Repentance is a Bible teaching that is very important.  It is so important that every revival in history was preceded by a time of genuine repentance.  Jesus taught this truth to his disciples and commanded them to teach it to the whole world.  In obedience to his command they preached it first on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.  We can see the Apostle Peter preaching and the people responded by asking,   “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  His answer was simple and in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ on this subject.  Thanks for going through this study with me and I pray it will be a blessing to you.  Let’s get started !


Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


The first thing Peter commanded the people of his day was to repent.  Is it really that important?  Let’s see.


Except You Repent


Repentance is a bible doctrine or teaching.  The word repent in the Greek is: (metanoeo) [to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider].  Repentance is essential to finding salvation.  It appears first in the New Testament in the preaching of John the Baptist.  John was the forerunner of Christ.  His only message to the people of his day was, “Repent”.


Matthew 3:1-6 (KJV) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, [2] And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [3] For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. [4] And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. [5] Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, [6] And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.


Isaiah also prophesied about this John the Baptist.


Isaiah 40:3-5 (KJV) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. [4] Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: [5] And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.


Isaiah’s description of John’s message gives us a Biblical explanation of what repentance does.  Repentance prepares the way for the coming of the Lord.  Jesus desires a straight highway on which to come into our lives.  We can also see the same desire with earthly kings.  When a dignitary comes to a city the road is always cleared.  The straightest and smoothest way is chosen.  In many cases the road is even repaired to make way for the leader.  The same respect and honor is to be given to God.  We must prepare a pathway for him to travel into our lives.  All debris and obstructions that could hinder his coming must be removed.  This debris and obstruction is sin.  Attitudes are obstructions that hinder his passageway into our hearts.  Sin creates deep valleys, high mountains, rough and crooked places that make it impossible for him to come to us.


They Way Prepared


Isaiah 40:4 (KJV) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:


Every valley (depression) shall be filled up, every mountain (lofty attitudes of pride) must be brought down, the rough places (transgressions) made plain, and the crooked (evil, wickedness, perversion) is straitened out.  When all of the evil ways are cleared out, the Lord will make his way in.  When he is on the inside, the glory of the Lord will be revealed!  True repentance is a turning away from sin and iniquity and turning toward God.  Repentance is an about face much like the military term.  In sin, we are marching further and further away from God.  Repentance turns us in the direction of God our savior.  Not only is the direction changed but a change of mind occurs.  Where once there was a desire for sin, now there is a desire for God.  This change is what repentance is all about.


What Repentance Is Not


In order to explore this further it may be helpful to understand what repentance is not. 


2 Cor. 7:8-11 (KJV) For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. [9] Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. [10] For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. [11] For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.


This scripture teaches us that sorrow and repentance go together.  Paul however, writes about two kinds of sorrow.  First is godly sorrow and second is the sorrow of the world.  The sorrow of the world is not repentance.  This is because there is no turning away from sin only a sorrow for what has been done.  Sorrow can be experienced for ungodly deeds.  This sorrow is only a momentary feeling and not a change.  We must feel sorry but this sorrow must move us to a change of life.  Worldly sorrow continually says “I’m sorry” yet there is never a change.


What Repentance Is


True repentance is Godly sorrow.  It is a deep seated hatred of sin and a corresponding change of lifestyle.  Paul praised the Corinthians because they sorrowed after a godly sort.  This godly sorrow “worked” or took them to repentance (change).  This is the kind of repentance that brings true salvation.  How can we tell if repentance is genuine?  Paul goes on and lists the seven attitudes of repentance.  We will look at each of them briefly.  Each of these will be experienced if the repentance is genuine.


Carefulness:  eagerness; earnestness; diligence. 

This attitude is one that says “I must take care of sin now.”  It also means to deal with quickly.  It does not say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”  Carefulness motivates one to get the sin out now.


Clearing of yourself: To give an account of; a plea or apology. 

It is good to verbally name the sin and ask for forgiveness.

Proverbs 28:13 (KJV) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

When we speak out our sins, they are no longer hidden or covered.  This confession must be made to God not to man.


Indignation: greatly afflicted; to be much displeased. 

This attitude abhors evil and sin.  Hatred of these things is a powerful motivator for change.  All of us are attracted to the things that we love and repelled by the things that we hate.  If we truly hate evil we will be repelled by it.  On the other hand, if we love sin we will be attracted by it.


Fear: alarm or fright.

Proverbs 1:7 (KJV) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

True repentance brings a healthy fear of God.  Fear is a great motivator.  Noah built the ark being motivated by fear.

Hebrews 11:7 (KJV) By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Jesus taught us that we should fear God.

Matthew 10:28 (KJV) And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.


Vehement desire: a longing for; an earnest desire. 

Genuine repentance causes a great hunger for God and his ways.  This hunger can only be satisfied by spiritual things.

Psalm 42:1-3 (KJV) To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. [2] My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? [3] My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

True repentance will activate this godly desire.  Jesus beckoned all that were thirsty to come and drink.  His well always satisfies the thirsty soul. 


Zeal: jealousy in a godly sense. 

This attitude will avoid anything that could come between you and the Lord.  There are many things that can lure us away from the presence of God.  Zeal is a hedge of protection that blocks anything from destroying that relationship.  As a husband protects his wife and children, so zeal protects its’ place with God.


Revenge: retaliate; punish. 

Godly repentance will seek to punish Satan and his kingdom for the trouble they have caused.  One way to do this is through praise.  When trouble comes, we bring revenge upon him through our worship and godly living.  We can actually bind his work and execute judgment upon him this way.

Psalm 149:6-9 (KJV) Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; [7] To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; [8] To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; [9] To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Telling others about Jesus Christ, involvement in the church, prayer, fasting, and giving are ways to punish Satan for his deeds against us.  As you can see, repentance is more than just words.  It is godly sorrow that produces a change.  Have you taken the time to repent of your sins and give your life to God?  It is very important and you will never regret doing it.




Thanks again for going through this lesson  I pray it has given you an understanding of Gods’ will in your life.  Turning to God will always be the right thing to do.  If you have any comments I would love to hear from you.  Simply click here and leave them with me.  Thanks again and God bless you is my prayer.




Greg Wirths


Focus on Freedom


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