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Repentance Unto Salvation: A One Time Thing or an Every-Time-We-Sin Thing?

In discourse with those in Law ‘keeping’ sects, this question inevitably comes up, “Don’t you ever sin after you’re saved?” or the statement, “You must repent over and over when you sin.”  In legalistic circles in churchianity, one might hear the phrase, “Well, if they sin, they must not have been saved in the first place!”  There is this idea out there in both churchianity and in Law ‘keeping’ sects that we must repent over and over to in effect maintain our salvation.

Actually, a Jew of Judaism asked the following similar question about Christians with more clarity than I had seen it asked before:

Originally Posted by Dreidel at CARM:
Don’t Christians still have to repent to Jesus when they sin? If you didn’t repent, it would indicate you were not really saved. And being saved doesn’t mean you don’t sin.

Kind of seems to put the believer in Christ in a ‘catch-22’ dilemma, doesn’t it?  Or does it . . . 

This is one of those times when it is so important to have a good grasp on who we are in Christ and what that actually means:

Ephesians 1:3-14
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Do Christians need to turn away from sin in their lives? Yes. Out of love for God and love for others, but not as a ‘maintenance payment’ on our salvation.  And that love is a Fruit produced by the Holy Spirit living through us.  Love is not a work that we perform, we bear His Fruit (His yoke is easy, His burden is light) that the Holy Spirit produces as He lives through us – and sometimes good Fruit takes time . . .

After reading the passage above, let me put it this way:

If you adopt a child, and that child disobeys you, does that child cease to be your child until they repent of that particular transgression?


While there is disciplining and shepherding going on in the life of that child, they are yours, for you have made a commitment of adoption and a promise of an inheritance to them. Your commitment and promise to them at the time of adoption is not conditional on the future behavior of the child.  But neither do you go into that commitment or give that promise blindly, for you know that you will have significant influence in the steering and training and LOVING of that child!

So it is with we who are adopted into sonship by God through Jesus Christ.

While a flawed human parent can disown ANY child – natural or adopted – from their inheritance, the cool thing is that God has made a promise guaranteeing our inheritance by marking us with His seal, the promised Holy Spirit!  We are a New Creation in Him!  And with that seal, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, comes the work of sanctification . . . the ever changing of the believer from the inside out, making us more and more a reflection of the character of Jesus Christ.

God has not made the commitment blindly – for He knows that He will have significant influence via His Holy Spirit in the steering and the training and the LOVING of His adopted.

Just as with the adopted in the natural world, God does not reject what HE has done when WE mess up.  He lovingly and firmly disciplines His children, faithful to complete the work He began in us.

Philippians 1:3-11
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

This is the goal of those in Christ!  Without constant fear of God disowning us when we fail.

For more perspective on this issue, here are a few excellent audio teachings that go into greater depth in describing who we are in Christ, our relationship to God and to sin, and the common arguments using specific Scriptures.  Lots of Scripture references and study notes are included.  The following teachings are well worth the time to take a listen and are highly recommended.

The Clear Message of Grace Part 3 – Unbroken Access to God – Is forgiveness a once-and-for-all thing or do we need to keep asking for forgiveness?  Part 3 of a 5-Part series on the simple Truths of the Gospel which can be found HERE.

Teaching on 1 John 1:9 – 1 John 1:9 is a staple verse in Law ‘keeping’ sects about how when we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us.  Who was John talking to in that passage?  If God is faithful to forgive us for our sins, why would we keep asking Him to do something He has already done?

Predestination – I threw this one in since there are references to predestination in the Ephesians passage above.  This is just a really good, common sense teaching on what election and predestination mean Biblically, and takes away confusion (and a tendency toward elitism!!) about the issue.  About 23 minutes long.  [Note:  This teaching is currently unavailable; many of Bob George’s teachings which are archived at People to People Ministries are in transition to the new BobGeorge.net site.  I hope that this particular teaching will again be available in the future.]


Edited to add 4/18/12 – Some in the Hebrew Roots Movement have tried to use this article to accuse me of teaching that Christians should just go about sinning willy-nilly because all of their sins are forgiven.  That is NOT what the post above is about.  The post above is about Christians being securely forgiven.  Believers in Christ do not drift from a saved to an unsaved state depending on whether or not they have unconfessed sin at any certain point in their lives.  That IS what the post above is about; repentance unto salvation.   At this point I will add a forum post I wrote which explains my view regarding the role repentance in the life of one already saved:

[A poster at Survivalist Board] ‘temu’  likes to mischaracterize my view on repentance unto salvation and make it look like I believe that someone can just go about their merry way and sin willy nilly for the rest of their lives. He knows that’s not what I believe, yet he persists in flat out lying about my position. Part of that comes from temu’s inaccurate definition of the word, ‘repent’ and part of it comes from Law keepers’ ceaseless attempts to demonize me.

So here comes the part where I re-post what I’ve posted (and re-posted ) before:

Repentance unto salvation IS a one time deal, temu.

As you’ve read me write elsewhere in an answer to armourbearer:

Here’s the thing: You’re basing a doctrine (having to ask for forgiveness over and over for sins bled and died for – a practice not taught anywhere in Scripture after the work of the Cross) on a false definition of the word repent.

