Systematic Theology: Conversion (Faith and Repentance) Chapter 35

Conversion (Faith and Repentance) Chapter 35

2 Questions to consider:
(1)What is repentance?           (2)What is saving faith?

  • Faith and Repentance are two perspectives of Christian conversion.
  • Conversion-“Our willing response to the gospel call, in which we sincerely repent of sins and place our trust in Christ for salvation.”
  • Turning from sin= repentance
  • Turning to Christ= faith

What is Faith?

  • True saving faith includes knowledge, approval, and personal trust.
  • Knowledge of facts is necessary for faith but not knowledge alone (cf. Romans 1:32; James 2:19).
  • Approval of facts is necessary for faith but not approval of facts alone (cf. John 3:2; Acts 26:27-28).
  • Along with knowledge and approval of facts, a personal commitment to Jesus is necessary (cf. John 1:12).
  • Saving Faith- “Trusting in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God.”

What is Repentance?

  • A heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.”
  • Repentance, like faith, is an intellectual understanding (that sin is wrong), an emotional approval of the teachings of Scripture regarding sin (a sorrow for sin and a hatred of it), and a personal decision to turn from it (a renouncing of sin and a decision of the will to forsake it and lead a life of obedience to Christ instead).
  • However, mere sorrow for one’s actions, or even deep remorse over one’s actions, does not constitute genuine repentance unless it is accompanied by a sincere decision to forsake sin that is being committed against God (cf., 2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
  • Scripture places repentance and faith together as different aspects of the one act of coming to Christ for salvation (cf., Isaiah 55:6-7).
  • Reflection on John 3:16-21.

Conclusion and Reflection Questions

  • Ultimately, faith and repentance are a work of God in us (cf. Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
  • What are some ways to increase your personal commitment to Christ?
  • Parents, how can you teach your children to place a personal trust in Jesus?
  • What are some ways to daily fuel your hatred of sin and commitment to Christ in faith?

 

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