Q. Recently I heard someone say that you must receive Jesus Christ into your heart and repent of your sins in order to be saved. Ex. John 1:12 Yet there are many verses in the bible where it tells us to just believe Ex.Rom. 10:9 John.6:29 which you wrote an excellent article on.I think the thief beside Jesus when he was crucified only believed that he was God. Please share some of you expert knowledge on this.
A. In its most literal sense the Greek word from which we get repent means to change one’s mind. Viewed that way, the admonition to repent and be saved is correct. It tells us to change our mind about our need for a savior and believe that Jesus paid the price for our sins so we can be saved, and then receive Him as our Savior. Ephes. 1:13-14 tells us that at the first moment of belief, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.
Some people see repent as a change of behavior, but changing our behavior is something the Holy Spirit helps us with after we’ve been saved, not something we have to do ourselves beforehand.