“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” – Isaiah 30:15.

Repentance has never been a popular topic. It is easy to move this subject to the back of the line behind other more pressing concerns. It is not something that we readily want to jump right into.

But repentance is a holy command of God. It is something God can give to us through the grace of His Son Jesus. Repentance is not just believing in God, but rather as we believe and make a decision to trust and follow Christ, we will turn from our old ways. Or as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”   

Yes, repentance, or belief in Jesus, will lead you and your actions to the life-changing, saving grace of Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 says:“…Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”  But we also need to remember that repentance is not something you do in order to earn your salvation. That probably seems paradoxical to you. But its really isn’t. You cannot do anything to earn your salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says,  “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Salvation is a free gift, and repentance is the act of accepting that gift—not earning it.

When we don’t repent, we worship ourselves. If we are followers of Jesus and continue to live in sin, not only are we lying to others about what the Bible says, but we are lying to ourselves that God knows better. We are leading people down a dangerous path and continuing to be stumbling blocks. We are basically saying to God, “thanks for the forgiveness, but I got this and I will take it from here.” 

But when we repent, we worship God. When we claim what Christ has done for us on the cross, we are believing His Word and coming to the conclusion that a life serving God is better than a life of sin. We grow in our walk with the Lord and continue to remove sin from our lives. In these moments, we are truly living as new creations and the old versions of ourselves pass away. We are trusting God that what He says is true and that He knows better. 

Martin Luther once said, “All of a Christian’s life is one of repentance.” Repentance shows that we love Jesus more than our sin and we trust His promises more than the deceitful promises of sin. Real repentance is not a work of man, but a work of God. God creates repentance in the heart of man so that we experience it in the heart and it causes an overflow from the heart, but we did not create it. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you view the subject of repentance?
  2. Confession and acknowledgement of our sin is an essential part of a believer’s conversion. Agree or disagree and why?
  3. How can we determine whether our repentance is false or true?
  4. What in your opinion is the most difficult aspect of repentance to personally apply?