Q. It seems that throughout my entire life, I’ve heard numerous preachers say “You need to repent and turn away from your sins” whenever they are referring to asking for salvation. To me, this is impossible. If I could “turn away” from my sins with my own power, why would I need a Savior? I don’t like the fact that I sin daily, but I cannot quit doing it. Can you please clarify for me (and others) if “turning away” from our sins is a requirement for salvation? If so, I’m in trouble!
A. The Bible is clear that the single requirement for salvation is to believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. John 3:16 and about a dozen other clear verses confirm this The Greek word translated repent means to change one’s mind, not ones behavior. Before we can be saved we have to change our minds about our fallen condition and recognize our need for a savior. After we’re saved the Holy Spirit will begin guiding our behavior so we sin less often and derive less pleasure from doing it, but until we’re perfected we’ll never completely stop sinning. It’s part of our nature (Romans 7:15-20).