Repentance Takes Work, But It Isn’t a Work

As Bible-believing Christians, we know that we are not saved by our works. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. So, we want to make sure that no one misunderstands what is about to take place.

Each week we confess our sins as a congregation. God requires that we confess our sins—but these confessions do not save us. Our repentance is not a good work that earns us merit or favor. Our faith in Christ is not a work that saves us from God’s wrath. When we say that we are not saved by works we really mean that there is nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable to God.

Do not believe that your weekly or daily confession of sins earns you anything before God. We cannot, by our confession or good deeds put God in our debt. He is the one saving us. He is the one cleansing us. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that even our repentance—our turning from sin—even that is a gift of God’s grace. Our salvation was the Father’s design. The execution of that salvation is the work of Christ the Son. Our embrace of that salvation comes through the enabling work of the Holy Spirit. And, having been born again by the Spirit, we now confess our sins because we love God and his law. As a result, God receives the credit and glory.


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