If repentance has nothing to do with sin and is merely turning from unbelief to belief as many today teach, then surely these demons were saved.
Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
These demons clearly believed in Jesus, recognizing him as the Son of God, and even acknowledging his authority over them.
The Bible tells us that they all believe and even tremble at the knowledge of God, but that is not repentance.
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
According to the apostle Paul, our repentance is toward God while faith is toward Christ. We turn from our disobedience and rebellion toward a holy God and put our faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can save us from our sin.
Turning from sin to God is repentance. Turning to Christ in belief is faith.
Repentance is essential for belief; because it is sin that hardens us against belief.
Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
What will you do with your sin? (To download and print this message in tract form go to Free Bible Tracts page.)
It is rare to meet a person who claims to have never sinned. The Bible tells us that anyone who would make such a claim is a liar.
Even those who argue against God’s laws, or our own civil laws cannot escape the one law that condemns them of their sin- that is their own conscience.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” Romans 2:14
The truth is, we know that we have all sinned. Often, we attribute those sins to the foolishness of youth; but if we’re honest we have to admit that we were never merely victims of youthful lust. We have all at some point enjoyed our sin, even loving it at times.
Despite our most sincere desires to repent and turn from our sins, the power that sin has over us is so strong that we cannot entirely cease from sin. We continue to sin in our thoughts and in our lives everday.
Even if we could stop sinning, the debt we owe for our sin does not go away when we turn from it. Much like credit, ceasing to charge on our account does not erase the debt we already owe.
“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;” Romans 2:5
Our sin debt continues to accumulate until the day we die, unless we find a way to pay for it. If we die with that debt of sin still on our account, we will be separated from God for all eternity in a place called hell.
How can we be forgiven of our sins?
Can we do good things to pay for the sins? Many people believe that if our good outweighs our bad, that God will forgive our sins and allow us into heaven; but what does the Bible say?
Since we are sinful, even the good things we try to do are stained with our sin. To God, these works of righteousness that we offer are only filthy and sinful.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6
Only a good person can do good works. Our works can never pay for our sins. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
“…without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22
God required the blood of a sinless sacrifice. Only the blood of someone who had never sinned (who is good) can cover our sins.
Jesus Christ, the lamb without spot or blemish. shed his own blood to pay the price that we could not pay. He suffered and died in our place and then rose again the third day conquering death to pay our debt of sin.
Can we add our works to help Jesus Pay for Our Sins?
God’s word tells us that we are saved by God’s GRACE through FAITH in what Christ has done on our behalf.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8 & 9
Grace means unmerited or unearned favor. If we earn it, then it is no longer grace.
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Rom. 11:6
In other words, adding our works to God’s grace nullifies grace and makes salvation no longer possible.
We are saved- “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5
Salvation is a free gift from God, received by faith in Jesus Christ, apart from our own efforts. Trying to earn salvation by our works, means it is no longer by God’s grace.
If righteousness could come through our works, or through our obedience to God’s law, then what need would there be for Christ to have died?
“… for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21
When we receive Christ as our Savior, our penalty for sin has been paid. God then sees us as righteous because of what Christ has done on our behalf. We who are unrighteous are counted as righteous because of Christ. Forgiveness is then ours as well as eternal life in heaven.
How do we receive this forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ?
The Bible says that we repent toward God and put our faith in Jesus Christ alone. That means that we must humble ourselves by acknowledging and turning from our sins against God, and renounce our efforts to save ourselves, putting our faith instead in the only one who can save us- Jesus Christ.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
To call upon the name of the Lord means so much more than merely calling out his name or reciting a prayer. It means believing the message of Christ, embracing it, and then naturally, professing our faith in it.
To confess Christ means to turn to God and be reconciled to him according to his plan for our salvation through faith Jesus Christ, confessing publicly through our words and through our lives, which unashamedly associate ourselves with Christ.
It is essentially entering into a covenant relationship with Christ, taking on his name as a Christian.
Jesus has already paid the price for your sins. Will you trust him to be your Savior?
If you have believed the message of Christ today, find a Bible-believing Church, be baptized as a testimony of your faith, and read your Bible every day.
As a child growing up in the Catholic church, I believed in Jesus. I believed that he was the sinless Son of God who suffered, died and was buried to save us from our sins. I believed that he rose again the third day and is seated at the right hand of God.
I had no problem believing these things; but what I could not comprehend was “Why?” Why did Jesus have to suffer and die, shedding his blood to pay for our sins? Why would God demand such an extreme punishment of his precious Son if we could perform good deeds, sacraments, or do penance to pay for our sins? Or even better yet, why couldn’t God just simply forgive our sins?
I wondered if others have ever struggled with questions like these as well? It wasn’t until many years later when I was saved that I could truly begin to understand the answers to these questions.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;”
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, there was a price to pay. That price was death.
God, who cannot lie, could not go back on his word. He had told them:
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
The day that they disobeyed, God's just judgment of death passed upon them. Adam and Eve died spiritually, and the process of their physical death began. They were thrust out of the garden, and away from tree of life so that they could no longer eat of it and live forever with God, Adam and Eve were now mortal, corruptible. They were now spiritually dead and physically dying.
Because of sin, that same death has passed upon us all. We are all spiritually dead and physically dying. In God’s eyes, we are dead in trespasses and sins.
For us to pay the debt we owe would mean that we would have to die and then remain spiritually dead and separated from God forever in hell.
Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
In order to be restored to a right relationship with God, where we can once again live forever with him, not only do our sins need to be forgiven, but we also have to be given new life spiritually.
