Sunday, September 23, 2007


Today hasn't been very good.

Tonight was just the cherry on top.
Mom and I were driving back from a church she decided to try called, "The Body", then on the way home I expressed my opinion on what repentance for salvation is. I got yelled at and blasted pretty hard. I was accused of being "obsessed with the subject" and whatever.

I'm still pretty angry and left with a sense of insecurity. I got that heart sinking feeling.

I was just introducing the idea that I couldn't reconcile repenting from sin to be saved with "We don't clean ourselves up before we come to God". I told her I don't think quitting sinning has anything to do with salvation. I'm not saying people don't quit sinning. I'm saying sanctification is by the Spirit and not by human effort. I do believe in a change of heart toward God. But I believe repentance for salvation is repenting from the sin of unbelief.

She said "How do you expect anybody to get saved talking like that?" I said they will "Believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved".

I asked what repentance meant then if our behavior has nothing to do with salvation. She said it's basically saying you're sorry and trying your best to quit. I know she just doesn't quite understand my point, but it's got me feeling down. Again, I'm not saying people don't feel sorry for their sin and repent from sin.

To be honest, I was excited to get blasted for it in a sense because people persecuted Paul because of the teaching of grace and accused him of preaching, "Let's do evil that good may come". - But then I thought and realized, this is my mom. Why am I excited she's angry at grace? Then I felt crappy for that. But when you're angry and hurt you tend to be blinded from the important things.

I'm just left with this feeling of "Am I right?".

If repentance is more than just feeling sorry for your sin, then how sinless do I have to be before I can consider myself truly repentant? Am I just splitting hairs? I don't want to spread lies. If it's wrong, I want to know. But Paul said we don't receive the Spirit by works of the law or adhering to the law, but by faith and faith alone.

But, John the Baptist told people "let him who steals steal no longer" and so on. So is repentance turning from sin or unbelief? - Or both?


Gary Kirkham said...


Have a look at this and see what you think.
I think it lines up with what I have understood.

Daelon said...

I actually agree with that. It's what I used to say. That repentance is a change of heart toward Jesus, which causes one to put their faith in Christ.

When God first gave me repentance/change of mind, I wanted to quit my lifestyle of sin. I wasn't yet saved. I didn't know the gospel, but I was well on my way to understanding it.

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

How many sins the thief on the cross repented off before Christ said 'you will be with me in the Paradise'?
He came to a belief in the Messiah and thats what saved him, not his repentance of past sins. He acknowledged his belief by saying, 'Remember me when you come in to your kingdom'.
How many sins the people who killed Jesus repented off when Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing'? Was there any confession or repentence of sins required for God's unconditional forgiveness? Why is God's forgiveness 'unconditional'? Because it is unconditional.

Joel Brueseke said...

Matthew... I've had days like that. Not with my relatives as much as with some close friends. Just this week I've been dealing with some huge difference of opinions with some people in my small group (one woman in particular, who is a great friend). It gets deep, but the root of the disagreement is that she is saying that if we don't forgive others, God won't forgive us. And it's not just at a theological level here. She is trying to get another man in our small group to forgive some other people based upon this "command" to forgive.

I've tried saying that we're in a new covenant, and that we're already forgiven, and it takes time for a person to come to more fully understand the love, grace and forgiveness of our Father, and that we can't simply live by a "command" to forgive, but we must know God's forgiveness more and more, and then the fruit of walking in the Spirit will be a natural outflow of forgiveness for others rather than dead obedience to a command.

This has led to her saying that I'm going "against the Word," and as much as I've tried to back myself up, she still can't believe how unbiblical I'm being (in her mind).

Fortunately, we've exchanged a few emails since then and we've agreed that even though we disagree, we're still a body and we're still a family.

I think it's a good place to be. I'm unhappy that she doesn't see what I believe to be the truth of the "rightly divided" Word of Truth, and I told her that there's no way that I could ever be untrue to what I fully believe to be truth, but when all is said and done, love is even bigger than us all agreeing on everything.