Near the close of Paul’s missionary journey’s, the apostle summed up his preaching around two points, (described in Acts 20:20-21), repentance and faith. These two go together in thought since they are in fact inseparable. Where there is no true “repentance” in attitude and action toward God, then any “faith” that person may have is not saving faith. Therefore it becomes very important for us to understand what repentance is.
I. The Bible meaning of repentance – Acts 3:19
A. A working definition is: “A change of the mind that leads to a change in behavior.” – Luke 19:8 – If there is no change in behavior, there has been no true repentance!
B. Both the Old and New Testaments declare the need for people to repent. – Is. 30:15; Ezek. 18:30-32; Matt. 3:2; Mark 1:4; Matt. 4:7; Luke 5:32; 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30-31
C. There is no way to continuously remain in full fellowship with the Lord Jesus without repentance. – Matt. 3:8; Rev. 2-3
II. Once a person realizes his/her sin, there are TWO types of sorrow – 2 Cor. 7:8-10
A. The sorrow of the world leads to a regret that produces death! – 2 Cor. 7:10b; Heb. 12:16-17; Matt. 27:1-3
B. Godly sorrow leads to true repentance, which brings forgiveness and salvation! – 2 Cor. 7:10a; Psalm 51:2-4, 12
C. The Christians in Corinth also experienced renewal when their godly sorrow led them to repent! – 2 Cor. 7:11-13a
What about you, what kind of “sorrow” have you experienced? Have you repented with a godly sorrow that will save you? 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”