Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

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Kurieuo
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Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#1

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:13 am

In John 3:16 is says that whosoever believes in Jesus should not perish, but have everlasting life. Many of us (Christians), including myself, will even say that belief is all one needs to have or do. And yet, what we mean by these words is rarely unpacked, and until they are such words carry very little meaning.

What does it mean for us to BELEIVE in Jesus? That Jesus is God? He died on the cross as the ultimate sacrificial lamb in substitution of humanity? That one simply believes a Jesus existed, whoever he is, and in whatever he did? What if somone merely intellectually acknowledge Jesus and what he did, but then their heart remain unchanged and far from God -- is such a person "saved"?

On that last question, I'm sure (I'd hope) many Christians would agree that such a person who carried mere belief that Jesus existed and died for their sin, and yet their minds didn't much care about Jesus at all -- that such a person is not really a Christian in Biblical terms. Yet, don't they fulfull the requirement of John 3:16 since they would believe in Jesus and God as such? So then, it would seem there is something more involved in "belief".

And that is, a change in conscience towards God, the strong desire to turn toward God, to turn to Christ and place one's trust in Him in however manner one does or is capable of doing such. This we read in Acts 3:19 where it is said "repent and convert..." Repent means "to turn" and/or "change one's mind". Indeed, I love the passage in Romans where Paul explains, '"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”'

That is, unless, and until, one understands that "belief" (pisteuo) actually has a deeper meaning that reaches to the depths of our heart, that is, the belief is being persuaded of, a turning towards to the point that you will trust in -- well, I think such people have a very superficial understanding of "belief" in John 3:16. It is a transformative belief, one's whole countenance is changed, such that they desire Jesus and God. Thus, they "believe".


So then, I turn to the question of why don't Atheists just believe? Really, I'm not as concerned to answer whatever their pet-peeve might be against belief in Christ and/or God, or why they claim to have an absent of belief in God. Rather, I feel this misunderstanding of the Christian message -- that all one needs to do is believe (without truly understanding what such means) -- leads to many just dismissing the Christian message out of hand.

For a reasonable and all-loving God who wants us to believe in Him, all such God needs to do is SHOW Himself to the world. Isn't this what all Atheists generally ask for? To put myself in the mind of Atheists, if God is all-loving then God should simply show Himself in a manner we can all see and touch. Then ALL will believe and then ALL can be saved! But silly Christians believe in some HIDDEN God, who demands belief in Himself, while at the same time playing a game of hide and seek which (we are told) has enormous ramifications for those who don't end up believing for they'll burn in Hell for eternty. What a nice and loving God you Christians have. He sounds like a cruel God, and I don't really care much for such a stupid God even if you're right.

To be honest, I'd largely agree with Atheists who'd complain like this. If all one needs to do to be saved, and all that matters for us, is simply believe that God exists, merely believing Jesus "died for our sins" (religious language which too requires some unpacking), then God manifesting Himself to all of us is all that'd be needed. Yet, God doesn't do that, therefore the God Christians claim to believe in, who is meant to be all-loving while allowing many to be tortured for eternity because He hides away, well such a God doesn't exist!

As I see, a lot of this wrong-think comes down to a misunderstanding on "belief" in the Christian message. It is a misunderstanding about just what exactly God desires from each of us. It isn't that we merely believe, but rather God wants our hearts. God wants us to freely choose and turn towards Him, and many do turn towards God because their hearts are open, even a great deal of people turn to God/Christ because their hearts have become very broken and they see nothing to lose. And to many such, God responds with grace and love in personal ways only such people could explain.

Now a world wherein a righteous God sets up a throne and rules sovereignly over His creatures (as God should), well, what room is there for our free decision to actually reject God? Some would argue it is impossible to reject God in such a world, indeed at least one couldn't reject God entirely. In our world, where God isn't visibly present to us in our every moment, it seems to me our hearts have a lot of room to move within. We each have a freedom to explore our evil desires without God looking over our shoulder, or to do good out of some goodness of our hearts. We each have freedom to either seek God (and I believe all such will find God), or we can bury and reject God utterly and completely.

