If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:9)

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins. (Acts 3:19)


Those are good verses. Because if God didn’t want it that way, we wouldn’t need to feel bad about the wrongs we have done. We wouldn’t need to try and correct our behavior. There are those who claim that when Jesus died he provided unconditional forgiveness. That is, forgiveness without the necessity of repentance. God loves us unconditionally. But unconditional forgiveness is an entirely different thing.

Beware of what people tell you, even those whose Bible knowledge you thought you trusted. As I suggested at  http://marjabergen.com/archives/researching-scripture-for-yourself, check your Bible. Learn from other sermons. There are many you can listen to or read by reputable preachers. There are also the commentaries.

Churches that don’t preach repentance are not holding to biblical truths. They are teaching truths that suit them. They’re not serving God. They’re serving themselves.

The Alliance church whose teaching I describe above is not faithful to what its denomination is preaching. The statement of faith held by The Christian Missionary Alliance says the following:

Freedom from Sin:
Salvation has been provided only through Jesus Christ. Those who repent and believe in Him are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit and are thereby regenerated (born again), justified, sanctified and granted the gift of eternal life as adopted children of God.

Repenting is like a child who has done something wrong confessing it to her mother and saying she’s sorry. And mom might ask her, “You won’t do it again?”