Until now, we have been considering together initial faith and initial repentance, also know has saving faith. The two aspects of conversion which work together at the beginning of the Christian life. It is important however to realize that faith and repentance are not confined to the beginning of the Christian life.
We seen yesterday that in the Hebrew word for repentence there is a feeling on continuation. In fact Ezra 9:14 says ‘Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?’ The word translated here as again is ‘shuv’. Ezra with crying about the fact the people keep breaking God’s law’s over and over again. Here we see that ‘shuv’ has a sense of continuation’.
Faith and repentance are then rather attitudes of the heart that continue throughout our lives as Christians. Jesus tells his disciples to pray daily, ‘and forgive us our sins as we also forgive those who sin against us’ (Matthew 6:12). This is a prayer that we all pray regulary, although if genuine, will certainly involve daily sorrow for sin and genuine repentance. Jesus commands the church who he loves to be zealous and repent. (Revelations 3:19).
A.W. Pink: “The Christian who has stopped repenting has stopped growing.”
So thinking about the verse which this series is based on, in 1 Corinthians 13:13 Paul says ‘So faith, hope and love abide…..’ He most certainly means that these three will continue through the course of our lives, but he is most likely also saying that they will abide for eternity. If Faith is trusting God to provide all we need, then this certainly will never cease, not even in the age to come.’ But in any case, independent of your understanding of this verse, Paul makes clear that faith continues throughout our lives. Paul actually says that ‘I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).
Therefore, although it’s true that initial saving faith and initial repentance occur only once in our lives at the time of conversion, nonetheless, the hearts attitude of repentance and faith only begins at this point. This attitude should then continue thought-out our life as a Christian. Each day there should be heartfelt repentance for the sins we have committed, and faith in Christ to provide for our needs and empower us to live the Christian life.