As both Vectorwoman and I have proven, repent never means ‘turn’, return or ‘turn back’.

You’re using a Hebrew root word common to both teshuwbah and nacham – the root word, ‘shuwb’, and inserting that root word’s definition into a text and throwing out the actual definition of the actual word used in a text! What you’re doing is akin to defining the word ‘butterfly’ by its root words, ‘butter’ and ‘fly’, neither of which go to the actual definition of the word, ‘butterfly’!

It’s also changing the Word of God as He ordained it .

Not only that, but you are then taking that same HEBREW root word’s definition and applying that to GREEK words with their own definitions !

You cannot do that! Remember, God ordained that certain words be used in certain places – you cannot just go ’round substituting words here and there to make/fit a particular theology! The funny thing is that the Hebrew words for repent and the Greek words for repent are in agreement in their definitions – there is no need to substitute a root word in the first place!

The kind of repentance that leads to salvation IS a one time deal. Once we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, all of our sins are forgiven. That is what the Scriptures tell us! To ask for forgiveness for sins already forgiven by the Blood of Jesus is unnecessary and not taught in Scriptures written after the Cross.

Some will jump to 1 John 1:9, citing that as a perpetual practice for those in Christ, but it says that God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

So did God do what He said He would do or not?

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

How many trespasses?

Is there still place for repentance (the change of heart and mind, remorse for sin) in the life of the believer? Absolutely. But it has no tie to salvation or the securing of God’s forgiveness for the believer in Christ. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies those in Christ repentance by those in Christ has to do with the renewing of our minds:

Romans 12:1-2
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

No more forgiveness for sin is required for those in Christ. Jesus’ Blood covered all sin for those in Him. You are either a forgiven person or not. The only continuing sacrifice mentioned after the Cross for those in Christ is us offering ourselves up as living sacrifices – submitting to the Holy Spirit, letting Him do His work of sanctification in us. Will that require some ‘changing of our minds and hearts’ and ‘remorse and sorrow for sin’ along the way? Of course it will – but it does not go to forgiveness already given for sins already cleansed and cast as far as the East is from the West by the shed Blood of Christ at the Cross.

Please don’t confuse, “Oh God, I messed up, I’m so sorry. Please help me to not do _________ again and live the way you want me to” with “Oh God, I messed up, please forgive me of that sin.”

If you are in Christ, you ARE forgiven !

About that definition of repent. . . we’ve also been over this a NUMBER of times, temu:

Answered here:
And more completely with the following post (I’ll post it again here in case you missed it):

Originally Posted by JGIG
The question was asked,

. . . and temu likes to pester me about what repentance means, what defines sin, and if I repeatedly repent of my sins.

I’ve been crazy busy – sorry for the delay on answering this, but here ya go:

No – I do not ask for forgiveness. Before everybody starts freaking out, keep reading.

Do I apologize/regret/feel sorry for my sins?


Do I humble myself before God and ask for His help and strength to not sin?


Do I remember the sacrifice that was made for me and strive to honor that sacrifice and not to grieve God by my behavior?


God says that my sins are already forgiven – put away as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12) – and that He remembers them no more (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12).

Does He say just a few of my sins, or just a certain type of sin, or just the sins that were committed up until a certain time but that all sins after that time are not forgiven?


The word repent as it is used in the New Testament has 2 related meanings – one having to do with a change of mind, the other having to do with regret:

metanoeō (repent)
1) to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

“Repentance (metanoia, ‘change of mind’) involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness.” (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 97.)


metamelomai (repent)
1) it is a care to one afterwards
a) it repents one, to repent one’s self

One place I looked used the word ‘regret’ to help describe repent/metamelomai.

For those of you who like to look at the etymology of a word, New Testament usage of repent traces back thus:

metanoeō (repent)
From μετά (G3326) and νοέω (G3539):
Strong’s G3326 – meta

1) with, after, behind

Strong’s G3539 – noeō

1) to perceive with the mind, to understand, to have understanding
2) to think upon, heed, ponder, consider


metamelomai (repent)
From μετά (G3326) and the middle voice of μέλει (G3199)

Strong’s G3326 – meta
1) with, after, behind

Strong’s G3199 – melei
1) to care about


Now those who adhere to a Law ‘keeping’ paradigm will tell us that repent means to return, and in the context of their belief system, that means to return to Law. First, let me make clear, based on what we see above, that is NOT the meaning of the word repent used in the NT, or even, as we will see, always in the OT!

When looking at the word repent in the OT, repent has 3 different Hebrew words with lots of meanings, all which need to be evaluated by context. HRM teachers like to exclusively take just two Hebrew words return (Strong’s H8666 – tĕshuwbah) and repent (Strong’s H7725 – shuwb), both which have the same Hebrew Root word (Strong’s H7725 – shuwb), and try to make them interchangeable with each other, regardless of context, and regardless of the clear Greek meanings for repent as stated in the NT.

To repeat: Not only do they do so within the OT itself, but they take that Hebrew word for return, tĕshuwbah and its root ‘shuwb’ and replace the Greek words for repent, which are in line with the three other Hebrew words for repent, Strong’s H5162 – nacham, Strong’s H3820 – leb, and Strong’s H3824 – lebab (from Strong’s H3823 – labab). To be clear – they take a Hebrew word which does not mean ‘repent’ anywhere in the OT and apply it to where the word repent is used in the NT!