It's likely also not a matter of God should have created a world where He was directly present and not hidden from view, but that God actually created both types of worlds. Many believe God did create a world with creatures within to whom He is clearly viewable in His kingdom as Lord (angelic spiritual beings and a heavenly kingdom). In this kingdom God is acknowldged by all, nonetheless some envied God, wanted to be God, and so the story goes many angels were cast out of this kingdom. Yet, God also created a world, our world, wherein He could test the hearts of more free beings, beings God created to see whether they would FREELY pursue, acknowledge and love Him, or whether such would prefer to bury any knowledge of Him in complete denial.

Which free being are you in this world?
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Nicki (Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:23 am)
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:08 am

Thanks Nicki. Glad to see at least someone liked what I had to write. ;) Thinking maybe it had the wrong title, was posted in the wrong forum area perhaps... :P

I'd think more would weigh in on the topic of "belief", but I notice this is actually a topic Christians tend give a wide berth. That is, whether belief is a matter of intellectual assent or something deeper and of the heart. Perhaps, I think, some don't want to be declared heretic for turning something that ought to be simple (i.e., belief) into a work, and yet, I don't see that is the case at all in my exposé.

Further, one side leaves us with God being less than all-loving, even perhaps being childish, while the other gets "to the heart" of why our world is the way it is where God isn't visibily present before us.

As for the non-Christian contigent here, though few, I was thinking it'd be 50/50 they'd respond -- since they likely don't really care either way. Though my elaboration on what "belief" really means in Scripture might ruin for them what I consider to be an otherwise good argument against Christianity.
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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#3

Post by Nicki » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:44 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:08 am
Thanks Nicki. Glad to see at least someone liked what I had to write. ;) Thinking maybe it had the wrong title, was posted in the wrong forum area perhaps... :P

I'd think more would weigh in on the topic of "belief", but I notice this is actually a topic Christians tend give a wide berth. That is, whether belief is a matter of intellectual assent or something deeper and of the heart. Perhaps, I think, some don't want to be declared heretic for turning something that ought to be simple (i.e., belief) into a work, and yet, I don't see that is the case at all in my exposé.

Further, one side leaves us with God being less than all-loving, even perhaps being childish, while the other gets "to the heart" of why our world is the way it is where God isn't visibily present before us.

As for the non-Christian contigent here, though few, I was thinking it'd be 50/50 they'd respond -- since they likely don't really care either way. Though my elaboration on what "belief" really means in Scripture might ruin for them what I consider to be an otherwise good argument against Christianity.
:) As with a lot of things here I appreciated it but couldn't think of much to say at the time. I don't think I see it as two kinds of belief - head and heart - rather that belief in the fact of a supreme loving God has consequences for our hearts and lives.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#4

Post by Philip » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:23 am

Because there is mere belief - an intellectual supposing, if you will - and then there is buying in to the Gospel and embracing what God has shown us - and of loving Him BACK. When one truly desires to embrace and change their allegiance and leadership from self to God, that is a very different thing indeed. And it produces a heart with a desire to be evermore obedient, to following a life-long journey (and struggle) of learning more and more of how to make Him more fully our Lord.

But belief - even a mere intellectual awareness of God - IS an important first step. And it then requires a response.

The more I realize what God encompasses, the more I realize the astounding things He has done, His unlimited, all-knowing attributes and capabilities, and His powerful love - the more my awe of Him continuously grows.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#5

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:10 am

Believing in God leads people somewhere and many people do not LIKE where it leads.
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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#6

Post by Nils » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:19 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:13 am
In John 3:16 is says that whosoever believes in Jesus should not perish, but have everlasting life. Many of us (Christians), including myself, will even say that belief is all one needs to have or do. And yet, what we mean by these words is rarely unpacked, and until they are such words carry very little meaning.

