Faith -- Before Or After Repentance?

There are many folks in the religious world who believe and teach that repentance comes before faith, but that belief and teaching is not true according to the inspired Scriptures. Without first acquiring "faith" (Romans 10:17), an individual would not know “what” to repent of or “why.”

For example, in Acts 2, let us note the order in which faith and repentance are found. In Acts 2:37, the Jews that Peter instructed, wanted to know what to do in order to be saved. Peter’s reply was, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

The question now arises, “If repentance is required before belief [faith], why were these Jews not told by Peter to repent and believe?” The simple answer is, they already believed from the inspired gospel sermon that Peter had just concluded preaching to them (Acts 2:14-36; cf. Romans 10:17). His sermon convicted them of their killing the Son of God — so much so, that they were “cut to the heart” — wanting to know what they needed to “do” to rectify their sinful condition (Acts 2:36-37; cf. Acts 9:6).

There are also those who teach that repentance and faith cannot be separated — that whenever you have the one — you have other. This teaching is false as well, because in John 12:42-43, the Bible records these words: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for the loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Even though many of these religious leaders [Pharisees] believed in Jesus (they had faith), they were unwilling to repent and confess Jesus as the Son of God. Thus we see that repentance and faith are two separate actsfaith [belief] always preceding repentance (note the examples of conversion in the book of Acts).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

Related Article: What About "Faith Only" Salvation?

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