I know that word studies can be tedious, but stick with me and let’s look at the Hebrew definitions of the five different words/roots used for repent, in order of appearance in the OT (you can look at a list of the occurrences of the English word repent in the OT and their corresponding Hebrew counterparts and click on the Strong’s number to see meanings matched with context HERE):

No. 1:

Strong’s H5162 – nacham (repent), a verb, and a primitive root (which you can’t just go switching ’round with other roots!)

1) to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted

a) (Niphal)

1) to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion
2) to be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent
3) to comfort oneself, be comforted
4) to comfort oneself, ease oneself

b) (Piel) to comfort, console
c) (Pual) to be comforted, be consoled
d) (Hithpael)

1) to be sorry, have compassion
2) to rue, repent of
3) to comfort oneself, be comforted
4) to ease oneself

No. 2 (This is one you’ll see in HRM teachings a lot, you may also see it spelled as shoov or shoob:

Strong’s H7725 – shuwb (repent), a verb, and also a primitive root
1) to return, turn back

a) (Qal)

1) to turn back, return

a) to turn back
b) to return, come or go back
c) to return unto, go back, come back
d) of dying
e) of human relations (fig)
f) of spiritual relations (fig)

1) to turn back (from God), apostatise
2) to turn away (of God)
3) to turn back (to God), repent
4) turn back (from evil)

g) of inanimate things
h) in repetition

b) (Polel)

1) to bring back
2) to restore, refresh, repair (fig)
3) to lead away (enticingly)
4) to show turning, apostatise

c) (Pual) restored (participle)
d) (Hiphil) to cause to return, bring back

1) to bring back, allow to return, put back, draw back, give back, restore, relinquish, give in payment
2) to bring back, refresh, restore
3) to bring back, report to, answer
4) to bring back, make requital, pay (as recompense)
5) to turn back or backward, repel, defeat, repulse, hinder, reject, refuse
6) to turn away (face), turn toward
7) to turn against
8 ) to bring back to mind
9) to show a turning away
10) to reverse, revoke

e) (Hophal) to be returned, be restored, be brought back
f) (Pulal) brought back

No. 3, with roots:

Strong’s H3820 – leb (repent) , A form of לֵבָב (H3824)

1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

a) inner part, midst

1) midst (of things)
2) heart (of man)
3) soul, heart (of man)
4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
6) conscience
7) heart (of moral character)
8 )
as seat of appetites
9) as seat of emotions and passions
10) as seat of courage

Strong’s H3824 – lebab, From לָבַב (H3823), meanings identical to leb.

Strong’s H3823 – labab, A primitive root

1) to ravish, become intelligent, get a mind

a) (Niphal) to take heart, become enheartened, become intelligent

b) (Piel) to ravish the heart, encourage, make heart beat faster

2) (Piel) to make cakes, bake cakes, cook bread

Now for the really interesting part of how those in Law ‘keeping’ sects turn the NT word repent (with its clear meanings in the original Greek which are in agreement with the Hebrew meanings for repent in the context of the changing of the heart and mind – please go through and read these Scriptures in context to see how the Greek and Hebrew agree about what repentance is) into the word return.

It is the classic progression of the redefinition of Biblical terms.

I’ve written this before but it’s worth repeating here:

One of the things that is really important to be aware of regarding this and other heretical movements is that they engage in the re-definition of terms. Once that is accomplished, those re-defined terms become fields in which seeds of questionable doctrine can be cultivated.

At HRM websites and in HRM teaching materials a consistent technique is employed to bring the reader to where the writer wishes them to go, and I can’t stress this enough:

Faulty definitions, examples, analogies and reasonings are constructed, then those same faulty definitions, examples, analogies and reasonings are built upon as FACT to take the reader to the next doctrinal place the writer wishes the reader to go.

A popular HRM teacher referred to here at SB is a master at this technique, and does so regarding the word repent HERE. He takes the Hebrew word tĕshuwbah, (you’ll also see it spelled teshuvah in HRM teachings) which means return, ‘expired’, or ‘answers’, and is NEVER used as ‘repent’ in the OT, which has its primitive root, shuwb (shoov, shoob), and builds a whole doctrine about how repent in the NT means to return back to Law as the act of repentance!

Strong’s H8666 – tĕshuwbah From שׁוּב (H7725) (primitive root shuwb, see above)

1) a recurrence, an answer, return

a) return

1) completion of a year, return of a year

b) at the return (construct)
c) answer, reply

Word studies really can be tedious, and eyes tend to glaze over when they’re presented, but folks, getting a grasp on this is important, because it’s really important to be clear about what particular words God ordained to communicate specific concepts.

To sum it up: The concept of repentance in light of the Gospel is a change of heart and mind, a realization of the truth of the Gospel and the putting of one’s faith and trust in Christ. The Law has NOTHING to do with it, except to point out our sin and to point us to Christ. Good works, defined in the NT as works of faith, are the result of repentance, not the vehicle for it.

This short article lays it out nicely (from GotQuestions.org):

Question: “What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?”