What does it mean for us to BELEIVE in Jesus? That Jesus is God? He died on the cross as the ultimate sacrificial lamb in substitution of humanity? That one simply believes a Jesus existed, whoever he is, and in whatever he did? What if somone merely intellectually acknowledge Jesus and what he did, but then their heart remain unchanged and far from God -- is such a person "saved"?

On that last question, I'm sure (I'd hope) many Christians would agree that such a person who carried mere belief that Jesus existed and died for their sin, and yet their minds didn't much care about Jesus at all -- that such a person is not really a Christian in Biblical terms. Yet, don't they fulfull the requirement of John 3:16 since they would believe in Jesus and God as such? So then, it would seem there is something more involved in "belief".

And that is, a change in conscience towards God, the strong desire to turn toward God, to turn to Christ and place one's trust in Him in however manner one does or is capable of doing such. This we read in Acts 3:19 where it is said "repent and convert..." Repent means "to turn" and/or "change one's mind". Indeed, I love the passage in Romans where Paul explains, '"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”'

That is, unless, and until, one understands that "belief" (pisteuo) actually has a deeper meaning that reaches to the depths of our heart, that is, the belief is being persuaded of, a turning towards to the point that you will trust in -- well, I think such people have a very superficial understanding of "belief" in John 3:16. It is a transformative belief, one's whole countenance is changed, such that they desire Jesus and God. Thus, they "believe".


So then, I turn to the question of why don't Atheists just believe? Really, I'm not as concerned to answer whatever their pet-peeve might be against belief in Christ and/or God, or why they claim to have an absent of belief in God. Rather, I feel this misunderstanding of the Christian message -- that all one needs to do is believe (without truly understanding what such means) -- leads to many just dismissing the Christian message out of hand.

For a reasonable and all-loving God who wants us to believe in Him, all such God needs to do is SHOW Himself to the world. Isn't this what all Atheists generally ask for? To put myself in the mind of Atheists, if God is all-loving then God should simply show Himself in a manner we can all see and touch. Then ALL will believe and then ALL can be saved! But silly Christians believe in some HIDDEN God, who demands belief in Himself, while at the same time playing a game of hide and seek which (we are told) has enormous ramifications for those who don't end up believing for they'll burn in Hell for eternty. What a nice and loving God you Christians have. He sounds like a cruel God, and I don't really care much for such a stupid God even if you're right.

To be honest, I'd largely agree with Atheists who'd complain like this. If all one needs to do to be saved, and all that matters for us, is simply believe that God exists, merely believing Jesus "died for our sins" (religious language which too requires some unpacking), then God manifesting Himself to all of us is all that'd be needed. Yet, God doesn't do that, therefore the God Christians claim to believe in, who is meant to be all-loving while allowing many to be tortured for eternity because He hides away, well such a God doesn't exist!

As I see, a lot of this wrong-think comes down to a misunderstanding on "belief" in the Christian message. It is a misunderstanding about just what exactly God desires from each of us. It isn't that we merely believe, but rather God wants our hearts. God wants us to freely choose and turn towards Him, and many do turn towards God because their hearts are open, even a great deal of people turn to God/Christ because their hearts have become very broken and they see nothing to lose. And to many such, God responds with grace and love in personal ways only such people could explain.

Now a world wherein a righteous God sets up a throne and rules sovereignly over His creatures (as God should), well, what room is there for our free decision to actually reject God? Some would argue it is impossible to reject God in such a world, indeed at least one couldn't reject God entirely. In our world, where God isn't visibly present to us in our every moment, it seems to me our hearts have a lot of room to move within. We each have a freedom to explore our evil desires without God looking over our shoulder, or to do good out of some goodness of our hearts. We each have freedom to either seek God (and I believe all such will find God), or we can bury and reject God utterly and completely.

