Must I repent and believe to be forgiven?
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
There are possibly only 4 verses in the New Testament, after the cross, that appear to suggest a person is not forgiven of their sins unless they first repent and believe upon Christ.
The first of those is 1 John 1:9. The second is Acts 26:18.
And finally, I’m going to address the last two, Acts 2:38 and 3:19 together, because they are both dealing with the same audience, the Jews.
Blessings and forgiveness under the old covenant
The Jews already had an existing covenant with God, through Moses. Under the old covenant, If you obeyed the laws, and kept the commandments, blessings would flow (Deuteronomy 28:1-14),
On the contrary, if you did not obey, according to the law, there was punishment associated with your actions (Deuteronomy 28:15-45). This is the key point. Even under the old Covenant, there was forgiveness.
But you would also be punished, because the Law demanded it. This is what the Temple system was built around. The issuing of punishment was done to the lamb-offering, individually and corporately for Israel, and was ultimately resolved in the cross of Jesus Christ.
David begs for forgiveness
For instance, when David slept with Bathsheba, and killed her husband, he repented and cried out before the Lord, knowing that punishment was coming (Psalms 51).
He begged that God would not take the Holy Spirit from him (Psalms 51:11). We read by the prophet Nathan that God did forgive David, and his life was spared, (2 Samuel 12:13).
But the child that Bathsheba bore for David, died (2 Samuel 12:18). What spared David’s life was his heartfelt repentance before the Lord but he did suffer loss.
The Jews and forgiveness
Now, fast forward to first century Palestine after the death of Jesus Christ. Peter is speaking to the Jews, and accuses them of being guilty of killing the Son of God under the Old Covenant.
In both instances, Peter’s preaching at Pentecost addresses this fact towards the Jews (Acts 2:22-36). and similarly in the temple after the healing at the Gate Beautiful, (Acts 3:12 – 18). Both accounts precede Peter’s demand that the Jews repent for the sin of denying the Holy One, and killing the Son of God, then convert or be baptized, to receive the forgiveness.
Were those sins forgiven by God at the cross? Absolutely. But the problem for the Jews, was that they were under a different Covenant that demanded punishment and held those sins against them.
In order for the Jews to partake of the forgiveness that was supplied by the cross, they had to come out from under the Law of Moses, and convert (Acts 3:19) or be baptized (Acts 2:38) into faith in Jesus Christ under the New Covenant.
If repentance is necessary TO BE FORGIVEN
If repentance is necessary TO BE FORGIVEN, then according to these verses, so is baptism and conversion, because they are included as necessary to be forgiven from these verses. It is plainly seen in the language, that these are not ongoing actions. Rather, they are one-time events.
Every time this language is used, it is always to someone who is under the Law of Moses. In fact, Peter, before he realized the Gospel could be preached to non-Jews, has an encounter with Simon, a Samaritan (who were considered only half-Jews). He had to deal with the same issue (Acts 8:14-22).
Peter wasn’t even sure if the Gospel would apply to the Samaritans, even though they were also under the Law. So he hedges his language and says “if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (Acts 8:22).
Seven years after Pentecost, and some open visions from the Lord later, Peter finally recognizes that the Gospel is for everyone (Acts 10:28).
The Gentiles and forgiveness
For the rest of the world, the Gentiles, they had no previous covenant keeping them from the promises of the New Covenant.
They simply had to repent (change their minds about who Jesus was) and receive what Jesus had already done, in forgiving the sins of the Whole World (Colossians 2:13).
When the Gospel comes to the Gentiles, as in the case of the house of Cornelius, we see no such demands to be forgiven. Rather the Gospel to the world is, Only Believe to receive their forgiveness (Acts 10:43).
Ultimately, the Jews and Jerusalem paid for their sins, at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. There the demands for punishment of the Law from the creation was poured out on that generation (Luke 11:50) at the desolation of the Temple by the Roman Army (Luke 21:20), and where, according to the Historian Josephus, over one million Jews were crucified.
It was the fulfillment of the words of Jesus, in Matthew 24:34 that this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled. This was the wrath that the Jews understood was coming for their sins of denying and killing the Son of God. And it is what Paul urged the Jews to flee from.
