Repentance is for All Men -- By: David R. Anderson

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 11:1 (Spring 1998)
Article: Repentance is for All Men
Author: David R. Anderson


Repentance is for All Men

David R. Anderson

The Woodlands, TX

In his book I Call It Heresy! A. W. Tozer makes his position of Lordship salvation clear when he says, “…true obedience is one of the toughest requirements of the Christian life. Apart from obedience, there can be no salvation, for salvation without obedience is a self-contradictory impossibility…we need to preach again…a Christ who will either be Lord of all or he will not be Lord at all!”1 In the same chapter he reveals his understanding of the repentance in the Luke 15 parable of the “Prodigal Son” when he writes:

…the first thing the returning sinner does is to confess: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants.”

Thus, in repentance, “we…fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God, as obedient children…and if we do not give Him that obedience, I have reason to wonder if we are really converted!”2

Tozer is not alone in his convictions concerning repentance and its role in salvation.3 In John MacArthur’s classic “line in the sand” development of the salvation message in The Gospel According to Jesus, he states in no uncertain terms:

“From His first message to His last, the Savior’s theme was calling sinners to repentance—and this meant not only that they gained a new

perspective on who He was, but also that they turned from sin and self to follow Him.”4

Another who sees repentance as an essential part of the salvation process is D. L. Bock, who says that “repentance…is an appropriate summary for the offer of the gospel today.”5 He comes to this conclusion largely from Jesus’ use of the term in Luke 24:47, which is Luke’s version of the Great Commission.

Clearly these men understand repentance to be a requirement for justification. In other words, in their discussions, repentance is for unbelievers. But others think repentance is for

believers. John Calvin wrote: “Now it ought to be a fact beyond controversy that repentance not only constantly follows faith but is also born of faith.”

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