It's likely also not a matter of God should have created a world where He was directly present and not hidden from view, but that God actually created both types of worlds. Many believe God did create a world with creatures within to whom He is clearly viewable in His kingdom as Lord (angelic spiritual beings and a heavenly kingdom). In this kingdom God is acknowldged by all, nonetheless some envied God, wanted to be God, and so the story goes many angels were cast out of this kingdom. Yet, God also created a world, our world, wherein He could test the hearts of more free beings, beings God created to see whether they would FREELY pursue, acknowledge and love Him, or whether such would prefer to bury any knowledge of Him in complete denial.

Which free being are you in this world?
Kurieuo, this is an important question that has always interested me but I’m not certain that I understand you. It seems that you differ between head and heart as Nicki phrases it. Now I’m not sure about what you and others mean by talking about an “open heart”. Do you mean a feeling that isn’t intellectually motivated. For instance when a person is searching something without knowing what she searches, perhaps meaning of life, safety or a personal relation. Then I may understand that such a person is open for a religious message. But if, as in my case, I don’t have these feelings. I have no urge to get another meaning to my life etc, I’m satisfied with my life as is.

What remains is to find an intellectual motive for a religion but I haven’t found any or to be more specific, I find the reasons against religions and Christianity are much more convincing than the reasons for.

You say “We each have freedom to either seek God (and I believe all such will find God), or we can bury and reject God utterly and completely.” But what can I do more than I have done. I know Christianity fairly well (but of course not as well as you Christians on this site), I understand that if Christianity is true I will be in danger to be sent to hell if I don’t believe (even if my Christian friend says that I am a good guy and certainly will not go to hell anyway) and I even tried to address God asking him to give me a sign (as serious that is possible when you are talking to someone you don’t think exists). I know that other atheist say similar things.

This seems to be a catch 22 situation. To believe I have to intellectually embrace Gods existence but to do that I have to believe. Alternatively using the terminology of “open heart”, I should open my heart for Gods existence but how can I do that if I have no desire to do that or any intellectual motivation. Some may answer that I could use my free will but how can I want to do something that I don’t want.

Nils

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#7

Post by DBowling » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:37 am

Nils wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:19 am

Kurieuo, this is an important question that has always interested me but I’m not certain that I understand you. It seems that you differ between head and heart as Nicki phrases it. Now I’m not sure about what you and others mean by talking about an “open heart”. Do you mean a feeling that isn’t intellectually motivated. For instance when a person is searching something without knowing what she searches, perhaps meaning of life, safety or a personal relation. Then I may understand that such a person is open for a religious message. But if, as in my case, I don’t have these feelings. I have no urge to get another meaning to my life etc, I’m satisfied with my life as is.

What remains is to find an intellectual motive for a religion but I haven’t found any or to be more specific, I find the reasons against religions and Christianity are much more convincing than the reasons for.
Some thoughts...
'head vs heart' does not mean intellect vs emotion

head vs heart is contrasting
head only (intellect only)
with
head and heart (intellect and emotion)

We see this principle in any relationship
There are a number of people that I am aware of intellectually, but intellect alone does not lead to a loving relationship with those people.
To have a loving relationship with someone, I have to know that they exist intellectually, but on top of intellect I also have the emotions of love and trust which form the bond of that relationship.

A relationship with Jesus of Nazareth requires an intellectual understanding of certain basic historical facts.
- Jesus of Nazareth existed.
- Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be the Jewish Messiah and Son of God
- Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans and died to pay the penalty of sin for all of mankind
- Jesus of Nazareth defeated sin and death by rising from the dead on the third day after he was crucified.
Those are the historical facts

However, intellectual assent to those historical facts alone does not establish a relationship between a person and the risen Jesus of Nazareth.
In order to establish a relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, a person needs to put their trust in him to resolve the sin problem that every person on the planet has.