Answer: Many understand the term repentance to mean “turning from sin.” This is not the biblical definition of repentance. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

What, then, is the connection between repentance and salvation? The Book of Acts seems to especially focus on repentance in regards to salvation (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind in regard to Jesus Christ. In Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), he concludes with a call for the people to repent (Acts 2:38). Repent from what? Peter is calling the people who rejected Jesus (Acts 2:36) to change their minds about Him, to recognize that He is indeed “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Peter is calling the people to change their minds from rejection of Christ as the Messiah to faith in Him as both Messiah and Savior.

Repentance and faith can be understood as “two sides of the same coin.” It is impossible to place your faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior without first changing your mind about who He is and what He has done. Whether it is repentance from willful rejection or repentance from ignorance or disinterest, it is a change of mind. Biblical repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ.

It is crucially important that we understand repentance is not a work we do to earn salvation. No one can repent and come to God unless God pulls that person to Himself (John 6:44). Acts 5:31 and 11:18 indicate that repentance is something God gives—it is only possible because of His grace. No one can repent unless God grants repentance. All of salvation, including repentance and faith, is a result of God drawing us, opening our eyes, and changing our hearts. God’s longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), as does His kindness (Romans 2:4).

While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly and fully change your mind without that causing a change in action. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19-23; James 2:14-26). Repentance, properly defined, is necessary for salvation. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about Jesus Christ and turning to God in faith for salvation (Acts 3:19). Turning from sin is not the definition of repentance, but it is one of the results of genuine, faith-based repentance towards the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Copyright Policy: While all of the material on the GotQuestions.org website is under copyright protection, the only purpose of our copyright is to make sure people copy it right. As long as you always clearly reference and/or link to www.gotquestions.org as the source of the material, you have our permission to copy, print, and distribute our material.)

I added in a later post that the gotquestions article was a little ‘Calviny’, but got the basic point across.

Part of why you keep asking me the same question over and over about repentance is that you define repentance according to Brad Scott’s definition, which, as I have proven above, is false.

And either you’re getting senile or you’re playing the ‘she still hasn’t answered the question’ game to try to make me look bad when I have answered the question – several times. You just don’t like the answer .

If we lived before the advent of the work of Christ, you’d have a point. But we don’t. While you’re resting your bones after a hard day of bulldozing, take some time to read this article:

Old Testament Believers and New Testament Christians

It’s a meaty read. Enjoy!

To repeat, regarding continuing repentance, not regarding salvation, I believe this:

No more forgiveness for sin is required for those in Christ. Jesus’ Blood covered all sin for those in Him. You are either a forgiven person or you are not. The only continuing sacrifice mentioned after the Cross for those in Christ is us offering ourselves up as living sacrifices – submitting to the Holy Spirit, letting Him do His work of sanctification in us.

Will that require some ‘changing of our minds and hearts’ and ‘remorse and sorrow for sin’ along the way? Of course it will – but it does not go to forgiveness already given for sins already cleansed and cast as far as the East is from the West by the shed Blood of Christ at the Cross.

Please don’t confuse, “Oh God, I messed up, I’m so sorry. Please help me to not do _________ again and live the way you want me to” with “Oh God, I messed up, please forgive me of that sin.”

If you are in Christ, you ARE forgiven !

So temu, you just keep repeating the mischaracterization about what I believe about ‘repentance’. Not very integral of you. You go ahead and keep posting lies about what I believe and I’ll keep proving you wrong . . .



May God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.


Other articles of interest:

For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.



37 Responses

  1. nice post :) haven’t come across this question before from anyone but its good to know

  2. Excellent! Absolutely Excellent JGIG!

    Understanding that our righteousness is in Christ alone, once and for all, is the same explanation behind that there will be no liars or adulterers in heaven

    Revelation 21:8
    But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    – not because any in heaven are without sin, but because all who are in heaven are covered with His righteousness because we put our trust in Him. We did the opposite of what Adam and Eve did. We trust Him over self.

    I guess it boils down to how people see God. If they see Him as a guardian of heaven where He is looking to only let in those with some secret and who managed to live lives worthy of heaven OR if He wants ALL to be in heaven and it breaks His heart to lose even one and that we are in heaven because we set down our pride and yielded ourselves to His gift of love and grace and love Him in return.

    He is not a ‘gotcha’ God who looks for reasons to keep people out. He is an all loving God who seeks people who come to Him willingly and humbly.

    Pride is what caused the downfall of the angels. Pride is what was the root of original sin.
    Pride is what keeps people out of heaven.

    Luke 1:52
    He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

    Luke 18
    9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    There are FEW who find the narrow path because the human heart is too easily puffed up in pride that they are special or they are able to be worthy.

    Those who realize that they will never be worthy no matter how hard they try, are those who have found the narrow path.

    • Emily –


      And AMEN!

      Preach it sister =o)!


      • LOL I do seem to react with unbridled word explosion whenever the enormity and truth of His gift is brought into the light.

        Your article was absolutely amazing and it clearly inspired my own heartfelt outpouring in response to your beautifully presented truth!

        I know your heart and mine, and the whole body of Christ, mourn with our Lord who are deceived by the bondage of human religion.

