Is repentance from sin essential to salvation?

John MacArthur

Is repentance from sin essential to salvation?

Some say that turning from sin is a human work and therefore cannot be part of salvation. To accommodate the biblical call to repentance, they redefine repentance as nothing more than a change of mind about who Jesus is.


Biblically, however, repentance is a total about face—turning away from sin and self and unto God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:9). That is no more a result of human effort than faith itself. Nor is it in any sense a pre-salvation work required to prepare a sinner for salvation. Real repentance is inseparable from faith and, like faith, is the work of God in a human heart. It is the response God inevitably generates in the heart of one He is redeeming.



Answer excerpted from Getting the Gospel Right by John MacArthur.  © Copyright 2006 by Grace to You. All rights reserved. Click here to see the article in its entirety.

Originally published August 17, 2007.

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