The Bible tells us that the only way to receive forgiveness of our sins is by the sacrifice of blood. Not by works of righteousness, not by sacraments, or good deeds, or prayers, but only by the blood can we be forgiven. If salvation could come any other way, then surely Christ died in vain.
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.“
Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. But not just any blood would do. We could not offer our own blood for ourselves or for anyone else because our blood is tainted by sin and owes its own debt. Only one who owed no debt of his own could make such a sacrifice.
Only the blood of a sinless sacrifice could pay for our sins. A sinless life is given as payment for another life.
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
The life of the flesh is in the blood. Christ sacrificed his blood (life) for ours- a life for a life. Christ gave his life, dying in our place to pay the debt we owed for sin and to give us new life.
When we repent of our sins toward God, and believe in Jesus Christ, we are born again. We are quickened (brought to new life). Jesus puts his own Spirit within us. His spirit is without sin and like him is eternal. Through his death burial and resurrection, he purchased our pardon and brought us to new life, and that life Is eternal.
Through faith in Christ, we can be reconciled to God, and live forever with him in heaven.
I was raised as a Catholic. I believe however, that even at a young age God was drawing me out of that religion. I can remember being in Church chanting prayers, smelling the incense, looking at all the statues we bowed down to and wondering, how is this any different than the ancient civilizations I read about in school that worshipped the sun and moon and other idols? I saw the Priests smoking and drinking and living sinfully and wondered how could they forgive my sins? I just knew that this could not be the way to God, but I had no idea what was the right way.
I visited a Charismatic Church a couple of times. It was so different from the strict ritualism of the Catholic Church. They were so comfortable and relaxed, almost to the point of irreverence it seemed to me. There was very little Bible preaching, but they had this strange excitement about being there that I had never seen before. It was nice at first, but then I began to see people swaying and waving their arms and women screaming and wailing some indistinguishable noises. I knew that this also could not be the way to God.
I eventually stopped going to church at all. I did however hold on to a few Catholic practices, maybe just to feel like I was in some small way close to God. I made the sign of the cross every time I passed a Church, said the three prayers I was taught every night and even read my Good news Bible occasionally.
All the while I lived a sinful life, that I suppose many people who grew up where I did, would think was fairly normal. I still considered myself to be a pretty good person though. After all I never robbed a bank or killed anyone.
At one point, a born-again Christian led me through a "sinner's prayer". She told me that if I really meant that prayer- that I was saved (that I was now a Born again Christian).
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Well, I really did mean that prayer, just as much as I meant the other three prayers I said. I was not saved though. I did not become the new creature the Bible describes a Christian to be. Nothing changed and I continued to live in sin. I occasionally told others that I was a born-again Christian, polluting the name of Christ through my lifestyle. Deep inside, I knew I was not like other Christians I had met, but I told my self that I was normal and they were just fanatics.
Many years later, my Step-Mother gave me a book about the end times and the second coming of Jesus Christ. I didn't understand it, but I knew that if Jesus did come back, I didn't want Him to find me where I was in my sinful life. I decided that I'd better clean up my act.
I had been taught as a Catholic that you had to do good things as well as believe in Jesus in order to be saved. So I tried to do good things and to stop doing the things I knew were wrong.(repenting)
I thought that I had to accomplish this "born- again" thing by being really, really good, but had little success. As a matter of fact, the more I tried to be good, the more I realized how bad I actually was. I began to see how sinful my life really was. I had fooled myself for years thinking that I could live in sin and still call myself a Christian. I finally realized that I wasn't fooling God, and that he could not be pleased with me. I had been lying to myself.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
In the early part of 1998, I began attending an Independent Baptist Church with my husband. The Pastor there preached only from the Bible. When I had questions, he opened the Bible and showed me what God had to say about it. When he preached, it made sense and spoke to me about my sin and my need for a Savior.
I learned from the Bible that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that there is no such thing as little sins and big sins. They are all the same to God. James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
In God's eyes lying falls into the same category as murder. Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: Because of our sin, we have all earned a place in Hell, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.
Our good deeds or works will not pay the price; as a matter of fact they are actually dirty to God because of our sin. Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
If we could do anything at all to save ourselves it would not make sense for Christ to have died. Galatians 2: if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
The truth is that our attempts to "help" God save us by adding our works to Jesus' death on the cross are actually an insult to the unimaginable sacrifice he made for us. It's as if we are telling Jesus, "Thanks for suffering and dying on the cross for me, but I'm already pretty good. I think I can get to heaven on my own. Thanks anyway."
The Bible tells us that because of our sin none of us is good enough to enter into the presence of a Holy and just God in heaven. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. That was the bad news and that is why we need a Savior.
The good news is that Christ has already paid for our sins by himself. When he died on the cross, he said, "It is finished." The only acceptable payment for sin has been made, once for all. Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God died for your sins and mine and rose again so that we could be born again through faith in him alone. All that we can do is turn from our sins (repentance toward God) and believe in him (faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ).
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.
Ephesians 2:8&9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast
Christ has done for me what I was unable to do for my self. He saved me and gave me a new life. Through faith in Christ, I have been born again, with a new heart, new desires and a new life. Now I can stand before a Holy God justified, and no longer condemned because of what Christ has done for me.
Acts 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
Felix trembled at the preaching of Paul!
Trembled: STRONGS NT 1719- thrown into fear, terrified, affrighted:
It is pretty obvious that Paul did NOT merely preach a message of “accept Jesus” or “ask Jesus into your heart”. Instead, we read that Paul’s message was of righteousness, temperance and judgment to come,
When Paul (the apostle to the Gentiles) preached of faith in Christ, his message to Jews and Gentiles alike was a message of “…repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
Shouldn’t we preach the same message?
Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.