How do you know your repentance and faith are sincere?

The good news that God so loved the world that He sent us His Son calls for an appropriate response, a response of repentance and faith.

Repentance and faith are different sides of the same coin. Repentance is turning from sin. Faith is turning to God. They are instruments through which God saves us through the cross of Christ. They are also instruments through which we grow in holiness. We begin, continue, and end our earthly Christian journey holding onto this good news through our constant repentance and faith.

Repentance is metanoia in Greek. It means a change of mind. It’s an abhorrence of our sin against God and others, a remorse not just due to sin’s consequences, but the realisation that we have fallen short of God’s standard and have dishonoured Him. It also involves an act of our will to change our attitude, speech, and conduct, to forsake whatever is displeasing to God. It is realigning ourselves back to God’s word.

What then is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Christ seated on the throne and the new heaven and earth at His return are examples of things unseen. They are made real to us solely by faith through the Holy Spirit.

Faith is hence also a gift from the Holy Spirit. It’s the certainty that all of God’s promises to us in His Word have been and will finally be fulfilled in Christ. So faith rests fully in Christ and His works alone to save us from our sins. Hence faith pleases God. It honours Christ and gives glory to God.

So how do you know your repentance and faith are sincere?

While we are saved by faith alone, saving faith is never alone. Remember how John called the crowd in Luke 3:7-8 to produce fruits of repentance to escape the wrath to come. The fruit of faith and repentance is a changed life, a life set apart for God, consecrated to Him. It’s a life growing in holiness.

As opposed to sin, faith believes God’s word is true and lives by it. So faith will produce godly character in the follower of Christ, which is the subject of the Design for Disciples Book 4, our Discipleship Group studies from July to September. When our faith is real, we will grow in love, purity and integrity, sustained by a persevering faith even amid suffering. And we can do so by living a life of constant repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.