feel deep shame and sorrow in your heart that you have so mistreated the God who made you and the Saviour who died for you. I am not surprised if you cannot keep back the tears! But what I want you to know is that tears or no tears, however much sorrow you may have in your heart, or not have, those things do not save you.

You ought to be sorry for your sins and ashamed of them. "Godly sorrow worketh repentance" (2 Cor. 7:10)--the right kind of sorrow leads to immediate repentance, but mourning is not itself repentance.

"Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no respite know,
These for sin cold not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone."

To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned from sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

http://www.wayoflife.org/whatmust.htm

Biblical repentance means much more than just remorse--true biblical repentance results in a change of life. The topic of our sermon this morning was: "What does it take for someone to confess 'I have sinned'." There were four men mentioned in today's message that said 'I have sinned'--Pharoah (Exodus 9:27; 10:16); Achan (Joshua 7:20); King Saul (1 Samuel 15:24,30; 26:31); and Judas Iscariat (Matthew 27:4). Of those four, I think Achan was the only one who was truly repentant---but that might be questionable. The other three were simply remorseful--it wasn't godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10-11). Just would like your thoughts on this topic.

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Curtis Hutson also removed repentance from the lyrics of some of the hymns in the 2nd edition "Soul Stirring Hymns" that was edited by him. The 1st edition was by John R Rice and was fine.

We've had to go back to the 1st edition and since it is out of print, we're showing the words on a LCD projector instead of using the edited hymnbooks.

A repentance-less gospel is very much a feature of Hutson's soul winning methodology and I have found this to be so in some of the tracts written by him that are reprinted and used by various IFB churches.

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What hymns were edited? :huh:

Here's one list, I think I've found others online if you use Google: http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/changesin.htm

One of my song leaders found enough subtle changes and he made comparisons between the 1st and 2nd edition and decided it made him uncomfortable enough with the theology that was changed pertaining to Salvation that he just went back to the 1st edition and pumped out the Powerpoint slides for those instead.

For me the most vivid was "The Old Account Was Settled" where one stanza said "repent of all your sins" and it was changed to "be cleansed of all your sins".

While that statement is (still) biblical and that we can be truly cleansed of all our sins, it begs the question of why it was necessary to remove repentance as Repentance and Faith are the door to receiving that cleansing which was already provided for by God through the work on the Crosss. A good understanding of Curtis Hutson's teachings would make the answer to that question very clear as he does not believe in repentance being necessary for salvation.

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Most infamous was "The old account," which is supposed to say "O sinner seek the LORD, repent of all your sin, for thus He hath commanded if you would enter in..."
Curtis Hutson's version says "O sinner trust the Lord, be cleansed of all your sin, for thus He hath provided for you to enter in."

Now, I don't see that as having to name every single sin and stop doing it before getting saved, but more like "Lord, my entire nature is sinful, and I'm turning to you from my sinfulness, and holding nothing back." Some might call it semantics.

There was a guy behind me once when we were singing "Victory in Jesus," who sang "Then I asked Jesus to save me and won the victory" instead of the actual words involving repentance, which he didn't believe anyway.

Interesting stuff.

100% agreed about Curtis Hutson's tracts. Extremely shallow. They still sell that at SOTL. 1-2-3-4 pray this now.

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Sad how Curtis Hutson and SOTL strayed from this foundational truth.

Well it SOTL wasn't always that way, but Hutson did bring in those changes and it has become so mainstream among IFB churches that the average member doesn't know anything different to the point that anyone who holds to the biblical truth of repentance and faith is looked upon as a strange person.

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Here's an interesting quote by B.H. Carroll. From Way of Life Encyclopedia: Repentance


"The preacher who leaves out repentance commits as grave a sin as the one who leaves out faith. I mean he must preach repentance just as often, and with as much emphasis, and to as many people as he preaches faith. To omit repentance, to ignore it, to depreciate it, is rebellion and treason. Mark its relative importance: You may make a mistake about baptism and be saved, for baptism is not essential to salvation. You may be a Christian and not comprehend fully the high-priesthood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 5 :11), but 'Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.' So said the Master Himself. Repentance is a preparatory work. For thus saith the Lord: 'Break up your fallow ground and sow not among thorns.' I submit before God, who will judge the quick and the dead, that to preach faith without repentance is to sow among thorns. No harvest can be gathered from an unplowed field. The fallow ground needs to be broken up. The most striking instance on record of repentance as a preparatory work was the ministry of John the Baptist. He was sent 'to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.' He did it by preaching repentance, and Mark says his preaching was 'the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.' Here is the true starting point. Whoever starts this side of repentance makes a false beginning which vitiates his whole Christian profession. When true repentance was preached and emphasized, there were not so many nominal professors of religion. TO LEAVE OUT OR MINIMIZE REPENTANCE, NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF A FAITH YOU PREACH, IS TO PREPARE A GENERATION OF PROFESSORS WHO ARE SUCH IN NAME ONLY. I give it as my deliberate conviction, founded on twenty-five years of ministerial observation, that the Christian profession of today owes its lack of vital godliness, its want of practical piety, its absence from the prayer meeting, its miserable semblance of missionary life, very largely to the fact that old-fashioned repentance is so little preached. You can't put a big house on a little foundation. And no small part of such preaching comes from a class of modern evangelists who desiring more for their own glory to count a great number of converts than to lay deep foundations, reduce the conditions of salvation by one-half and make the other half but some intellectual trick of the mind rather than a radical spiritual change of the heart. Like Simon Magus, they believe indeed, but 'their heart not being right in the sight of God, they have no part nor lot in this matter. They are yet in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.' Such converts know but little and care less about a system of doctrine. They are prayerless, lifeless, and to all steady church work reprobate" (B.H. Carroll, Baptist, Repentance and Remission of Sins, 1889)

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THE ERROR OF DEFINING REPENTANCE MERELY AS A CHANGE OF MIND

Another man who has widely influenced the doctrine of repentance held by independent Baptists is the late Curtis Hutson, former editor of the Sword of the Lord. His 1986 booklet

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From "Except Ye Repent" by Harry A. Ironside: Chapter 1, Repentance: Its Nature and Importance, pg. 3


"Shallow preaching that does not grapple with the terrible fact of man's sinfulness and guilt, calling on "all men everywhere to repent," results in shallow conversions; and so we have amyriad of glib-tongued professors today who give no evidence of regeneration whatever. Prating of salvation by grace, they manifest no grace in their lives. Loudly declaring they are justified by faith alone, they fail to remember that "faith without works is dead"; and that justification by works before men is not to be ignored as though it were in contradiction to justification by faith before God. We need to reread James 3 and let its serious message sink deep into our hearts, that it may control our lives. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." No man can truly believe in Christ, who does not first repent. Nor will his repentance end when he has saving faith, but the more he knows God as he goes on through the years, the deeper will that repentance become. A servant of Christ said: "I repented before I knew the meaning of the word. I have repented far more since than I did then."

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What's wrong with defining repentance exactly and only as it means, and that is "a change of mind"? People like attaching things like "resulting in...", but once you do that, it almost sounds like people are attaching good works and bad works to salvation (and that's why I'm so much against adding things to salvation). A change of conduct is not a prerequisites for salvation, but a result of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9
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.

It all points back to our desire for self-righteousness.

I do agree that a change of mind (repentance) is required (for how else can we accept Christ). But I do not agree how some people define repentance (or attach things to it that aren't there).

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Those who receive the gospel are adopted, justified, reconciled, sanctified, and certain of glorification. The only way to receive the gospel is by repentant faith in Christ. And this repentance unto life results in a change of mind about God and sin that results in a change of life. Since this is the nature of genuine repentance, that repentance is more than simply taking up the profession of Christianity, or being baptized, or living a moral life in external conformity to the rules of piety, or having powerful or even miraculous spiritual experiences, or reforming inward corruption by education, human laws, or the force of affliction, or conviction of sin from the Holy Spirit, or partial surrender to God, or sorrow over the results of sin. Rather, saving repentance, which is motivated by God's goodness and is impossible without a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, is intellectual, volitional, and emotional surrender to the Lord. In repentance one agrees with God about who they are and what they deserve. One is willing to get things right with other people. Repentance involves turning from all known specific sins, as well as sin in general, to surrender unconditionally to Christ as Lord. The repentant soul turns from the world-system, false religion, and self-righteousness, to God. They are willing to take up the cross. Having counted the cost, but determined to follow Jesus Christ. We therefore turn to Him in faith.

Love,
Madeline

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What's wrong with defining repentance exactly and only as it means, and that is "a change of mind"? People like attaching things like "resulting in...", but once you do that, it almost sounds like people are attaching good works and bad works to salvation (and that's why I'm so much against adding things to salvation). A change of conduct is not a prerequisites for salvation, but a result of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9
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.

It all points back to our desire for self-righteousness.

I do agree that a change of mind (repentance) is required (for how else can we accept Christ). But I do not agree how some people define repentance (or attach things to it that aren't there).

Please be specific--what has been "attached" to repentance? I don't believe anybody here has "attached" anything to repentance. When one repents (not just "changing his/her mind from unbelief to belief about Christ--as some think), one "turns from sin" and "turns to God" (1Thess. 1:9)--there will be a change in one's life. The "fruit" of repentance will be evident. There will be a desire to serve God. The fruit is NOT attached--it is the result of true repentance.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

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Please be specific--what has been "attached" to repentance? I don't believe anybody here has "attached" anything to repentance. When one repents (not just "changing his/her mind from unbelief to belief about Christ--as some think), one "turns from sin" and "turns to God" (1Thess. 1:9)--there will be a change in one's life. The "fruit" of repentance will be evident. There will be a desire to serve God. The fruit is NOT attached--it is the result of true repentance.


1st Samuel 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Yes, the Lord "turned from sin and turned to God".

-Alen

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1st Samuel 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Yes, the Lord "turned from sin and turned to God".

-Alen

How does the Lord turn from sin? Obviously, that is a gross misinterpretation of what Scriptures mean when it says "the Lord repented". Here is an article by Bruce Lackey, from Things Hard To Be Understood


The following study is by Bruce Lackey from the book Repentance Is More Than a Change of Mind-

Approximately 31 places in Scripture mention repentance in connection with God, most of them saying that He repented or promised to repent if man would change (Ge 6:6-7; Ex 32:14; Jg 2:18; 1Sa 15:11,35; 2Sa 24:16; 1Ch 21:15; Ps 90:13; 106:45; Jer 18:8; 26:3,13,19; 42:10; Joe 2:13-14; Am 7:3,6; Jon 3:9-10; Zec 8:14). Such statements present at least three problems to the Bible believer: (1) How could God repent if He is unchangeable, as Mal 3:6 teaches? (2) There are apparent contradictions between the aforementioned Scriptures and others which teach that God does not repent (Nu 23:19). (3) God

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Linda, he was being sarcastic.

Obviously, God's repentance means changing His mind.

We know Jesus said sinners must repent or they will perish.

I think the real question is, "What must a sinner repent of?"--that is, "What must a sinner change his mind about?"

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