      • Well, thank God I dilly dallied too long to be the first to respond to the excellent JGIG article. Emily expressed my thoughts better than I could have, with a lot more words. ;-) It is Spiritually uplifting to see someone react with unbridled word explosion and passion whenever the enormity and truth of His gift is brought into the light.
        Re the question asked by the Jew, “Don’t Christians still have to repent to Jesus when they sin?” I take repent here to mean saying we are sorry and asking God to forgive us, although that is not what the word meant when Jesus and Paul used it. I can understand a Jew or a member of churchianity asking that question. (I love that word, churchianity. First time I’ve seen it but it perfectly describes the sad condition of Christianity.) But a true Christian would never ask that question. We know we don’t have to say we are sorry when we disobey God. It is not a matter of having to. We are sorry. In fact our overwhelming sense of sorrow is greater precisely because we know our loving Father has already forgiven us.

  3. Would you agree if a christian said I’m without sin, t hey have the truth in them?

    I would not

    • I would not either –

      However . . .

      ALL of our sins have been cleansed by the Blood of Christ, so those in Christ, while we still sin while in the flesh, are not without forgiveness for those sins.

  4. That is a doctrine called sinless perfection

  5. Check this out and tell me what you think please.


    • Hi Travis,

      I’m not JGIG, but my guess is that we are pretty close in what we think of the article you refer to at

      I think the writer, Steve Amato, did a great job until near the end when he started picking on Charismatics for allowing women to preach. Expressing his personal view on that was unnecessary as it had nothing to do with the basic point of the article. He quoted Paul, but I wonder how he feels about something else Paul said;

      Galatians 3:27-28
      27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
      28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (KJV)

      I think anyone who truly understands these words does not try to make a law out of 1 Corinthians 14:34, or anything else various writers of the NT said.

      The answer to the basic question about sin is obvious to me. Most of Churchianity claims to believe God sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world. Well, when did this happen? Almost 2000 years ago. Jesus told us several times the He only did what the Father sent Him to do, and on the cross He said, “It is finished.”
      If we believe that, then we will not try to develop other ways to pay for our sins or even be concerned about sin in that way.

      Of course everyone still does things in disobedience to God. But we can’t call those things sins anymore because all sin has been removed. The only so-called “sin” left is unbelief that Jesus really did take all sins of the world upon Himself. That unbelief is expressed in many and various ways in Judaism and Chruchianity by people trying to pay for their own sins. Or even worse, create laws to make other people do things to pay for their sins.

      But, with sin gone, what is left? Simple answer. Drawing close to God by doing the will of God for us and thereby learning more about the love of God. Our times of disobedience then, although definitely painful because we are abundantly aware that we have failed God, also have the positive effect of being learning experiences that help us move toward the goal of full maturity in Christ.

      Love in Christ,

    • Sorry for the delay in responding. Busy homeschooling time for us!

      I did read the article by Steve Amato and thought he made some good points – mainly that we can still sin even though we are forgiven.

      I also thought that he cherry-picked at what Wesley actually wrote. Not sure why he did that . . . it seemed like he was stepping on someone else to make his view look more ‘right’. He also continued to mis-label Wesley’s term as ‘Sinless Perfection’ instead of Wesley’s actual title of his view, Christian Perfection. I think there is a distinction because the first term has the connotation of our will rendering us sinless, while the second term has the connotation of one being in Christ being positionally perfected IN Christ. Again, Wesley’s view can be found HERE. Do I agree with everything Wesley had to say? No. In fact, I think that Wesley’s was an idealistic view of what a believer could become IF totally yielded to the Holy Spirit in thought and deed. Alas, we fall short, and as we do, cling to the work that Christ did at the Cross and thank God for our adoption as His children in Christ. I’ll address the issue of Amato’s awkward inclusion about women ‘preachers’ in his article in a separate comment.

      As to Amato’s link between Wesley and the Holiness movement, Wesley lived 1703-1791, a lifetime away from the beginnings of the Holiness Movement proper. I saw one writer who referred to John Wesley as more of a ‘grandfather’ than a ‘father’ of the Holiness Movement. Not that any of that has anything to do with the post being commented on here at JGIG =o).

      The simple point I was trying to make in the post was that we don’t have to be ‘saved’ over and over for our sins! Once one is in Christ, even though we err, we are His adopted, secure in His Hand. We do not drift in and out of ‘being saved’. One is either a redeemed person or one is not.

      This brings up the issue of ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ or ‘OSAS’, which those who purport Law ‘keeping’ points of view, whether they be the keeping of Mosaic Covenant Law or extra-Biblical hegemonic rules and regulations imposed by some denominations, will stiffen against, saying that if you believe you cannot ‘lose’ your salvation, then what keeps you from just going out there and sinning willy nilly to your heart’s content?

      Well, speaking for myself, as I can only do, why would I do that? If the Holy Spirit is indeed living in me as Christ promised He would, will He lead me into sin? No.

      Do I still have free will to sin? Yes.

      Will I be miserable in my sin? Absolutely.

      Unfortunately I have some personal experience with this issue. Was God faithful to keep His promise of adoption to me in the midst of my disobedience? Yes. God gently broke me and lovingly restored me regarding that period of time in my life. Were my sins counted against me? No. Jesus died for every sin I ever committed and will ever commit. Did I suffer the natural and spiritual consequences of sin from that time in my life? Yes. And there are still times when the Enemy will throw some junk from the past up in my face, trying to accuse me of guilt. But Jesus forgave all my sins. Every single one of them.