1 Thessalonians 2:15 – 16 [The Jews] Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon THEM [The Jews] to the uttermost.
2 thoughts on “Acts 2:38 & Acts 3:19, Repent & Believe to be forgiven?”
The teaching that everyone goes to heaven isn’t in the Bible. That’s a heresy called universalism.
Rather the Bible teaches repentance and belief in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
For one thing, Jesus preached repentance. It was central to his message.
“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15)
Jesus’s gospel was to repent and believe.
unless you repent, you too will all perish. Luke 13:3 (also Jesus)
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. Matt 4:17
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
John 12:40jesus is here using the word turn which means the same thing as repent. To turn from your sin abd be converted – and believe.
Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call righteous people, but sinners, to repentance.”
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Other apostles taught repentance for the remission of sin:
For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation…
2 cor 7:10
Mark 1:4 KJV
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
2 Timothy 2:25 “correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”
Acts 5:31 “God has exalted to his right hand this very man as our Leader and Savior in order to extend repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”
Acts 17:30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.”
Acts 3:19 “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.”
Romans 2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
2 Corinthians 7:10
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (This is John the Baptist)
AND the Old Testament also taught repentance for the forgiveness of sins:
13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Ezekiel 33:7-9 KJV
So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul
Ezekiel 18:21-23 KJV
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
TURN in the Bible means the same thing as repent. There are several words for it. But they mean the same thing.
REPENT and TURN from your sin.
when you truly do that, THAT is your born again experience. Which Jesus said you MUST to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
I “believed” for many years but did not really repent until I had a huge crisis and saw myself for what I truly was – a sinner who needed Jesus to run my life. I repented – turned from my sin – and began obeying the gospel. If you haven’t done this, you’re likely only giving lip service. Jesus also said:
8‘These people honor Me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from Me.
9They worship Me in vain;
they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.
If you’ve been taught that all you have to do is believe, you’ve been taught a doctrine by men and you’re worshipping God in vain.
Again I quote the first verse:
Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14–15)
Repentance and belief are linked. So is forgiveness of sins. If you haven’t repented you don’t truly believe, because that’s what Jesus said you MUST do to truly be born again.
And Jesus said you MUST be born again to see the kingdom of heaven (John 3…. Right before john 3:16. Go look it up)
Being born again means starting over from scratch spiritually, with Jesus as the foundation of your house, instead of your own ideas and the teachings of men as the foundation. You can only have that happen when you truly repent from the heart. And that’s so much more than just merely “assenting” with your mind that you believe in Jesus.
But you need to know your Bible well to understand this and not just cherry pick out a couple of verses, nor trust the teachings of men.
Isn’t your salvation worth searching for? The Bible says to study to show yourself approved. Don’t just listen to what ANYONE tells you. The Bible is the ONLY thing to be trusted.
And according to the full counsel of the Bible, If you don’t preach repentance you aren’t preaching the full gospel.
If you say all you have to do is believe you’re missing half the gospel. James said even the demons believe – and tremble.
The type of faith that says “all you must do is believe” is called easy believism. And it’s sending a lot of people to hell.
I challenge you to Repent right now of easy believism and cheap grace. Ask GOD to show you the teachings of men that you have believed instead of believing His Word.
As usual you Armenians dodge the issue of offering a rebuttal to the scriptures that were exegeted skillfully and dividing the word with proper hermeneutics . No matter.
The word ‘believe’ is found eighty five times in the Gospel of John. This word is of significance, as it is where you put your belief that saves a soul. Here, I will list every scripture in the Gospel of John that contains the word ‘believe’. Jesus is the sinless Son of God that saves a soul, through his death, burial, and resurrection. When He asks us to believe in Him for eternal/everlasting life, it is clear that believing has significance for our eternal destiny.
Many pastors and teachers put much emphasis on a man or woman needing to repent to be saved, but the word ‘repent’ has been corrupted by our dictionaries today to mean regret, sorrow, turning from sin etc. It has also made it sound like a work when it says that you change one’s life for the better.
verb (used without object)
to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often followed by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.
to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent.
verb (used with object)
to remember or regard with self-reproach or contrition: to repent one’s injustice to another.
to feel sorry for; regret: to repent an imprudent act.
