Today's Foundations Devotional: The only way to true faith
Yesterday we saw how Christ’s message has always been: first repentance, then faith.
In Acts 20:20-21, Paul spoke to the elders of the church at Ephesus, and he outlined the gospel message which he had preached to them.
I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21).
The order of Paul’s message is the same: first repentance, then faith.
Finally, as we have already seen in Hebrews 6:1-2, the order of the basic foundation doctrines of the Christian faith is first repentance from dead works, then faith, baptisms and so on.
Without exception, throughout the entire New Testament, repentance is the first response to the gospel that God demands. Nothing else can come before it, and nothing else can take its place.
True repentance must always precedes true faith. Without such repentance, faith alone is an empty profession. This is one reason why the experience of so many Christians today is so unstable and insecure. They are seeking to build without the first of the great foundation doctrines. They are professing faith but they have never practised true repentance. As a result, the faith which they profess procures for them neither the favour of God nor the respect of the world.
In many places today the simplification of the gospel message has been taken one step too far. The message often preached today is “Only believe.” But that is not the message of Christ. Christ and His apostles preached “Repent and believe.” Any preacher who leaves out the call to repentance is misleading sinners and misrepresenting God. For Paul tells us that it is God Himself who “commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). That is the general edict of God to the entire human race: “All men everywhere must repent.”
Thank You, Father, for this very clear and precious message. Please help me to always keep this complete return – repentance and faith – at the centre of my life. I ask You, in Jesus’ Name, and in Your grace, to expose hidden sins in my heart, so I may repent, and receive Your forgiveness. Amen!
Click on the link below for the Derek Prince book that these daily devotionals are based on: