What is Repentance?

What is repentance and why is it so important that we do it? It’s a churchy word that means to turn from going in one direction; making a 180-degree turn and go in the other direction; to turn from sin and turn to the Savior. While repentance is not the act that saves us (since we are saved only by God’s grace and our faith in what Christ did for us on the cross) there is biblical support that we need to repent… basically how could one really be saved if we leave repentance out of the picture? So, we are not saved by repentance, but practically, how can we be saved without it?


Here are some of the biblical foundations for repentance:


  • Jesus called sinners to repentance – Luke 5:31-32
  • Jesus called needy sinners to repentance, which leads to their salvation – Matthew 4:17
  • Repentance must be from a genuine heart – Mark 7:20-23, Jeremiah 4:3-4, Joel 2:12-13
  • Godly sorrow brings repentance, which leads to salvation – 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
  • Repentance brings joy in heaven – Luke 15:7
  • God calls for people to seek Him, turn from their wickedness, and He promises to forgive them – Isaiah 55:6-7
  • God calls for people to forsake their idols and forsake practicing evil – Ezekiel 14:6
  • Life comes to the one who repents – Ezekiel 18:21-22
  • God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked – Ezekiel 18:23
  • The lord calls earnestly for sinners to repent – Ezekiel 18:30-32
  • Jesus pronounced judgment on those who refuse to repent – Matthew 11:20-24
  • God calls for repentance out of His kindness – Romans 2:14
  • Refusal to repent brings punishment, but life if you do – Romans 2:5-6
  • Disaster comes to those who do not heed God’s call to repentance – Proverbs 1:24-28
  • Repentance brings forgiveness – Luke 7:37-38, 48-50
  • God’s anger is poured out on the unrepentant – Isaiah 42:23-25
  • Return to God and He will return to you – Malachi 3:7
  • If God’s people turn from their wickedness, He will forgive them – 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • Paul preached that we must repent, turn to God and do deeds that prove our repentance – Acts 26:19-20


A great resource on this topic is John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus. The basic foundation is that when someone encountered Jesus in the Bible, they did not just get saved by praying a prayer, their lives where transformed.


BTW, if you are looking for a Sunday class at 9:45, I’m starting a new six-week study on the miracle of life change, beginning on April 26. Transformation is much more significant than just believing the right stuff about Jesus!



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