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Two things that every Christian is called upon to do without exception are:  REPENT and have FAITH.  It may seem as if these two things are unrelated in every way except that God requires them, but they actually have several things in common. 

Both are Required.

Jesus pronounced a woe upon the inhabitants of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum because they had witnessed far greater things than the citizens of Tyre, Sidon, or Sodom.  Jesus said those ancient peoples would have repented if they had seen what those three Galilean cities had seen (Mt. 11:21-24). When questioned about certain Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices, Jesus said that anyone who would not repent would also perish (Lk. 13:3,5).  On one occasion, Jesus spoke of the misery that a certain rich man was enduring in torment and how that rich man implored Abraham to send someone from the dead so that his five brothers would not share his fate.  He was sure that, if that happened, they would repent (Lk. 16:30). Each of these passages emphasizes the essential nature of repentance.

Paul reminded the Christians of Galatia, and then later the brethren at Rome, that they were justified in God through their faith (Gal. 2:16; Rm. 5:1). The writer of Hebrews clearly states that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).  To the Ephesians, Paul urged them to remember that before they accepted the gospel they were spiritually dead in their trespasses but are now saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).  Peter reminded his readers that they would obtain, as the outcome of their faith, the salvation of their souls (1 Pt. 1:9). 

Both Originate in the Kindness of God.

It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Rm. 2:4), and faith only comes through hearing the words of Christ (Rom. 10:17). 

BOTH are MATTERS of the HEART.

Peter told Simon to repent so that the intent of his heart might be forgiven (Acts 8:22).  Saving faith comes from the heart (Rm. 10:9-10). 

Both are Only Valid if Demonstrated.

Repentance has never been a mere intellectual acknowledgment of personal sin.  John the Baptist was preaching a gospel of repentance (Mt. 3:1-2), and he demanded of those Pharisees and Sadducees who were coming to be baptized that they “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Mt. 3:8).  James devotes almost an entire chapter to the bedrock truth that faith is only evaluated by works and without those works it is dead (James 2:17,18,20,22,24,26).

 It is true that these facts are among the fundamental truths that everyone should know before accepting the gospel!  And it is precisely because of their fundamental importance that Satan works constantly to cause us to forget about them.  We need to have a heart of repentance at all times and a heart of faith that is manifested in our good works.

 

 

 

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