Is Repentance a “Work”? No!

Beware of this foolish heresy that claims Repentance is a "work" and isn't necessary for salvation.

There’s a popular heresy that claims repentance isn’t necessary for salvation
because salvation is by grace alone, and repentance is a “work.”(1) 

If someone tells you this, you can explain that both repentance and belief are attitudes (mindsets, viewpoints) not “works.” If attitudes were works, we could be saved without believing in God!

Instead, attitudes lead to works.(2)

Repentance and belief lead to changed lives and good works. No one who is born of God will continue to sin because their repentance is proven in their actions (1 John 3:9; Luke 3:8).

Scripture confirms this:(3)

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 'The time has come,' he said. 'The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'” Mark 1:14-15 (2)

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.Acts 3:19(3)

Salvation is by grace alone, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But repentance is an essential aspect of genuine belief.


I encourage you to study repentance in your quiet time or in your small group. You'll find over fifty one-minute devotions about repentance in the collection called Our Need for Repentance.

(1) There's a similar heresy that teaches a person can be saved without repentance, but a person must repent to be a disciple, as if you can be saved without becoming a disciple. John 14:21 puts that heresy to rest by explaining that anyone who loves Jesus becomes a disciple (i.e. someone who seeks to obey His commands).

(2) Definition of attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.

(3) These are a few additional Scriptures linking repentance to salvation:

Matthew 4:17: "From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'"

Luke 24:45-47: "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'" 

Acts 5:30-32: "The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Acts 17:30: "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent."

Acts 20:21: "I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus."  


Beware of this foolish heresy that claims Repentance is a "work" and isn't necessary for salvation.

Bible Love Notes


  1. I was stunned when I read this. I can't believe that anyone would be teaching/preaching salvation without repentance. Just another sign that the Great Apostasy is upon us. Luke 17:3-4

    3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

    Key: "If he repents"

  2. You do believe that repentance is a daily thing right? Even Apostle Paul said that he died daily