Harmony With God Part 1 of 3 -- By: Zane C. Hodges
CTSJ 8:3 (July 2002) p. 2
Harmony With God1
Part 1 of 3
[*Editor’s note: Zane Hodges earned his Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary where he then taught in the New Testament Literature and Exegesis department for 27 years. He currently is a pastor at Victor Street Bible Chapel and conducts an extensive writing ministry under Kerugma, Inc. His other publications include The Gospel Under Siege, Absolutely Free!, and Power to Make War. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org]
Repent And Believe?
If someone were to ask you, “What must I do to be saved?” what would you say? Many preachers and lay Christians today would probably say, “Repent of your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Of course, there are plenty of people who would give other, more complicated answers than this one. But we are not concerned with those other answers in this article.
We are, however, concerned with the statement, “Repent and believe.” It is obvious that such a statement lays down two conditions for eternal salvation, namely, repentance and faith. The number of people who believe that both these conditions must be met is very large indeed.
But those who give this reply should do so with a twinge of conscience. Quite obviously they are not giving the answer which Paul and Silas gave to the Philippian jailer who asked that very question: Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30).2 Their answer said absolutely nothing about repentance. Instead they gave the famous and simple reply, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).
CTSJ 8:3 (July 2002) p. 3
Of course, people who believe the Bible do not want to be charged with contradicting the Bible. So most of those who insist on repentance as a necessary condition for salvation would claim that they are not really contradicting Paul and Silas. Many who deny any contradiction claim that repentance is somehow or other implicit in Acts 16:31. But it is truly difficult to see how such a claim can be demonstrated.
Equally to the point is another hard fact. The Gospel of John, which claims to be written to bring men to faith and eternal life (John 20:30–31), never once even mentions repentance. Still less does it make it a condition for eternal life along with faith. If John had really believed that to be saved one m...
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