I recently came across the following quote from Watchman Nee, the famous Chinese evangelist and martyr. It is taken from a lecture he gave in Shanghai, during the spring of 1937, translated in The Gospel of God Vol. 1 (Anaheim, CA: Living Stream Ministry, 1990). It is almost word for word what Zane, Bob, and others in the Free Grace movement have been saying for years:
“In the entire Bible, there is only one book that tells how we receive eternal life. This book is the Gospel of John. From the very beginning to the very end of the Gospel of John, we cannot find a single occurrence of the word repentance. The word repentance never occurs in this book at all. This book tells us how we can have eternal life (3:15, 16b, 36), but nothing is mentioned about repentance. It mentions repeatedly that man receives eternal life through faith. When a man believes, he has eternal life. It never mentions repentance. Not only does it not mention repentance directly, it does not mention repentance even indirectly or metaphorically. This is a fact that we have to remember.
Second, there are two books which tell us how man is justified before God. They are Romans and Galatians. The book of Romans does mention repentance, but it never makes repentance a condition for salvation. Neither of these books has ever made repentance a condition for salvation and promise. Hence, we have to remember that of the three books in the Bible that deal specifically with salvation, eternal life, and justification, not once is repentance mentioned as condition for salvation. In all three books, faith is mentioned every time as the only condition. This shows us clearly that man is saved by faith and not by works” (pp. 207-208).