Repentance means to be sorry, to turn back, to turn away, to return, reconsider, reversal of decision, a change of mind, a change of action.

To God and a sinner, repentance means a sincere changing of the mind, involving personal sin and guilt, to be saved from sin, appealing to the mercy of God, a godly sorrow, a confession of sin, a desire for forgiveness in turning to Him through Jesus Christ.
There is a Divine call of personal repentance given to mankind, it is the only way to escape the judgement and wrath of God. It brings renewal as restoration.

The Bible calls for evidence of fruit and works characteristic of repentance, such as forsaking of works of sin, a hatred of sin and a repentance from dead works.

The Kingdom of God must be announced before it is received by repentance.

Repentance is a prerequisite for receiving spiritual nourishment from the Word of God and for growing in maturity as a Christian. Wherever a person confesses personal sin and professes faith in Christ then God will justly forgive sin and cleanse all unrighteousness.
Sinners hear the inspired Word of God and respond to it's Truth of the Work of Christ finished on the Cross. Only God can justify sinners, and sinners are justified as soon as there is a godly sorrow of repentance.

Repentance has both a divine and human side. The Holy Spirit softens a sinner's heart and convicts the person through the Word of God. The person accepts and surrenders their will and puts their lives into submission to God. The repentance, although done humanly is from God. It is not the same as justification or regeneration which are purely divine and an ongoing process.

For repentance there must be a confession of sinning against God and confessing all sin to Him that is brought to remembrance by The Holy Spirit, acknowledging God's help and needing His mercy made available through Christ.
The gift of forgiveness is given when a person acknowledges their sins before God.

Repentance involves a complete change of moral and spiritual attitude towards God and demonstrated by change in a person's way of life because of change within.

Individual repentance and contrition of heart precedes the receiving of God's gifts, for only when it is admitted that people are not sufficient in themselves and need forgiveness of sins from their sinful nature, being dependent on God and in the finished work of Christ on The Cross, then comes

The Result of Repentance granted to the believer is faith, salvation, the gift of Eternal life through God's Grace (undeserved kind favour).
This comes with the belief that God Is and He is who He says He is, the knowledge of the Truths of Christ, through the Word of God and the conviction of The Holy Spirit.

Repentance is not the conviction of sin, nor self-pity or self-regret, it is not 'turning over a new leaf', nor is it a mental belief. Remorse which is focused on self and human emotions is not repentance. Repentance involves a total honesty towards God and looking to Him for forgiveness and fellowship.

Repentance is often misunderstood as 'feeling sorry' about sins. The Bible does not focus on repentance as an emotional experience, but on a person's decisions and choices. It is a conscious turning away from disobedience, sin, idolatry and turning to the True Living God.

Forgiveness must be asked for and the need for forgiveness must be recognised.

Repentance is a doctrine that is the necessary step of Salvation. It is the most important step in a Christian's life. There can not be Christianity without Christ, nor forgiveness without repentance, nor Salvation without regeneration.

The sorrow of a person who is not a Christian is not the sorrow of true repentance and does not prevent eternal death. Those who have true sorrow and mourning for repentance from dead works and turn to Christ will receive beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning and praise instead of heaviness.

Repentance is a change for the better. It involves developing the direction of life from self- centredness to Christ-centredness. It is a response to God's Grace.

God's forgiveness is only available to those who repent, for it is only those who do, who can receive it.God is very patient with the unrepentant. Unrepentance results in the hardening of the heart against God's call and warnings.

When genuine repentance has taken place between a sinner and God, God's situation in the relationship with that person changes from His Wrath to a merciful forgiving Father, from judgement to blessings.

With repentance faith is given to assure the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. Conversion into the Kingdom of God, becoming a Citizen of heaven, can only come by a true heart.Repentance allows God to remove sin but it may not remove the effects of sin.

There are many illustrations of repentance in The Old Testament of The Bible as well as in the New

SCRIPTURES 1 John 1:9, Matthew 3:8, Acts 2:37-38.
QUESTIONS 1] What does repentance mean? 2] Why is repentance not just a decision to make? 3] How so we repent? 4] How does a person know if they have truly repented? 5] How is repentance a transformation for the better?

ABDA ACTS- Art and Publishing
Email address: [line]


[arrow up]

Graphics and documents are copyright.1991-2003 All rights reserved.
Documents may be printed for single personal use but may not be alterted without written permission of the Publishers.
Managed by Stefan Kreslin, Last updated 14 June 1998