To clarify my position on repentance and belief (which you will find mentioned throughout the articles, sermons etc on this website), I would like to make it clear that repentance and belief are not two actions but rather a single atomic action. Literally this means to have a change of mind belief (taken from the Greek word: metanoia). I will explain it further. What is it that I believe about Christ? I now believe that I was a depraved, wretched sinner on the path to hell, deserving God’s full wrath but that the Lord Jesus Christ, through His sacrificial love, grace and mercy paid the penalty of my sins in full. It is not a passive belief without consequence. It is a belief which results and is manifested in a change of mind. I have changed my mind about my sin though at that point I may not yet have acted upon that change of mind other than to recognize my sinful state and need of salvation before a holy God. At that very point I am saved. As I then begin to put that “change of mind” belief into action in my everyday walk with the Lord, rather than wallowing in sin without thought for what the Lord wants me to do, I now begin to hate my sin and seek the Holy Spirit’s help to over come it as I begin my walk of sanctification. At that very moment I believed, I was saved. The second after I was saved, I began my walk of sanctification in which the Holy Spirit began His work of sanctification in me. I began that walk of sanctification because it was a change of mind belief. I am of course utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit to put that change of mind belief into action. If I died at the instant I believed in Christ’s atoning work for me personally, I would go straight to Heaven.
Contrast this to a passive, intellectual belief that Christ died for me to give me a better life… a life where I can do what I want to do but having no concept of the gravity of sin nor its consequences. The belief would not comprehend the debt nor change anything about my future walk. I would have no change of mind belief because I had no concept of sin nor its penalty.