Of course, a person has to understand that they are not perfect and actually have a sin problem before they have any motivation to trust Jesus to resolve their sin problem.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#8

Post by claysmithr » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:06 am

Faith is a requirement of salvation, and if God was visible to all on Earth, no one would be able to meet the requirement of salvation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. --Eph 2:8

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. --Heb 11:6

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you --Matthew 7:7

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Once faith has been achieved, it opens up doors for one to operate in the spiritual realm, like praying.

What else is required of man? Repentance! A deliberate turning from sin and turning towards God! A process of sanctification that leads one to become Holy!

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#9

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:08 pm

claysmithr wrote:
What else is required of man? Repentance! A deliberate turning from sin and turning towards God! A process of sanctification that leads one to become Holy!
That's an unbiblical meaning of repentance, and a works based salvation.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#10

Post by claysmithr » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:44 pm

RickD wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:08 pm
claysmithr wrote:
What else is required of man? Repentance! A deliberate turning from sin and turning towards God! A process of sanctification that leads one to become Holy!
That's an unbiblical meaning of repentance, and a works based salvation.
John the baptist prepared a way for Jesus by preaching the message of repentance! It's not works based, it is a requirement of God, similar to how Faith is a requirement of God. Faith leads to repentance.

Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 , does this preach works? Is having faith or repentance a work?

What about Philippians 2:12 ? Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling? What does that verse mean to you?

Technically anything can be a work. You could call Faith a work.

I figured out repentance was a requirement by delving deeply into the scripture and KNOWING for myself!

Faith leads us to the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God leads us to brokenness before God b/c of our sin, and our brokenness causes us to Repent! Removing repentance from the Gospel removes the Power from the Gospel, the Power to live a changed life.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#11

Post by RickD » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:00 pm

claysmithr wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:44 pm
RickD wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:08 pm
claysmithr wrote:
What else is required of man? Repentance! A deliberate turning from sin and turning towards God! A process of sanctification that leads one to become Holy!
That's an unbiblical meaning of repentance, and a works based salvation.
John the baptist prepared a way for Jesus by preaching the message of repentance! It's not works based, it is a requirement of God, similar to how Faith is a requirement of God. Faith leads to repentance.

Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 , does this preach works? Is having faith or repentance a work?

What about Philippians 2:12 ? Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling? What does that verse mean to you?

Technically anything can be a work. You could call Faith a work.

I figured out repentance was a requirement by delving deeply into the scripture and KNOWING for myself!

Faith leads us to the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God leads us to brokenness before God b/c of our sin, and our brokenness causes us to Repent! Removing repentance from the Gospel removes the Power from the Gospel, the Power to live a changed life.
Pay attention to what I said, please. The Greek word translated as repentance, is metanoia. The meaning of metanoia, is literally, "a change of mind". Your definition, "A deliberate turning from sin...", is not what metanoia means. Biblical repentance, metanoia, again means "a change of mind". Of course a change of mind is necessary to have trust in Christ for salvation. Before, one doesn't put his trust in whom Christ is, and what he has done. Then, one repents, has a "change of mind", metanoia, and trusts in Christ for salvation.

Your definition of repent, "a deliberate turning from sin" is unbiblical, and part of a false gospel.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#12

Post by claysmithr » Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:52 am

From the dictionary...

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repent

Definition of repent (Entry 1 of 2)
intransitive verb

1 : to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2a : to feel regret or contrition
b : to change one's mind
transitive verb

1 : to cause to feel regret or contrition
2 : to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for

One needs to have a changed mind not only about Christ, but about sin.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#13

Post by RickD » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:06 am

claysmithr wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:52 am
From the dictionary...

