Bible Truths, What is True Repentance?


True repentance is when a person recognizes that he/she has sinned against God, is sorry for his/her sin and turns to God for full and free forgiveness in Christ with the help of God the Holy Spirit. Being sorry about a sin is often very difficult for sinners since they often do not believe some of their sins are as harmful as others. They have rated their sins on a scale from “not that bad” to “worse”. For example, they may think that murder is worse than swearing or lying, thereby they conclude that they are not bad people based on their own or the secular world’s opinion. But, God says otherwise. All sins are viewed the same in his sight, any sin earns eternal death regardless of what it is. Our lives as Christians are lives of continual repentance not just for the sins we readily recognize. Sexual immorality, homosexuality, gossiping, drunkenness, greediness, selfishness, among others are all the same in God’s eyes. If a person says they are sorry but continues to sin, it indicates that they are not truly sorry, have a weak faith, and prefer to continue in their “not so bad” sins rather than to change their ways.

Adam and Eve sinned by just eating fruit they weren’t supposed to eat. This sin, though we may think it was not a “bad” sin, earned them and us eternal death. As with all sin, it began in their hearts and they did not follow God’s will. If we continue to justify our sins and remain unrepentant, our sins will cause us to become unbelievers, and finally lead us to eternal damnation. In grasping this truth, that all sins are equal in God’s eyes, that each and every sin has earned us eternal death, that God has forgiven all our sins through Jesus, God himself changes our hearts and minds to continually be sorry for our sins and trust in him for complete forgiveness. Therefore it is God who gives us the strength, through faith in him, to quit sinning and obey his will instead of ours. What joy and peace Christians have, knowing that as we repent of all our sins day after day and cling in trust to Jesus for the forgiveness of them all, Jesus welcomes us as his dearly loved children and remembers our sins no more!

God’s Word on true repentance: NIV
Hebrews 8:12: For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
Luke 13:3: I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Also see: Acts 3:19; 1Cor. 6:9-11; James 2:10; Romans 3:12,19-20; 2Cor. 5:15; 1John 1:8-10; Proverbs 28:13