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anti-lordship salvation and repentance…

by randy on December 18th, 2008

“First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” Acts 26:20

“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” Acts 20:21

Proponents of anti-lordship salvation claim that repentance is unnecessary for salvation, they deny that Jesus is Lord and offer Him as Savior apart from Lord.   This stance stems from a misunderstanding of repentance and failure to see its relation to belief and regeneration.

By claiming repentance as a condition for salvation does not mean to say you are saved by works. Repentance is an active opposition and hatred for sin, a condition of the heart brought about by true regeneration.  It’s a stance of agreement and belief in God, a direction that someone faces.  To repent of your sin does not mean you are sinless nor does it mean you have done any acts of righteousness.

A person is presented with a sin or the life of sin, rebellion itself, and they either justify it in their heart/make excuses why it is ok; or they agree with God and repent (turn to God) and seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to overcome it.  To be repentant doesn’t mean that you never sin or struggle with sin. It means that you are in agreement with God that it is wrong and are actively battling it as many times as you fall into it.  It results in war between flesh and spirit and is the mind of every Christian (Romans 7:18-25).

Granted there are sins we don’t even know about!  But to be of a repentant heart means that we are in agreement with God about our sinful rebellion and have turned, actively facing the opposite direction: pursuing and seeking to please God (Eph 4:17-24; 5:10-11).  When we discover sin in our lives we are sorrowful and turn!

This is why repentance is necessary for salvation.  Not for attaining righteousness.  It coincides with believing and agreeing with God (John 3:36).

There is a difference between the repentant person who struggles with a sin and a person who excuses and refuses to repent from it or do anything about it.  This is where church discipline is used to correct the unrepentant… (1 Cor 5) and is for the benefit of the person and congregation (2 Cor 6:8-13).  It is an opportunity to save those who may perhaps have a false assurance of their salvation.  Also see the words of Jesus: Matthew 18:15-18.

{The casualness of our message to merely “accept Jesus” without helping people to understand our wretched condition, allows many to remain stubbornly unyielding in their pride and sin.  This large-scale “user-friendly” message in today’s evangelical churches have given rise to a Christianity that gives hollow worship to Christ but creates a heart that remains unrenewed and still delights in sin.   Many are unwilling to give the Lord their allegiance because they have not been born again. They are told, however, that because they “accepted Jesus into their heart” at some moment in the past that it doesn’t matter that they now live in rebellion against God. The continuing spirit of defiant, willful rebellion to Christ’s authority as an unbroken pattern of our churches are a direct result of a lack of understanding among church leaders of the doctrine of regeneration.}   (John Hendryx,

Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance! (Matt 3:8; Mark 6:12)

From → Apologetics

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