What is repentence?

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Dec 26, 2021
What does it mean to repent from sin? To turn away from sin? To make a decision to stop sinning? Is repentance necessary for salvation? Would repentance be a form of works in order to get saved?


Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
When I repented and the Holy Spirit entered into me, it was a very simple to understand happening. It is not a process for it seems certain that for each person it is individual, the the motive is the same for all.

It was quite simple: while walking across the University Quad, I was talking *praying( to the Father saying, " Wow, man is evil. Man is so evil. Oh is he ever evil. Hold it! I am a man. Wow, You are It *it meaning all and everything here(.
Suddenly everything became Light and the Light entered into me. I had turned from believing in this age to believing God.

It was wonderful, and there is no single formula for this for each person has his own need and manner of understand. When the Holy Spirit enters into each of us, we simply know we are with God and never again with this age.

Perhaps this is understandable to others, I do not know, but to realize we are all sinners, not perfect in ourselves only, and turning to rely on the One who Created all that is, we are repented, I believe e.


Well-known member
Jan 3, 2019
David Pawson did a great job in this video about repentance. I really like how he breaks it down into three categories: repentance in thought, repentance in word, and repentance in deed. He provides some excellent examples, too.



Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
What does it mean to repent from sin? To turn away from sin? To make a decision to stop sinning? Is repentance necessary for salvation? Would repentance be a form of works in order to get saved?
This is mostly going to be my commentary, we can look verses up later.

The thing about repentance is that on one hand we’re all condemned as sinners deserving death, on the other hand we’re told to repent but our righteousness is as a filthy rag. The solution? Have faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, walk according to the Spirit, and deny the lusts of the flesh.

Knowing this causes a kind of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, our righteousness is still a filthy rag and on the other hand we’re told to not sin even post-salvation. So are we righteousness or unrighteousness now? It can’t be both at the same time.

Bearing in mind that anything not from faith is a sin then the list of unavoidable sins mounts higher than we can see.

If not sinning is repentance then literally no one has repented. Despite what anyone says, people never stop completely sinning.

So what is repentance then? Trying to do good things and repeatedly failing our whole lives or is repentance coming to agreement with God about or sin nature, truly expressing regret and willingness to change our thoughts/desires/behavior and believing in His Son Jesus? In my view, the only consistent form of Biblical repentance is the latter. Our righteousness comes from Christ and we are righteous because of Him.


Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
Repentance is admitting that you were wrong, are still wrong, and will be wrong in the future.

Not the "I once was wrong but now I'm right" type deal we see enacted in theology discussions.

It's an attitude...a new focus...a new desire.


Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
What is repentance and is it necessary for salvation?

ANSWER (the video has nearly the same text that you see below here, just FYI)

Many understand the term repentance to mean “a turning from sin.” Regretting sin and turning from it is related to repentance, but it is not the precise meaning of the word. In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8–14; Acts 3:19). In summarizing his ministry, Paul declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20). The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.

What, then, is the connection between repentance and salvation? The book of Acts especially focuses on repentance in regard to salvation (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind regarding sin and Jesus Christ. In Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), he concludes with a call for the people to repent (Acts 2:38). Repent from what? Peter is calling the people who rejected Jesus (Acts 2:36) to change their minds about that sin and to change their minds about Christ Himself, recognizing that He is indeed “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Peter is calling the people to change their minds, to abhor their past rejection of Christ, and to embrace faith in Him as both Messiah and Savior.

Repentance involves recognizing that you have thought wrongly in the past and determining to think rightly in the future. The repentant person has “second thoughts” about the mindset he formerly embraced. There is a change of disposition and a new way of thinking about God, about sin, about holiness, and about doing God’s will. True repentance is prompted by “godly sorrow,” and it “leads to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Repentance and faith can be understood as two sides of the same coin. It is impossible to place your faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior without first changing your mind about your sin and about who Jesus is and what He has done. Whether it is repentance from willful rejection or repentance from ignorance or disinterest, it is a change of mind. Biblical repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing your mind from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ.

Repentance is not a work we do to earn salvation. No one can repent and come to God unless God pulls that person to Himself (John 6:44). Repentance is something God gives—it is only possible because of His grace (Acts 5:31; 11:18). No one can repent unless God grants repentance. All of salvation, including repentance and faith, is a result of God drawing us, opening our eyes, and changing our hearts. God’s longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), as does His kindness (Romans 2:4).

While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly change your mind without that causing a change in action. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented of his sin and exercised faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19–23; James 2:14–26).

To see what repentance looks like in real life, all we need to do is turn to the story of Zacchaeus. Here was a man who cheated and stole and lived lavishly on his ill-gotten gains—until he met Jesus. At that point he had a radical change of mind: “Look, Lord!” said Zacchaeus. “Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8). Jesus happily proclaimed that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’s house, and that even the tax collector was now “a son of Abraham” (verse 9)—a reference to Zacchaeus’s faith. The cheat became a philanthropist; the thief made restitution. That’s repentance, coupled with faith in Christ.

Repentance, properly defined, is necessary for salvation. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about your sin—no longer is sin something to toy with; it is something to be forsaken as we “flee from the coming wrath” (Matthew 3:7). It is also changing your mind about Jesus Christ—no longer is He to be mocked, discounted, or ignored; He is the Savior to be clung to; He is the Lord to be worshiped and adored.

Related Articles
Is repentance a change of mind or a turning from sin?

What is unrepentance?

What does it mean to be unrepentant?

What does it mean that Job repented in dust and ashes?

What does the Bible say about repentance? What does it mean to repent?

What is the meaning of sackcloth and ashes?

p.s. - the above is from
GotQuestions.org, which is a great place to (at least) begin a study of most Biblical/theological topics, IMHO :)


Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
What does it mean to repent from sin? To turn away from sin? To make a decision to stop sinning? Is repentance necessary for salvation? Would repentance be a form of works in order to get saved?
If my friend runs his Windows computer online without an antivirus and it gets messed up, I can fix it. If he keeps running online without an antivirus and it gets messed up over and over, I'm not going to fix it over and over.

If he says "Whoops! You were right, I really do need to get an antivirus!" and he actually does so, his computer will not need fixing over and over.

Repentance is realizing "Wow, God was right all along!" and doing things God's way from now on.

You can't be truly repentant until you realize God is right. You can't actually repent until you decide to do things God's way. If you say you repent, but you don't change your ways, you have not truly repented. If you say you repent, but in your heart you don't see any reason why you should need to change, you have not truly repented.


Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
What does it mean to repent from sin? To turn away from sin? To make a decision to stop sinning? Is repentance necessary for salvation? Would repentance be a form of works in order to get saved?
Simple definition is "to turn from/around/away"

The decision to stop sinning comes with recognition of ones need for Jesus in their hearts/lives.

Repentence is necessary for salvation. Reason being; one must decide to "turn from" their sinful life towards God, and His Son Jesus.

Repentence IS NOT a form of "works."

The very FIRST sermon Jesus preached:

Matthew, Chapter 4:

17) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.