Repentance and Faith

"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the teaching of immersions, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment ...," Hebrews 6'1-3.


Repentance from dead works and faith toward God. Together they make up the first layer of a Believer's foundation in Christ. They must come first because if they don't everything else is simply religious striving.

But God's mercy and grace are always available. They too are intertwined like a mercy-grace combination that enables sinners to repent and believe and be saved: "according to His mercy He saved us" - "by grace you have been saved" (Titus 3'5, Ephesians 2'8).

The first call of the Lord's message is "repent!" meaning "change your mind"! On the Day of Pentecost it was the Jews who heard it first following the coming of the Holy Spirit. The fact that they were celebrating a traditional feast that very day showed their faithfulness to Moses' teachings.

However, Peter's message to them was a message of fulfillment. The theme of it climaxed with “... let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ".

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers," Acts 2'36-39.


At the conclusion of his great explanation to the Jews about Jesus being their Messiah, Peter shouted "change your minds". Repentance is a "change of mind". The New Testament Greek word is metanoea (Strong's Concordance). 

The next time Peter preached his listeners were men of Israel who had just witnessed the healing of a lame man at the Beautiful Gate. He called on them to:

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord," Acts 3'19.

So what is he saying here? He is completing the Kingdom message. As the Greek word for converted, epistrepho (Strong's Concordance), means turn around, he is challenging them to: "Change your mind! And change your direction!

It's Christ's message, His New Covenant Kingdom of God. Not only does His message call listeners to a new mindset but to a new worldview direction and staying that way. In other words: "be converted", and keep walking in that direction!

Repentance is very powerful. The change of mind and different thinking opens the way for the Holy Spirit to work on behalf of a Believer. The enemy hates it because it combines with faith to make Believers strong and victorious.




Repentance and Faith

"Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the teaching of immersions, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment ...," Hebrews 6'1-3.



Hebrews 11, sometimes called "the faith chapter", begins with the definition that: " is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony" (11'1-2).

The writer goes on to say that it is "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible". Those first four words are critical and crucial in building a foundation and therefore all of a Believer's life.

So this kind of faith has been practised for centuries by men and women who did the things they did because they believed. The words, "by faith" are used around 24 times.

Abraham is the first notable character because "... he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness," Genesis 15'6. Paul quotes that word for word in Romans and Galatians in relation to Believers' faith. He also calls him "the father of all those who believe," Romans 4'11.

However, once again, the first New Covenant Kingdom example of believing was on the Day of Pentecost when Peter preached the word of Christ to the Jews who had assembled to celebrate, and:

"... those who gladly received his word were immersed; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them," Acts 2'41.

They gladly received. That's faith. Receiving the word, especially gladly, is the essence of Kingdom faith. We receive Christ, we receive the Word of Christ. These Jews had come from many places and, like Abraham, believing was very much about trusting. These new Believers had little idea except they knew the fulfillment of what would later be described as "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1'27).


When we believe in Him we cease believing in ourselves. Whatever we thought about eternal life, judgment or death all go when hear Jesus say:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life," John 5'24.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," Paul said to the Roman Believers (10'17). Faith begins with hearing. And, as has been said, that means receiving. It's especially significant when the Good News of Jesus' salvation is heard for the first time. Sometimes it's beneficial to re-live what is happening then:

"The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation," Romans 10'8-10.

The wonderful thing is that the Holy Spirit is involved:

"... since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you," 2 Corinthians 4'13-14.

And in this repentance-conversion-faith encounter with God new Believers experience the understanding that "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God," Romans 8'16.  

Paul put it out for all to hear:

"I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith," Romans 1'16-17.


The miracle is that believers can be extracted from a life of ardent unbelief and disbelief into a lifestyle of worshipful faith toward God by believing the good news of all that Jesus did on the cross.

Believers "walk by faith" (2 Corinthians 5'7) and the faith that they walk by "comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God," Romans 10'17. And as they spiritually walk they can rejoice because:

"... having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God," Romans 5'1-2.


"I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19'25-27.

"... kept by the power of God through faith ..." 1 Peter 1'5.