      That is the truth that we as believers can stand on, so that when we do fail, when we do sin, we understand that even in our imperfections while we are yet in the flesh, Jesus’ Blood cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness!

      There’s a line that I really love from one of 8thday4life’s posts that I’ll be posting here at JGIG in the near future that reads, “We have no choice but to cry ‘I fail’ and go away in despair or to accept the grace that totally forgives and transforms us to be able to in any small measure, exemplify the life that Jesus describes.”

      As we learn to yield to Him, to trust Him, to understand that He alone is capable of remaking us into His image, to enable us to become a reflection of His character and love – it is when we reach that point that we become more and more free from sin – both intentional and unintentional – because we are allowing HIM to live THROUGH us!

    • I had a post half-written responding to the Holiness Movement and Women Pastors issues raised in the above link and my computer erased it and the eight tabs I had active in research. Grrrrr. Someday I’m gonna get a new computer. It’s late. I’m tired. I’ll fix it tomorrow!

      Okay . . . it’s actually a couple of days later, but such is life =o).

      Man. What a potential can of worms. Oh well. Here goes.

      About Amato’s link between Wesley and the Holiness Movement: While the Holiness Movement draws on Wesleyan thought to a degree, even those in the movement itself acknowledge that Wesley was not the father of the movement, but more of a grandfather (source) .

      For the purposes of the discussion here, one writer observes that “4) Wesley taught the long method and that most people would experience progressive sanctification throughout their life and entire sanctification shortly before death. The Holiness people have gone with Phebe [sic] Palmer’s shorter method (called altar theology) of claiming entire sanctification by faith, based on the thought that Christ is the altar, and if you put your life completely on the altar by faith, the altar sanctifies the gift.” (source)

      For those just skimming these comments, please refer to my comment above for my take on this view. From what I gather, my understanding of Wesley’s view of “Christian Perfection” was progressive and idealistically would come about in its fullness in the completely surrendered wills of those in Christ to the will of Christ.

      So I think Amato somewhat misrepresents Wesley’s position in his article, both by his characterization of Wesley’s position and by linking Wesley directly to the Holiness Movement. I think it is also worth noting here that Wesley died a good 70 years before the Holiness Movement was even a sprout, so to credit Wesley (or blame him, as the case may be) for errors found therein is hardly fair to Wesley, IMO.

      About Amato’s awkward inclusion about women teachers in his article on ‘Sinless Perfection’: Here we get into the whole complementarianism/egalitarianism issue, with a potential bit of (hyper)patriarchy thrown in for good measure. The proper function(s) of women in the Body of Christ is hotly debated in some parts of the Body, not so much in others. I’ll include some informational links about complementarianism/egalitarianism at the end of what I have to say at the end of this comment.

      Some would say that the Scriptures teach that a woman should not teach a man. At all. I think that there is reasonable debate on both sides of that particular issue, and one reason why I’ll post the links that I will at the end of this comment. I think that a distinction should be made between teaching and leading, however, when one is considering such arguments/evaluations of the relevant Scriptures. I definitely lean more complementarian overall, believing that male headship and oversight is appropriate. I think that the positions of pastors and elders appear to be clearly male roles in their descriptions. Teaching is listed as a spiritual gift, along with others (1 Cor. 12), with no gender requirements attached.

      There is a lot to say about this issue – much too much to include in this comment, so I will limit my position here as it relates to me being a woman writing most of what appears here at JGIG:

      This blog was originally intended to be a resource for moms who had been exposed to the HRM through the online group I was a part of and in the homeschooling community in general. As homeschooling moms, we are often the gate-keepers of the home when it comes to concepts and materials that come into the home via the homeschooling community and the resources they offer, and need to be ever watchful for false teaching.

      The Hebrew Roots Movement and hyper-patriarchy are two very destructive streams of faith/thought that have wormed their way into the homeschooling community. I know of many women that have dragged their husbands into hyper-patriarchy and/or the Hebrew Roots Movement all the while telling their husbands they should lead, and then telling them HOW they should lead and with what ‘Biblical’ view they should lead!

      When I became aware of the HRM, I asked my husband if he’d ever heard of Christians who felt led to keep Mosaic Covenant Law and his response was, “Judaizers are alive and well in the Church today.” We discussed much of what I was seeing being discussed on the mom’s online digest, and were in agreement as to the error. It was then that I started examining it more closely, and when it became clear that the Law ‘keeping’ moderator on the mom’s digest was not going to let Grace-oriented posts through on the digest, my husband said, “Why don’t you start your own website, then?” So the birth of JGIG.

      JGIG was primarily geared toward women originally, but the audience has obviously grown =o).

      As the writer of an internet blog, I have no spiritual authority over anyone, men or women. Do I teach here? Yes. It is a gift that God has given me, along with the gift of discernment and a basic ability to communicate via the written word. I try to steer clear of secondary, disputable matters and stick to the core issues of the Christian faith here at JGIG, as that is where issues of faith will stand or fall. I’m not here to fashion doctrine or to create a following. The purpose of JGIG is to help equip the Body with information and resources about false teachings found in the Hebrew Roots Movement/Messianic Judaism and related Law ‘keeping’ sects. Scripturally, I don’t see that I’m prohibited from doing such.

