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Repentance and Salvation

In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's questions are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My responses are in red.

>My name is Charles and I live in rural East Tenn. I want to commend you for an excellent site. I am really learning a lot, especially about manuscripts and versions....I have recently switched to NKJV as my "navigation guide" {thanks to your site} due to the old English language in the KJV. I am ex-charismatic and KJV only.. {newly out of KJVO}.<

I am thankful my site has been of help to you.

> I am basically in a total theological overhaul period, and looking for some answers, hopefully you can help me or direct me to a site or person who can.

I was reading your email exchange in the ethics section and you made the statement that you didn't believe anyone was saved by giving up any sin..... I have struggled with the meaning of repentance and how it relates to salvation for some time, I too do not believe one is saved by turning from sin but I do know that repentance was preached and is emphasized in scripture. I know the change of mind definition, but it seems almost everyone preaches repentance as turning from sin....My honest Q is as follows.....

What is the relationship of repentance to salvation?<

I believe that repentance refers to the recognition and admittance that one's behavior is wrong, and at least some desire to change. Salvation then comes in as the only way of being forgiven of past sins. Then now indwelling Spirit will now gradually give the person the strength to overcome sin. But it is a process, not a dramatic "stop sinning all at once" thing.

> I fight temptations daily, and I fail daily {I also have daily victories}. If repentance is turning from or a willingness to turn from sin then I think we may all be in for trouble, mainly because I have never met anyone who does not sin. I do not understand.... also, in 1John, the statements that whoever is born of God does not commit sin is sometimes commented on as "does not live in habitual sin" -- but don’t we all sin every day?<

I believe that the idea here is that if a genuine Christian sins s/he will be convicted by the Holy Spirit. It is when one can habitually sin without guilt that it is a sign the person is not saved. Yes Christians sin, but there should be conviction afterwards, especially if it is habitual.

> I am honestly asking because I am kind of unclear on this, can you help?

I do believe that Jesus died on my behalf, to satisfy Gods just verdict on my soul due to my sin....I do try to follow Him because I know this is true, not to earn salvation but because I KNOW I am saved because of Jesus" death for ME. I will say that obedience does go a long way in my "assurance" probably because obedience=fellowship=assurance.

Sorry so long an email, God bless you and your ministry...also, blessings on you for your patience in dealing with those who are abusive in their disagreement with you. Your lack of "emotionalism" regarding your positions is a good witness.

Thank you.

I hope the above helps.

The above e-mail exchange was posted on this Web site in December 23, 2001.

Forgiveness and Salvation

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