Repentance and Salvation In Scripture
Ronald R. Shea, Th.M., J.D.
This work presents an exhaustive examination of every verse in Scripture in which the word "repent" occurs. But after all the ink has dried, the lessons contained herein can probably be summed up in eight or so basic truths.
t Repentance has no intrinsic subject. Anyone can repent, even God!
t Repentance has no intrinsic object. It is not automatically directed toward sin. One can repent about virtually anything. One can even repent from good to evil!
t Repentance has no intrinsic consequence. It does not automatically result in eternal salvation. It can result in result in any consequence that naturally follows the exercise God's free will, or man's free will.
t The actual phrase "repent of your sins" never occurs in Scripture. NEVER!
t The Bible never teaches that one must repent of their sins to be saved.
t Whenever sin is the object of repentance, the consequence of repentance is never eternal salvation.
t Whenever eternal salvation is the consequence of repentance, the object of repentance is never sin.
t In every passage on repentance relating to eternal salvation, the object of repentance is, in some way or another, the person of Jesus Christ, his eternal divinity, his atoning death, His resurrection, or the freeness of the eternal salvation he provides. The object of saving repentance is no different than the elements of saving faith described in other terms throughout Scripture:
If you are able to remember these simple truths about biblical repentance, you will know more about repentance, and more about the doctrine of salvation, than 99.9% of the ministers filling the pulpits of Christian churches across the land. In the pages of this work, you will hopefully come to appreciate how deeply confused the church is over the very message of salvation, even at the pastoral level. With this dawning realization hopefully, you will develop a renewed sense of purpose in your Christian life . . . perhaps a purpose in your life that you have never before experienced.
The church will never fulfill the Great Commission as long as it is confused on the very message of the gospel! Certainly not while it continues to proclaim salvation by faith plus. And the church will never be lifted from its confusion unless each of those who understand the truth of the gospel labor to change it.
After reading the pages of this book, as you look at the elite pulpits across our land, you should realize the depth of this crisis. May God rouse you from your slumber, and impress upon you how deeply God covets your labor as a faithful witness of His grace. Perhaps you will acknowledge a long ignored call to vocational Christian work in the Gospel ministry. If not, perhaps you will seek the opportunity to teach Sunday school, or a youth ministry or Bible Study, and strengthen the focus of the church through those venues. But regardless of the hilltop on which God may or may not place you, whenever you walk out the front door of your home, you are entering your mission field. To whom much is given, much will be expected.