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DO I HAVE TO TURN FROM MY SINS TO BE SAVED?

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Perhaps you have seen a tract at one time or another with the following "steps to salvation" printed in it:

1. Admit you are sinner. 

2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent). (FALSE)

----> Please note: the word “repent” does not mean "turn from sin", please see my article on repentance for more details 

3. Accept Christ as your Saviour. (or “turn to Christ in faith” etc.) 

Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Just to reiterate, "repent" does not mean "to turn from sin". God repents in the Bible, and God has no sin to turn from. 

Does one have to turn from sin in order to be saved? Well, what is sin?

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Sin is transgression of the law, according to this verse. So in order to turn from sin, you would have to keep the law (the law of the Bible).  What does the Bible say about keeping the law?

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified

So if "sin" is trangression of the law, "turning from sin" means keeping the law.  "Keeping the law" would be doing the works or deeds of the law.  And the Bible says you are justified without the deeds of the law.  (The word "justified" is just another way of saying saved, I've heard it said that it means "just if I'd" never sinned.)  The Bible says no flesh will be justified by the works of the law. Thus, "turning from sin" is not a part of being saved, otherwise we would be justified by keeping the law.   

The Bible goes on to say that if you are trusting the law to justify you, Christ is of no effect to you!  That means you are not saved.  

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 

If you try to stop sinning, that is, try to keep the law and are trusting that to get you saved or keep you saved, Christ will become of no effect to you.  It's not that you will lose your salvation, because that is impossible.  God gives us "eternal life" and "everlasting life."  It's just that you are testifying that you have not believed on Jesus as your savior.  Because once you are saved, you know it's not by keeping the law.  Salvation is by faith alone, without the works of the law.  

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:






THE SIN OF CAIN

Salvation is all about Jesus and what he did.  Yet man in his pride wants it to be all about himself.  This is nothing new, in fact it goes all the way back to the children of Adam and Eve.  


Genesis 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

(4) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

(5) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.


Abel brought an animal sacrifice, picturing Christ.  Abel was obeying God and offering the sacrifice he was commanded, but Cain brought his fruits...the fruit that he worked so hard to produce .  This is an excellent picture for us of those that believe in simple faith in Christ to save them (Abel) and those who want their works to save them (Cain). 

Just like Cain, people who are trusting works get very angry when you suggest that all the works they have done for God are not involved with salvation.  Cain got so angry he ended up killing his brother.  You see this repeated all throughout history.  The Jews, specifically the Pharisees, killed Jesus. (1 Thes. 2:15)  They then continued to persecute the Apostles.  The Roman Catholic church, which teaches you are saved by sacraments and deeds, killed many Christians who believed in faith alone for salvation as "heretics".   

But it's not about us!  God will not share his glory with anyone.  You are either saved by Jesus, or else you will go to hell and pay for your own sins.  If you trust in works in any way, God will judge you by your works and you will not be able to stand on judgment day.  ONE SIN will send you to hell. 
Q: Do you need to turn from sin to be saved? 
A: NO.  (Jonah 3:10, Eph. 2:8,9)

Q: Can you lose your salvation by continuing to sin?
A: NO. If you could, salvation would be based on your works, not on Jesus.  (John 10:28, Philippians 3:9)

Q: In that case why not eat, drink, and be merry if we don’t have to stop sinning?
A1: Because we love God and want to obey him.  (John 14;15)
A2: We will be rewarded in heaven based on what we do with our lives.  (2 Cor. 5:10)
A3: We will be chastened in this life if we continue in sin. You reap what you sow here on earth.  (1 Cor. 11:32)


Turning from sins means keeping the law.  And no one is justified by keeping the law.
 

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.