“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mk 1:14, 15; RSV)
The doctrine of repentance is basic in understanding the supernatural change, how a sinner becomes saved. Please pay the price to understand the true doctrines of the Bible. You need to know the theory before you can apply it in practical daily living. This is a true saying: good doctrine- good character- good behavior; bad doctrine- bad character- bad behavior. You cannot change your bad behavior just like that. You need to know the true doctrines of the Bible and the change shall manifest, by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Repentance is a Biblical word. Many people who come to church lack the understanding of it. Many pastors avoid preaching about it for fear that the congregation shall be hurt and leave. That is why many churches are filled with religious men and women who are not saved. But without repentance men cannot be saved. Repentance is the spiritual process that applies mostly to the change of mind, when a sinner becomes saved.
True repentance starts with the acknowledgement that you are a sinner. You stop arguing or defending yourself. By the power of the Holy Spirit you start to genuinely feel sorry for your sin and hate it. You deeply regret offending God. The skill of hypocrisy is paralyzed. Godly sorrow that leads to repentance is an extremely painful experience. There is no pain like it! You feel like dying… It is a baptism of fire…If you have not passed thru this you will never know the deep pain of a sinner going to hell. Then by the power of the Holy Spirit you turn away from sin, you forsake the life of sin and you turn the Cross of Christ pleading to obtain mercy. At the foot of the Cross you totally surrender your life, unconditionally to Jesus Christ! There are no pre-conditions! With all your heart you believe that Jesus Christ is your personal Savior and Lord. With your mouth, you confess the same. You believe the Gospel of Christ Crucified. Trusting the Blood of Jesus, you come to your Father in heaven. By faith, you receive the grace and the mercy to be saved. The same Holy Spirit that convicted you of sin, that brought so much sorrow and pain, now fills your heart with supernatural peace and joy. From this moment, you shall be consumed by the passion to live a holy life unto God. The fruit of the Holy Spirit starts manifesting. From now on your desire is to serve and worship God all the days of your life!
The word ‘Repentance’ (Metanoeo, in Greek) means to think differently; to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of believing the Word of God. This word is used of true repentance, to which remission of sin is promised, because the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
“Evangelical repentance consists of:
(1) A true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness (Lk 18:13)
(2) An apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ (Lk 23:40-43)
(3) An actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10)
(4) A persistent desire after a holy life, walking with God in the way of His commandments
The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Ps. 51:4, 9), of pollution (Ps. 51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (Ps. 51:11; 109:21, 22). He knows that he is a sinner and he has accepted the verdict of death. This is the work of the Holy Spirit without which no man will be able to see himself as a sinner. Thus he apprehends himself to be just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be. But repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Ps. 51:1; 130:4)”
(From Parson’s Bible Dictionary)
There is another similar verb ‘metamelomai’ which is also used of a change of mind. This describes a more superficial repentance such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a deep change of heart. It is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matt. 27:3). This is a false repentance and it is not accepted by God to release the grace to save the soul. The man may feel sorry for his past mistakes and sinful choices, becomes religious, starts going to church but is not born again. This is a great snare for many.
A believer also can repent if he backslides and grieves the Holy Spirit. He has to come back to his ‘first love’ who is Jesus Christ Crucified for him. If the repentance is genuine, he will gladly start doing again the good works of serving God as it was in the beginning (Rev 2:4, 5). The result is personal revival and a new desire to worship God!
In Christ I declare:
This is my testimony:
I came to the Cross!
I repented of my sin!
I believed the Gospel of Christ crucified!
I am now saved!
I am a child of God!
I have eternal life!
All glory to God!
In Jesus name