ESV - 21 Testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
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"We are saved by faith, but does true repentance for one's sin play a part in that?" Yes, repentance is necessary and a pre-requisite to salvation. According to Strong's, primary New Testament Biblical usage of the word repentance is: "a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done". So repentance is much more than just being sorrowful for the way things turned out or the commission of a sin (Hebrews 12:16-17). Repentance is agreeing with God that he is right and we are wrong. If genuine, it produces a change of heart, of mind and course of direction. What produces true repentance? Speaking of the Holy Spirit in John 16:8 Christ stated: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" An unsaved individual has no ability to even recognize his "lostness" apart from the Holy Spirit opening his spiritually blind eyes. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:6-7) "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1Corinthians 2:11) "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14) I've often said that salvation is the easy part once the Holy Spirit "turns the lights on". The enlightened individual is then aware it is either Christ and eternal life or eternal death and hell. "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Here is my short answer that is from my experience the very night I got Saved! While attending a Christian music concert, I was overcome by my guilt, my sinful and prideful heart and the sudden sense of the single most life changing 'internal realization that I needed God's Holy Spirit' by trusting IN Jesus Christ --and-- asking Him to save my very soul from an eternity in hell after I take my last breathe! I was internally impressed mentally that my decision to put my faith, trust and obedience IN Jesus Christ was what I needed to do at that very moment! I had this overwhelming and abrupt need to confess my many sins (repentance); to ask to be forgiven and commit my trust IN God right then--with no delay or procrastination! ***I was and am convinced that God's Holy Spirit was calling me to salvation that very night in 1979.*** My future began to change that very night! I began to be keenly aware that God truly did love me "just as I am" but He had a more righteous pathway planned for me and my future--beginning at that most pivotal moment! Yes, we are saved by faith in God, The Father IN the Name of Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit that cleanses us of all our many sins that are "removed as far as the east is from the west".(Psalm 103:12) True repentance is the moment that you call out to the Lord God in Heaven to confess your sins with a contrite and heartfelt guilt, repenting and asking Him to save your very soul and that you believe IN His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to be your savior! This is God's gift of eternal life, but is THE gift that everyone has to ask God in order to receive! (Gen 15:6) (Romans 10:9) This pinnacle moment in my life was one of true repentance of my sins expressed to God by faith! I praise God often and have many times to acknowledge to Him that I am truly grateful that "He would save a wretch like me" and, "shape me as the potter shapes the clay" and "mold me into what He has planned for me as His child of God". (Isaiah 64:8) For anyone to come to realization that they need God; that they need His saving grace; that they are guilty of disobedience by having been sinful and in need of having the guilt of those many sins to be 'removed' to find peace within their very soul is the most pivotal and important moment in their lives! God tells us that He will give us peace beyond what we understand. He doesn't promise us a life of leisure or riches or worldly things that will pass away. He does promise that "we are saved from eternal damnation" and that our many sins have been washed away. He tells us to "trust in the Lord in all our ways; acknowledge Him IN all that we do and He will direct our paths" and, to "lean not upon our own understanding". (Proverbs 3:5) My life hasn't been even remotely the same since that night in 1979! "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ! ~~~Andy~~~
Luke 13:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV) 3 I tell you, no; but *unless you repent you will all likewise perish*. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but *unless you repent you will all likewise perish*.” We can see from this that not only does repentance play a role in salvation, but it is crucial and essential to salvation.
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