Repentance is often misunderstood. It is a word frequently heard in churches and within various religious settings. But what does repentance really mean?
What is Repentance?
Repentance means to be convinced of another way, to change your mind or convictions. Your mind and heart are changed in response to these convictions, and in turn you desire to change your actions. Repentance simply means turning from your own sinful way and attempting to follow God’s commands.
Repentance is a transformation in thinking that leads to a change in action. Repentance is the act of turning away from evil and returning to God. Asking the Lord for forgiveness with the intent to continue sinning is not true repentance. Repentance should be a pure, honest acknowledgement of sin with a heartfelt desire to commit to change.
What Does The Bible Say About Repentance?
The Bible tells us that we are all fallen sinners and God’s wish is for us to repent of our sins and turn to Him in obedience.
Scriptures on Repentance
Scriptures call us to repent. Our hope is that this collection of scriptures on repentance will inspire you to reflect inwardly and turn away from the sin in your life and turn toward God.
Scriptures on Repentance
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- Isaiah 30:15
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.”
- 1 John 1:8-9
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
- 2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
After I strayed,
after I came to understand,
I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!’
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