Repentance And Salvation Part 4: New Testament Repentance: Repentance in the Gospels and Acts -- By: Robert N. Wilkin

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 03:1 (Spring 1990)
Article: Repentance And Salvation Part 4: New Testament Repentance: Repentance in the Gospels and Acts
Author: Robert N. Wilkin


Repentance And Salvation
Part 4: New Testament Repentance:
Repentance in the Gospels and Acts

Robert N. Wilkin

Executive Director
Grace Evangelical Society
Roanoke, Texas

I. Introduction

The books of the NT vary in the emphasis that they place on various doctrines. John’s Gospel, for example, is evangelistic in emphasis John 20:30–31). Galatians presents a defense of the Gospel in the face of the Judaizers, who were trying to pervert it. The Book of Revelation deals extensively with what is yet future.

This article will examine how Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John treat a specific doctrine—the doctrine of repentance.

Luke in his two-volume work, Luke-Acts, emphasizes repentance more than any other NT author. Nearly one half, or twenty-five of the fifty-eight uses of the primary NT terms for repentance (metanoeō and metanoia) occur in Luke-Acts. On the other hand, there is not even one use of either term in John’s Gospel. This is especially surprising since John uses those terms twelve times in Revelation. Matthew and Mark use those terms eight and four times respectively.

Why this disparity—especially between Luke-Acts and John?

Scripture does not contradict itself. Different authors may have different emphases, but not disparate views, on a given doctrine.

We begin this study with a consideration of the requirement of eternal salvation as found in the Gospels and Acts.

II. The Gospel in the Gospels and Acts

The four Gospels and Acts present a united front. There is but one condition of eternal salvation: faith in Christ alone. The following references from John’s Gospel are clear on this point:

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 6:47: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 20:31: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Recently I read a paper on repentance and sa...

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