      Here are some resources discussing the roles of men and women in ministry, as promised. I’ve tried to include links from solid resources. One can google ‘complementarianism/egalitarianism’ and come up with all kinds of stuff to read (and let me tell you there is no shortage of opinions on the subject out there!). So here are a few links to get your feet wet, and you can do more research if you feel called to do so. NOTE: The purpose of JGIG is not to debate the points of gender roles within the Body of Christ, so this comment was more to clarify my role as I see it in relation to being the female writer of Joyfully Growing In Grace.

      The following links are for informational purposes. My posting them here should not be viewed as my endorsement of every detail of the views included in the following works, only as resources made available to you, the reader, so that you can make up your own mind about gender roles in the Body of Christ, if your opinion is still being formed (as is mine).

      Links on gender roles in the Body of Christ:
      *The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership
      *Summaries of the Egalitarian and Complementarian Positions on the Role of Women in the Home and in Christian Ministry
      *Wounds of a Friend: Complementarian
      *Three Questions for Egalitarianism
      *Wikipedia article on Complementarianism
      *Wikipedia article on Christian Egalitarianism
      Need to include a few links on Christian Patriarchy as well:
      * “thatmom” reviews “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement”
      * God Calls Patriarchal Headship A Sinful Desire
      * And What Is It About Patriarchy That Scares Us?

  6. Awesome post – an issue which anyone raised SDA will struggle with.!!! We had no concept that a sin not confessed had been forgiven, let alone ones we had not yet committed.

  7. Thank you, webmaster, for your inspired thoughts, the Holy Spirit is using you well.

    I have been graced by your pointers on this page and your article “Repentance For Those In Christ: A One Time Thing or an Every-Time-We-Sin Thing?”

    God bless you

  8. I just want to post briefly about sin and the Christian. Being a Christian is a relationship. We are adopted, born again and given the power to become the sons and daughters of God. Salvation is not about sinlessness but about forgiveness. Now think about this: When you offend a friend does that not break your fellowship with that friend? If you disobey a parent it may also cause a break in fellowship. Consider the prodigal son. He certainly broke fellowship when he left and took his inheritance and squandered it all in riotous living

    When the prodigal returned he confessed his fault and sin against his father, the father not only forgave him but restored him to the position of a son, even though the son knew he only deserved to be a servant. That is how it is with us and God. We are born again into His family, His kingdom. There is no scripture that tells me how a person can become unborn again..

    However when we sin, we break fellowship with the Father and the Spirit. We will be not only miserable but seemingly separated from God until we confess our sins and then He will restore us and fellowship, communication will be restored.

    1 John 1: 5-10
    .5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    It is imperative to understand our relationship with God so that we do not allow ourselves to doubt our salvation and trust in God’s word for everything including I don’t believe my holiness comes from my own efforts but from my relationship through Jesus Christ. When I or anyone who is born again sins we will not persist in that sin because we will not be able to stand the broken fellowship. So when you do sin, hurry up, confess and get it right.

    Being able to hear the voice of the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit is dependent on our being in close fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Three but One. How I love the fellowship of the Spirit.

    God’s peace be with you all.

  9. Thank you for the time you have put into this point. It is definitely one of those areas where ones trapped in legalism struggle in fear. The fact that Christ was crucified once for sin is a point lost on most legalists.

    • Thanks, Anthony. I’ve taken quite a bit of flak for this post, both here and on a forum.

      Repentance unto salvation is a one time deal. We become adopted by God! We are His! As I’ve further studied the Greek word for repentance (which means to have a change of heart/mind, as well as have remorse for sin) in the walk of the believer there are more times of repentance as God sanctifies us and we change to be more of a reflection of His Character. That repentance, however, is never in a “Oh I have to repent from my sins so I stay saved” way and putting us in a position of having to live in a ping-pong game of saved one minute, unsaved the minute we sin until we ‘repent’ again! I’m so thankful that we have a God who saves us completely!

      I spent a little time looking at your blog last night – loved the post, “Don’t Be Skeerd” (My Own List). Great post. We as a Body do tend to major on the minors at times, don’t we?!

      Blessings to you!

  10. Well when I sin or fall short it just natural for me to say I’m sorry God, that not wrong right? i cant really help to but say it.

    • Hi Travis =o),

      I say I’m sorry, too, and ask God to help me not to sin. But understand that Jesus died for all of our sins . . . not just past sins. He knew that while we remain in the flesh we will still falter; but His Blood covers us completely.

      Ephesians 1:13-14
      13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

      You are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and it is He who guarantees to bring us safely home =o).

      Resting in Him,

    • Well said, Travis.Here’s my two cents worth. I understand and agree with what you said, although “natural” is not the right word. It is God’s Holy Spirit within a Christian that makes it impossible for us to not say we are sorry when we fail God. So it is certainly not wrong to repent.
      As has been pointed out by several people above, we feel all the more miserable because we know we have already been forgiven.
      In my opinion, it would be wrong to ask for forgiveness because that is the same as saying Jesus did not finish His job on the cross.
      Love in Christ,

  11. Reblogged this on Joyfully Growing in Grace and commented:

    I’m re-posting this with an added word study regarding the HRM use/misuse of the word ‘repent’ and an answer to those who have unjustly criticised my view of repentance unto salvation.
    – JGIG

  12. Reblogged this on His Grace Is Enough and commented:
    A very good article. Just had to repost.

  13. Thats alot! Thank you for really taking the time to put them all

    I love it when you said

    @”but not as a ‘maintenance payment’ on our salvation”

    I will read your entire post tonight.

    lovely. good post

    – grace and peace


    Thank you for the following two paragraphs…

    “That is the truth that we as believers can stand on, so that when we do fail, when we do sin, we understand that even in our imperfections while we are yet in the flesh, Jesus’ Blood cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness!”