The greek word repent is 3340 Metanoea (verb) is defined as a change of mind regarding the Will of God, which is to believe in Jesus Christ (John 6:39-40). 3341 Metanoia (noun), is also defined as a change of mind.
The truth is that we must change our mind about what we are trusting in to get us to heaven, because scripture is clear that salvation is not of ourselves, and not of works.
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 – Ephesians 2:8-9
When we simply believe on Jesus as Saviour we have repented. We are no longer trusting in our own righteousness (works) because all of our righteousness’s are as filthy rags before Almighty God. Trust in the sinless one, and rest in Him.
Every Instance of Believe in the Gospel of John
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe– John 1:7
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name – John 1:12
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these – John 1:50
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him – John 2:11
When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said – John 2:22
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did – John 2:23
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things – John 3:12
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life – John 3:15
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life – John 3:16
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God – John 3:18
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him – John 3:36
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father – John 4:21
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did – John 4:39
And many more believed because of his own word – John 4:41
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world – John 4:42
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe – John 4:48
Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way – John 4:50
So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house – John 4:53
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life – John 5:24
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not – John 5:38
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only – John 5:44
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me – John 5:46
But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words – John 5:47
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent – John 6:29
They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believethee? what dost thou work? – John 6:30
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst – John 6:35
But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not – John 6:36
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day – John 6:40
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life – John 6:47
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him – John 6:64
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God – John 6:69
For neither did his brethren believe in him – John 7:5
And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? – John 7:31
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water – John 7:38
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) – John 7:39
Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? – John 7:48
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins – John 8:24
As he spake these words, many believed on him – John 8:30
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; – John 8:31
And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not – John 8:45
Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me – John 8:46
But the Jews did not believeconcerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight – John 9:18
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? – John 9:35
He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? – John 9:36
And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him – John 9:38
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me – John 10:25
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you – John 10:26
If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not – John 10:37
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him – John 10:38
And many believed on him there – John 10:42
And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him – John 11:15
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: – John 11:25
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? – John 11:26
She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world – John 11:27
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? – John 11:40
And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me – John 11:42
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him – John 11:45
If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation – John 11:48
Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus – John 12:11
While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them – John 12:36
But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: – John 12:37
That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? – John 12:38
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again – John 12:39
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: – John 12:42
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me – John 12:44
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness – John 12:46
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world – John 12:47
Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he – John 13:19
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me – John 14:1
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works – John 14:10
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake – John 14:11
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father – John 14:12
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe – John 14:29
Of sin, because they believe not on me; – John 16:9
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God – John 16:27
Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God – John 16:30
Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? – John 16:31
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me – John 17:8
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word – John 17:20
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believethat thou hast sent me – John 17:21
And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe – John 19:35
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed – John 20:8
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe – John 20:25
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed – John 20:29
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name – John 20:31
Believing in or on Jesus Christ, and even his name as He gives command in 1 John 3:23, ensures we are Spiritually born into God’s kingdom. Do not look for any signs, wonders, or feelings that accompany this simple belief, as it is simple belief, trust or faith in Christ that saves. Thomas doubted Jesus, but when He saw the resurrected Christ, He believed. Jesus says blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believed.
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment – 1 John 3:23
Do not be deceived by these holier than thou self-righteous preachers who say that the mental assent of believing on Christ is not enough. They are not without sin, as they condemn others who sin. That attitude alone in condemning others is an abomination in God’s sight. We all fall short of God’s perfection. We war with the flesh. Only Christ could give us the righteousness that God demands, and the great news is that God gives it us as a gift upon simple belief, faith, or trust in Christ. As Jesus clearly says in 1 John 3:23, believing on His name is His commandment.
We are in no place to judge others, or become fruit inspectors of other believers. Unbelievers can live a moral righteous life, and yet they are without Christ. It is what a person says as to how to receive eternal life that matters. This is what Jesus is addressing in Matthew 7:16when he says ye shall know them by their fruits, Jesus is warning of false prophets and the words they speak. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh – Luke 6:45
Since Jesus Christ is the only good tree, a gospel message that tells of the death, burial, and resurrection is the power unto eternal life. A front loaded gospel is an accursed message, and says that you need to commit your life to Christ, or repent or turn from sin. Similarly, a back loaded gospel that says that if you don’t live a faithful life or persevere unto the end of your life is another accursed gospel. Paul warned of another gospel and accursed those who teach anything other than salvation by grace alone.
