Dear Reader, we’ve all seen the Baptist literature telling people how to get saved with “Repent, turn from your sins and believe on Jesus Christ”

But this is nowhere to be found in the Bible!

The Bible says repent, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then turn from your sins!

The popular meaning of repent is to turn from sins … but this is 100% WRONG!

The case in point is this … Is God a sinner? The answer is obviously ‘NO’ … then using the Law of First Mention we have God simply having a CHANGE OF MIND as follows …

“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:6)

And again …

“And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” (Exodus 32:14)

If God wanted Israel to turn from their sins, he says so as follows …

“… Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.” (Ezekiel 14:6) … and again … “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions;” (Ezekiel 18:30)

Now fast forward to John the Baptist preaching to Israel as follows …

“… The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

It had been 400 years since God had Malachi write to Israel, thereby bringing the Old Testament to a close … about God’s burden of … “where is mine honour? … where is my fear? … ye offer polluted bread? … ye offer the blind for sacrifice … that which was torn and the lame and the sick …” (Malachi 1:1, 6, 8, 13).

John, coming as forerunner to Jesus Christ, is saying to Israel, having been pricked in the heart, to repent … that is … to HAVE A CHANGE OF MIND TO THE ACKNOWLEDGING OF THE TRUTH … they had been robbing God and treating him with absolute contempt as outlined in the Book of Malachi.

As Paul states “…repentance (change of mind) to the acknowledging of the truth;” (2 Timothy 2:25).

Repentance is a change of mind to recognizing and accepting the truth … NEVER turning from sins at this stage.

Turning from sins starts AFTER you get saved.

What about Acts 2:38 and 2 Peter 3:9?

Acts 2:38

Peter addresses the men of Israel saying “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

Repent, and be baptized are two separate things … with baptism following repentance.

Can you see the comma after the word ‘repent’, followed by the word ‘and’?

This means ‘repent’ (changing your mind) comes first … then water baptism followed.

This is Peter to the men of Israel about crucifying Jesus … first they were pricked to the heart (Acts 2:37) … and with Peter’s preaching … they repented … then they were baptised for the remission … not redemption … of sins.

2 Peter 3:9

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

This is John, telling us God wants all men to have a change of mind about how to get saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no turning from sins mentioned here.


As stated at the start of this article, the order of salvation is 1. Repent 2. Believe 3. Turn

After we get saved, we turn from sins … surrendering them … stopping doing them … and some stubborn ones might hang around for years … to the point where we even take them to heaven.

Salvation simply means that Christ has paid our sin debt to God the Father.

We come to Jesus “dead in trespasses and sins” … ALL our sins … as stated …

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13) … otherwise we rob God of his glory by saying “I got rid of some sins before I got saved!”

Now AFTER BEING SAVED, the usual obvious sins should disappear pretty quickly eg drunkenness, murder, fornication, gambling, lying etc … and then … indwelling Holy Ghost through the words of the Bible, will then start to turn us from sin and sins  … in particular … the ‘HIDDEN’ sins in the mind of the self-righteous … outlined as the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).

Salvation occurs when:

1. We see we will never be good enough to be saved … we are DEAD in trespasses and sin.

2. How many sins must we turn from before God can will agree to save us? The Bible says that if we have done just one sin in our life, then God says we are guilty of all.

3. We see what Jesus has done for us … kept the law 100% for us and shedding his blood.

4. We thank Jesus, believing on him, for dying for our sins and saving us.

After being saved, the Holy Ghost comes and lives in us … then we truly start to be convicted of sin … then God gives us the power to overcome sin.

What is the meaning of deliverance?

When saved, we are delivered … “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Colossians 1:13). We have been taken from Satan’s kingdom and put into God’s kingdom … like a letter in the mail!

Have we been delivered from our sins?

NO. Saved people get very upset thinking they haven’t been saved, because they still sin. Our soul has been saved but this is still trapped in a sinful body … and the flesh wars against the Holy Ghost in us … “ … the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17). It takes effort, time and patience on our behalf!

Harley Hitchcock
July 2024

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Q: “How can the Bible say one thing in one
place then give a different meaning in another?”
A: “It seems that way doesn’t it … but it’s not
the case. It is simply God’s way of confusing
and blinding the non-serious Bible student who
will not study to show themselves approved
unto God (2Tim 2:15).


 Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia