Is repentance necessary for salvation or is it considered a work? Please help, as I don’t know what to think anymore.
Repentance is part of salvation. We must have godly sorrow over the sin that we commit against God and how it hurts his heart. Repentance is the idea of turning away from our sin for good. Everyone from John the Baptist to Peter preached it.
In Acts 2:38, Peter tells the crowd that asks, “What should we do?” because of his sermon, to repent. If we don’t repent, turn away from our sin, then we cannot be saved. But repentance is not a work that we do. It is part of the process of salvation.
As we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul says that we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart (Romans 10:9-10). By confessing that Jesus Christ is our Lord, we placed him above our desires and temptations. He becomes Lord of our hearts instead of the sin we used to commit.
Salvation is a two-way street. As we hear the gospel preached by others that God has sent to preach to us, we respond with confession and repentance, and God does the rest. He is the one who seals us with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) and adopts us as his children.
But if we don’t respond to the gospel, God doesn’t do any of this. So it is not a work that we do to be saved. We don’t save ourselves by turning away from sin. Turning away from sin is part of what we do as we respond to the gospel that God brings to us through others.