Faith

Can someone be damned if they repented and continue to repent of their sins?

Of course. Even Judas was sorrowful over his sin, according to the Bible. The world is full of people who are disgusted at at least some of their sins, who seek to put particular sins behind them. This kind of sorrow is not how we have peace with God. While repentance is intimately connected to how and why God forgives us, it is not at all by itself a sufficient cause.

Properly speaking that repentance which “saves” is not merely a turning from, but is a turning to. We have peace with God because Jesus suffered the wrath of the Father that is due to us for our sin, and because He lived a perfect life.  The work of Christ becomes ours when we, because of the work of the Holy Spirit in first regenerating us, repent and believe, or trust in the work of Christ. If we so trust all our sins are forgiven, because they have already been punished. This describes all our sins, past, present and future.

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What are we doing with the Gospel? We live in a Christian land. We have the Bible in our houses. We hear of the salvation of the Gospel frequently every year. But have we received it into our hearts? Have we really obeyed it in our lives? Have we, in short, laid hold on the hope set before us, taken up the cross, and followed Christ? If not, we are far worse than the heathen, who bow down to stocks and stones. We are far more guilty than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They never heard the Gospel, and therefore never rejected it. But as for us, we hear the Gospel, and yet will not believe. May we search our own hearts, and take heed that we do not ruin our own souls!

~ J.C. Ryle

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985], 115.

Originally posted at: JC Ryle Quotes

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Matthew 13:23; 2 Corinthians 13:5

How can we know if our faith is real?
The Bible provides a clear understanding of genuine saving faith-true faith produces good fruit. In His parable of the soils and the seed, the Lord Jesus taught that, while unbelievers are unfruitful, those who are saved would bear fruit. In this parable, three of four soils produced fruitless plants, vivid pictures of receptions of God’s Word that never resulted in salvation.

In contrast, fruit-bearing plants thrive in the good soil that pictures a redeemed heart. Jesus said, “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:23). All believers are fruitful, even though not equally fruitful.

The Bible also describes what good fruit looks like. The following chart lists the characteristics of genuine saving faith. In essence, it serves as a guide for spiritual fruit inspection (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you are unsure about the reality of your faith, please take the time to study this chart, taking care to read each of the accompanying Scripture passages.
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by J.I. Packer

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” JOHN 3:3

Regeneration is a New Testament concept that grew, it seems, out of a parabolic picture-phrase that Jesus used to show Nicodemus the inwardness and depth of the change that even religious Jews must undergo if they were ever to see and enter the kingdom of God, and so have eternal life (John 3:3-15). Jesus pictured the change as being “born again.”

The concept is of God renovating the heart, the core of a person’s being, by implanting a new principle of desire, purpose, and action, a dispositional dynamic that finds expression in positive response to the gospel and its Christ. Jesus’ phrase “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5) harks back to Ezekiel 36:25-27, where God is pictured as symbolically cleansing persons from sin’s pollution (by water) and bestowing a “new heart” by putting his Spirit within them. Because this is so explicit, Jesus chides Nicodemus, “Israel’s teacher,” for not understanding how new birth happens (John 3:9-10). Jesus’ point throughout is that there is no exercise of faith in himself as the supernatural Savior, no repentance, and no true discipleship apart from this new birth.
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Human Decisional Regeneration vs. Divine Supernatural Regeneration

July 12, 2010

Every Christian must test the accuracy of the gospel he believes and preaches by Scripture alone. Since every true Christian is endowed with a fervent love for God’s word, we are all called to search the Scriptures together in love and in unity. All of God’s people are to do this through fervent prayer and […]

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Isaiah 53 & Good Friday

April 2, 2010

Let us not forget what our Lord has done for us. Not today, and not tomorrow. For without His propitiation, we have no hope. Without the Father sending the Son to atone for the sins of His people, we have no place with God. Jesus bore the sins of His people against the wrath of […]

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Christian faith: Calvinism is back

March 30, 2010

In America’s Christian faith, a surprising comeback of rock-ribbed Calvinism is challenging the Jesus-is-your-buddy gospel of modern evangelism. America’s Christian faith is experiencing a comeback of Calvinism and its God-first immersion in Scripture. Catherine Snow prays during an event at the Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., intended to introduce new people to its […]

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