2 Corinthians 7:8-16 Repentance is a necessary step to salvation. Salvation, however, is a free gift that requires nothing but faith to receive it. The Bible tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
Isn't repentance a work that we do? The repentance necessary for salvation is the repentance from our unbelief to faith. We turn away from our unbelief, and we receive the gift of faith to believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, was raised from the dead and now sits on the right hand of God to make intercession for us.
Paul writes, "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produce death" (v. 10).
God gives us sorrow for our sinful life through conviction of our own sin and through convincing us of our desperate need for a Savior. This sorrow brings us to a place where we cry out to God for forgiveness, and He gives us the gift of faith then to believe. Only after salvation do we have the power to overcome the sin in our lives and to turn completely away from it. When we examine the process of salvation in our lives, we suddenly realize it is all a grace work of God. Our part is simply to receive His gift of faith and believe. Belief is truly the only work of God that is required for salvation. Jesus made this clear in the passage below. "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent" (John 6:28-29, KJV).
We see in the Scriptures how the exhortation to repent is usually followed with the exhortation to believe. Unless we repent of our unbelief, we cannot receive the gift of faith unto salvation. When we stand before God's throne, we will have nothing to boast about. We will bow before our Lord with thanksgiving because He alone has made salvation possible for us. God purchased us with the shed blood of Jesus so Jesus can present us before the Father spotless, shameless and faultless. Glory! How can anyone reject so great a salvation?
READ: Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18; 2 Corinthians 7:8-16; Psalm 48:1-14; Proverbs 22:17-19
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