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What is the basic doctrine of "repentance from dead works" mentioned in Hebrews 6:1?

Hebrews 6:1 states:
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.
(Heb. 6:1 NKJ)
The doctrine of repentance from dead works is the basis for Christianity. Notice that the Bible doesn't say the doctrine of repentance from bad works, but from dead works. A dead work may be a good work. The word dead means useless. A dead work has no ability to help us.

We are told to stop doing useless works. This doctrine proclaims the great truth that our works (or our good deeds) can't save us, or make us worthy of God. Any work that we try to perform in order to make us worthy of God, or to obtain eternal salvation, is a dead work.

Man can't be saved by his good deeds, but salvation comes through Jesus and His precious blood that was shed for us.

Let's look at a familiar and very explicit Scripture:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
(Eph. 2:8-9 NKJ)
When a person tries to get to Heaven on their works alone, those works are dead works. When we realize that we go to Heaven and are made righteous by believing in Jesus, then all the works from that point on should be good and necessary.

Repentance means a reversal. Therefore, repentance from dead works means we stop trying to be saved by looking for favor from God through our works, but we realize that these things are obtained by faith.

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Author Biography

Joseph Cameneti
Web site: Believers Church
Joe Cameneti Sr. is the lead pastor of Believers Church, located in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. Pastor Joe, along with his wife Gina, pioneered Believers Church in 1983 following his graduation from Bible School. In addition to leading a thriving local church, Pastor Joe is the host of a weekly show called "BCTV." The program is aired locally, reaching over 30,000 people each month. Pastor Joe is a gifted communicator, skilled in the art of building bridges to unchurched America. Transparent and authentic, you'll walk away challenged and encouraged to connect with God in a deeper way.

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