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any manpreach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed – Galatians 1:6-9
Any work that adds to the finished work of Jesus Christ is a corrupted message. Jesus’ one time sacrifice for sins forever was enough for God, because God raised him from the dead.
but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; – Hebrews 10:12
Belief in Christ is a one time matter between you and God. There is no magical feeling that accompanies salvation, but the faith that you have put in Jesus pleases God.
We must encourage one another to walk in the Spirit, and not judge and belittle one another, because sin still exists in the life of a believer, as our sin nature did not go away upon believing. We were sealed with a new nature – the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul exhorts the brethren over and over to walk in the new nature.
As believers, we should plant the seed of good news of the gospel to this lost world, and let God do the rest. The one who judges or fruit inspect others must learn to grow in grace, as Jesus did not come to comdemn sinners, but to save them.
The closer we grow in fellowship with God, the more we see how far from Christlike we truly are, but this is our opportunity to submit our failures and weaknesses to God and grow by God’s amazing grace.
When we are resting in Christ, it is easy to serve Him out of gratitude and love. Salvation is separate from sanctification or discipleship, and preachers mustseparate these doctrines. Salvation is a gift that we receive through faith in Christ, and discipleship is a life of self-denial etc.
When other believers condemn us and place us back into the bondage that Jesus set us free from, our assurance of salvation may disappear, and we are left in a terrifying state of wondering if we are good enough for God, forgetting that Christ has already purged our sins. This is why scripture is good to memorise.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins – 2 Peter 1:9
God is not the author of confusion.
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints – 1 Corinthians 14:33
We human beings are so far from being Christlike, so it is up to us to renew our minds daily through the milk of the Word and let God work through us. Yes, He will show us how ugly we truly are inside, but when light is shined on the areas of darkness, there grace much more abounds.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure – Phillippians 2:13
It would be great if all ‘good’ people went to heaven, and ‘bad’ people went to hell, but this not what the Holy Bible teaches. We have all willfully disobeyed God and his Holiness. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; – Romans 3:23
Hollywood through its thousands of movies and TV series teach a merit system for heaven, but this is a lie. Jesus is rarely portrayed on the TV, as Hollywood prefer to weaken Christianity to Roman Catholic priests, but these are not representatives of Jesus Christ, but rather the antichrist as they do not rely on Christ alone for salvation.
Frequently through the movies and series on TV, our focus and blame goes on the ‘baddies’ for all the ills of this world, but there is an invisible enemy ruling this world called Satan and he has millions of fallen angels who are in rebellion against Almighty God.
The rare fruits of the spirit like forgiveness and patience are rarely displayed in the popular shows on TV, as it does not make interesting drama for its viewers, however revenge and crime is a rampant theme.
It is the aim of Satan to take as many souls to hell with him as possible, which is why the simple gospel of grace today has been corrupted to include works for salvation, because it seems the right and holy way to teach others. However, one cannot become born again by the Holy Spirit into God’s kingdom without trusting in the finished work of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection as full payment for our sin. Adding works of any kind makes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ ineffective. Christ gets all the glory. It is by grace that we are saved, because grace is kindness / favour. Everybody in this world is the same in the eyes of God – lost and in need of a redeemer in Jesus Christ.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God – Ephesians 2:8
God gives us the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (God in the flesh).
Not of works, lest any man should boast – Ephesians 2:9
Paul is making it clear in this scripture that works cannot save us because no one deserves to go to heaven. Sin earns death and we all deserve to go to hell. God in his kindness and love toward us, sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to become a sin offering for our wages of sin (death). Therefore, nobody can boast in his or her works to merit eternal life, because Jesus did all of the work to save us. We must trust in Him and Him alone to save our souls.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them – Ephesians 2:10
After we are saved, we should serve Jesus by feeding the new Spirit that indwells in us. The old man (the flesh) still remains, and the war against the flesh and the Spirit inside of us will constantly war until Jesus redeems our body at the rapture of the Church, or when we die. Are we going to let the flesh rule us, or will we walk in the Spirit and please God who will reward us in heaven?