    “As we learn to yield to Him, to trust Him, to understand that He alone is capable of remaking us into His image, to enable us to become a reflection of His character and love – it is when we reach that point that we become more and more free from sin – both intentional and unintentional – because we are allowing HIM to live THROUGH us!”

    Here’s my reply to the two awesome statements above…

    When ever I try so hard to walk by faith in my own strength, and feeling I will fallout of God’s sight, love and favor if I slip – that produced SO MUCH MORE weight and bondage in my life.

    That type of thinking actually caused me to struggle with trying to not sin and demonstrated my lack of PURE faith and trusting to being led by HIS SPIRIT.

    I understand now on a deeper level to simply pray for and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in the process of sanctification and bearing GOOD fruit natually, easily and without heavy yokes and burdons associated with self and flesh.

    I am reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6 – awesome scripture!

    Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    I’ve read the Scriptures found in this webpage over the years, but today the Holy Spirit has given me a far DEEPER UNDERSTANDING which has produced profound joy in me.

    I feel much FREER (JGIG) “Joyfully Growing in Grace.”


    –Mark Smith

    • So glad!

      Praise to His Glorious Name!

      Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ,

    • Very well said, Mark. I’m so glad I stopped by here today. You made me think of an example where the KJV got it exactly right and many other modern translations miss a crucial little word.
      Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
      Notice that we live by the faith “of” Jesus rather than faith “in” Jesus. Love in Christ,

      • Hi Herb,

        The revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in THE WORD and by faith working in us (the just shall live by faith) with the help of the Comforter/Holy Spirit, IS how we as believers can DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens us!

        So then faith comes by hearing and hearing the WORD OF GOD.

        Glory to God in the HIGHEST!


  15. This is a good post. Dr Scott Johnson had a post about How to have your prayers answered which was really good until the end when he said that we must repent every time we sin and forgive everyone every time they wrong us or God won’t forgive us. Our forgiveness happened 1980 years ago. We just need to believe that our sins were forgiven already and accept God’s grace. We do not do anything. Christ did it all. I have to ask you why you do not use the King James Bible? I have a ton of evidence and proof that the King James Bible is the only Bible that we should be reading from.

    • Oh wait I made a mistake. Dr. Johnson was saying more like this guy here:
      But I misinterpreted what he was saying. We need to confess sins so that we can get closer to God through prayer. I read it as though our salvation was based on us and what we do now.

    • Thanks for the kind words about the post =o).

      Regarding Bible versions, I recently wrote a post on a forum that relays my position on the subject. Ideally, we would all be fluent in Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. That’s not realistic, however, so most of us need to read the Scriptures in our native tongues. Since one of the first miracles that God did after the Resurrection was the miracle of translation (see Acts 2:5-12), I think God is okay with that.

      To say that the KJV is the only version we (all believers?) should be reading limits the Body of Christ to the English (the ‘King’s English’ of 1611) language. What about believers who are French speaking? Spanish? Oromo? Chinese? Persian? German? I think you get the idea. On that basis alone ‘KJV onlyism’ as a concept fails.

      If you like the KJV, by all means, read it! I have memorized much from the KJV and refer to it on a regular basis and hold it in high regard. It’s not the only good translation out there, however, and when a passage needs more clarification, it is wise to refer to the Hebrew/Greek, keeping context in full view. I cover that pretty thoroughly in the post linked to above.

      • with all the missing words, changed words, and false doctrines taught in other english bibles, see http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/1611_authorized_king_james.htm you need to learn about the Wescott and Hort conspiracy. The conspiracy is against God. There are not 2 billion people making their way into heaven as 2 billion people believe that Jesus died for them.
        of course other languages have their prospective bibles. Wordproject.org has gathered them together. I never said only English language did I? If I did that’s not what I meant. But the same manuscripts were used for the King James are also used to make the following on Wordproject.org

      • Having examined the views and points (in depth) that you raise, Johnny, and understanding the passion that tends to accompany the KJV-only position, I’ll state clearly here that JGIG is not the place for the debate. I’m content to let folks do their own research and reach their own conclusions.

  16. Love this! One question…

    In James whilst talking to the church it says this: And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

    What are your thoughts on this?

    • Yes, we as local bodies of believers should pray faithfully for the sick – we as a family have experienced this in a powerful way over the past couple of years when one of our children was diagnosed and treated for a life-threatening disease (he’s doing really well now).

      In context, regarding sins committed, James speaks of confessing our sins one to another – if you’ve sinned against someone, confess and ask for their forgiveness. Confession and forgiveness between those in the Body of Christ is a healthy practice! James is not talking about the forgiveness of sins unto eternal salvation, but about the forgiveness of sins between believers, and the healing that brings (see James 5).

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