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.
And this we will do if God permits," Hebrews 6'1-3.
“... repentance toward God,"
One thing to note about these first two of the elementary principles of Christ is that they are joined together in a vital relationship.
After hearing the Word of God, repentance from dead works and faith towards God were the two factors in the experience of everyone who has ever received Christ.
But also note that under the moving of the Holy Spirit, they work in an as-needed way in that faith comes first.
Above all, the greatest thing about a sinner receiving the Lord is the presence of the mercy of God and the grace of God.
They make repentance and faith available in the first place (and everything else that happens in a Believer's life too!).
They form a mercy-grace relationship which enables sinners to repent, believe and be saved.
Titus 3'5 says that it's "according to His mercy He saved us" and Ephesians 2'8 says: "For by grace you have been saved".
So repentance and faith are made possible by God's mercy and grace.
Look at what happened when salvation was taken to Gentiles as reported in Acts 10 and 11. At the end of it all, Acts 11'1 says:
"Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God".
They wanted to know what the story was because Jews steered clear of Gentiles.
Peter had done the preaching to Cornelius and his household, therefore he had to explain what had happened. Which he did.
Acts 11'18 says: "When they heard these things
they became silent; and they glorified God, saying,
'Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life'".
So the word is: "repent!". The Jews had heard it from Jesus. On the Day of Pentecost all those who had gathered for the Feast heard the Truth of the Good News from Peter:
"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," Acts 2'37-39.
Repentance was granted. God's mercy-and-grace gift of repentance and faith is offered to all who hear will hear the word of Christ.