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repent

Definition of repent (Entry 1 of 2)
intransitive verb

1 : to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2a : to feel regret or contrition
b : to change one's mind
transitive verb

1 : to cause to feel regret or contrition
2 : to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for

One needs to have a changed mind not only about Christ, but about sin.
You're looking at the definition of "repent", in English. It's not an exact translation. You need to look at the Greek word, and its definition. It literally means, "a change of mind."
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claysmithr (Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:12 am)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#14

Post by DBowling » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:51 am

RickD wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:00 pm
claysmithr wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:44 pm
Faith leads us to the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God leads us to brokenness before God b/c of our sin, and our brokenness causes us to Repent! Removing repentance from the Gospel removes the Power from the Gospel, the Power to live a changed life.
Pay attention to what I said, please. The Greek word translated as repentance, is metanoia. The meaning of metanoia, is literally, "a change of mind". Your definition, "A deliberate turning from sin...", is not what metanoia means. Biblical repentance, metanoia, again means "a change of mind". Of course a change of mind is necessary to have trust in Christ for salvation. Before, one doesn't put his trust in whom Christ is, and what he has done. Then, one repents, has a "change of mind", metanoia, and trusts in Christ for salvation.

Your definition of repent, "a deliberate turning from sin" is unbiblical, and part of a false gospel.
That all depends on what what you mean by 'turning from sin'.

The difference between claysmith and Rick involves what 'turning from sin' means.

If by 'turning from sin' you mean that a person in their own power is able to turn their life around and stop sinning... then Rick is right. The Bible clearly teaches that we are incapable of overcoming sin in our life.

If by 'turning from sin' you mean that a person realizes that they are a slave to sin and they have a desire to be delivered from that sin... then claysmith is right. The Bible clearly teaches that when we trust in Jesus we are trusting Jesus to save us from our sin.

Faith and repentance aren't two different steps is the process of salvation.
Faith and repentance are both integral parts of...
Trusting Jesus to save me from my sin.
Which is the Gospel message.

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Re: Merely Believe in Christ? Why Don't Atheists Believe?

#15

Post by RickD » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:14 am

DBowling wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:51 am
RickD wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:00 pm
claysmithr wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:44 pm
Faith leads us to the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of God leads us to brokenness before God b/c of our sin, and our brokenness causes us to Repent! Removing repentance from the Gospel removes the Power from the Gospel, the Power to live a changed life.
Pay attention to what I said, please. The Greek word translated as repentance, is metanoia. The meaning of metanoia, is literally, "a change of mind". Your definition, "A deliberate turning from sin...", is not what metanoia means. Biblical repentance, metanoia, again means "a change of mind". Of course a change of mind is necessary to have trust in Christ for salvation. Before, one doesn't put his trust in whom Christ is, and what he has done. Then, one repents, has a "change of mind", metanoia, and trusts in Christ for salvation.

Your definition of repent, "a deliberate turning from sin" is unbiblical, and part of a false gospel.
That all depends on what what you mean by 'turning from sin'.

The difference between claysmith and Rick involves what 'turning from sin' means.

If by 'turning from sin' you mean that a person in their own power is able to turn their life around and stop sinning... then Rick is right. The Bible clearly teaches that we are incapable of overcoming sin in our life.

If by 'turning from sin' you mean that a person realizes that they are a slave to sin and they have a desire to be delivered from that sin... then claysmith is right. The Bible clearly teaches that when we trust in Jesus we are trusting Jesus to save us from our sin.

Faith and repentance aren't two different steps is the process of salvation.
Faith and repentance are both integral parts of...
Trusting Jesus to save me from my sin.
Which is the Gospel message.
Again, metanoia literally means, "a change of mind". It doesn't mean, "a turning from sin".

If "turning from sin" were a requirement for salvation, we'd all be lost. If one wants to claim that turning from sin is a part or sanctification, then I'd agree. But it's not metanoia, and turning from sin is not the part of trusting/faith that saves. "Repent and believe", more accurately is "change your mind (about who Christ is, and what he's done), and believe".
Faith and repentance aren't two different steps is the process of salvation.
Faith and repentance are both integral parts of...
Trusting Jesus to save me from my sin.
Which is the Gospel message.
Amen!!!
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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