Penance is a sacrament of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The problem with Penance is that it is based upon the word ‘repentance‘ wrongly. In fact, it bases Repentance on Penance which is because of a wrong definition use of the word ‘repent‘ in the Bible.
Although the idea of Penance is taught strongly by the RCC, the Bible no where teaches the confession of sin to a priest by means of penalties imposed for absolution. If you believe I am wrong in this statement show the Bible verses, used in proper context supporting such. When you attempt to do so though, you need to use the Bible’s own definition of the word ‘Repentance‘ and not the modern dictionary definition. They ARE NOT the same definition.
The modern day dictionary defines the word ‘repent’ as “to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent.”
If this were the definition for ‘repent’ in the Bible then the entire Gospel and Salvation in Christ becomes a false Gospel based on works and our own human effort. A read through the book of Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews and Romans shows that this cannot be the case.
The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word for the English word ‘repent’ is ‘metanoia’ and is defined as “…a change of mind”. By repenting we change our mind from all thoughts on how to be saved to God’s truth toward Salvation by FAITH ALONE in the atonement the Lord Christ Jesus provided for us on the cross. By repenting we have turned toward God.
The repenting is the change in your mind from the world’s way of dealing with sin and changing to God’s way of dealing with sin which is believing on Christ for Salvation apart from works of any kind (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:18).
**Stopping the practice of a particular sin is a RESULT of repenting and changing your mind. That is, it is NOT the repenting itself.
The Main Books Of Salvation Prove This
The book of John is all about how to be saved. Do you know that the word ‘repent’ nor ‘repentance’ does not even appear once! But the word ‘believe’ on Christ is seen all over the book many times!
The book of Galatians. This is the book fighting against the false Gospel based on works for Salvation right? Again, the word ‘repent’ is not found once in this book contending for the true Gospel! However the word ‘faith’ in Jesus Christ is found all through the book!
The book of Romans. Paul tells us again and again that Salvation is NOT OF WORKS IN ANY MANNER! And where the word ‘repent’ is found, it is not the same Greek word. It does not mean ‘turning from your sin’.
The Christian religions need to stop using the dictionary definition of the word ‘repent’. They are teaching a FALSE GOSPEL WHICH WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE!
And also God repents many times in Scripture…does God need to turn from His sins? NO! Repent is defined as simply…’changing your mind‘.
The Penalty For Sin Is Not Penance
There is a penalty for sin and as taught in the Bible it is not Penance. The penalty for sin is ETERNAL DEATH in a place prepared for the devil and his evil fallen angels.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 KJV)
Jesus Himself tells us that,
“He that BELIEVETH ON HIM is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned ALREADY, because he hath NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18 KJV)
If a person believes in any way to have forgiveness for sins other than belief on Christ alone through His atonement for our sins by shedding His blood and paying for our sins, they are not forgiven their sins. Their sins remain and must still be paid for. If not paid by Christ then paid by the person. It is very serious indeed. Those who reject the FREE and UNMERITED GIFT of Salvation through Christ alone will one day here the scariest shocking words of Jesus as we see in Matthew 7:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
Jesus is talking about FALSE PROPHETS (see verse 15). They come to you as sheep, as “Christians”. They come with various verses of Scripture, all taken out of context by the way, to tell you it is your WORKS that matters. They teach about Jesus but it is false teaching. In fact, many of them are sincere because they have not grasped what Paul taught about the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. It is these false prophets who are the verse 23 “YE THAT WORK INIQUITY”.
Jesus speaks about the false prophets, and what they are doing wrong? They are thinking and telling others that it is WHAT THEY DO that qualifies them for salvation in Jesus. Verse 22 makes it clear, “22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
Do you See it? They are saying have not WE, and in thine name WE, WE done many WORKS. WE WE WE! They rely on their own ability to please God and by doing such think they are saved. Without belief on Christ’s blood atonement ALONE for the forgiveness of sins, a person has not believed nor accepted the free gift of Salvation. And such a person has not believed that Salvation is not of ourselves in any manner. Apostle Paul makes it clear when he wrote,
“For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
Such a person relying on their own human efforts and penance will end up sided with the devil and his angels in the sin of unbelief in pride. With their sins unforgiven they will end up condemned with Satan. How you believe on your Salvation is a very serious and scary thing indeed. You either rely on your own efforts to save you and keep you saved OR you rely on Christ’s atonement alone by faith and belief. it is either your work or His work and believe me our works are as FILTHY RAGS without Christ!
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6 KJV)
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41 KJV)
! The Bible is clear that no amount of penance will pay for our sins.
Now, The Good News; Christ Died To Save Us!
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ paid for our sins two thousand years ago. ALL OUR SINS! Our past sins and future sins not yet committed too because all our sins are future from the cross.
Christ died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). All of them! Jesus did not make a partial payment for the sins of the world. When on that cross 2000 years ago Jesus, who is God in the flesh, cried out “IT IS FINISHED” and when you looked at the Greek this was penned in the Scriptures it literally means “DEBT PAID IN FULL”. Jesus said “whosoever” believes on Him has accepted the gift of Salvation and HAS eternal life through this belief (John 3:18). Such a person has accepted the free gift of Salvation apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9) and from that very moment of belief has been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Jesus paid it all my friends!
Peter put it this way:
“Who his own self BARE OUR SINS in his own body on the tree, that we, being DEAD TO SINS, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were HEALED.” (1 Peter 2:24 KJV)
Peter goes on to say,
“For Christ also HATH ONCE suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” ( 1 Peter 3:18 KJV)
We see the same ‘once for all’ by the writer of Hebrews where it reads,
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS:” (Hebrews 10:10-11 KJV)
Hebrews 10:10-11 above is exactly what the belief of Penance is doing and can never take away sins. NEVER.
My Personal Journey From Penance To Liberty In Christ
I was born into the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and raised on the belief of Penance. I know it is a sincere belief in wanting to be in right standing with God because we know we have so many sins. Unable to meet the perfect Holiness we see in the Ten Commandments, I went to the only church religion I knew and Penance was their answer.
Yet, when I started studying the Bible myself and not listening to the pulpit or priests alone, the Sacrament of Penance is not found for Salvation. As believers, yes, we should call out to God in sorrow for sins we commit. Yes, we should avoid sinning after Salvation. Yes, we should do good works after Salvation in gratitude for our Salvation! I am in no way saying that the Grace of God is a license to sin. NO. NO. NO. What I am saying is that according to the Bible, our sin after our moment of belief on Christ for Salvation will not mean we lose Salvation. Those sins were also paid for in full by Christ on the cross.
The Sacrament of Penance taught by the RCC will not absolve anyone of their sins. Belief on the ONLY atonement for our sins, provided by Jesus The Christ, The begotten Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who is God in the flesh, and who lived a perfectly sinless life, and then willingly died on the cross to receive the punishment for the sins of everyone in the whole world, and who raised from the dead and ascended to the Father … this belief is true Biblical Salvation.
If you do not want to believe me, then believe Jesus’ own words to the Pharisee and one leader of the Jews, Nicodemus, when he was asking Jesus how a person can be saved. Jesus answer mentions nothing about penance but what we find in His answer is BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE on Christ alone.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:15-18 KJV)
By studying the Bible, the true source, Penance was not found as the answer to my sins. What I did find was true freedom in Christ. Redemption, righteousness and peace.
I pray the same for you.