Stage 1


"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" 2 Peter 3:9. Repentance is the first step we take in personally receiving the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. Repentance is the gateway into all the blessings God has prepared for us.

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord" Acts 3:19.
Repentance causes great joy in heaven (Luke 15:7). But before we can understand true repentance, we need to understand what repentance is not.

True Repentance

Genuine repentance is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Several things mark this kind of repentance: To repent means "to turn around, to change direction." Repentance means turning from four things: But just turning from these things is not enough. It is what we turn to that makes the difference.

Revelation and Repentance

"'...God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.' When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said '...what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent...'" Acts 2:36-39.
When Peter preached the Gospel on the day of Pentecost, the response his hearers made was to repent. Repentance was their response to the work of our God in their lives.

First comes revelation

Notice that Peter did not preach repentance. He preached Jesus. The Bible says that his hearers had such a revelation of Jesus (verse 36) that they were "cut to the heart" and asked: "...what must we do?" (verse 37). Then Peter told them: "Repent!" Without a revelation of God, there can be no repentance.

Then comes repentance

Repentance is our response to a revelation from God. Every time we confront a revelation of God's word, our response should be repentance. For example:

Revelation - Repentance

Romans 6:6-7 - Romans 6:11-13
Galatians 6:14 - Romans 12:2
Romans 8:5-8 - Galatians 5:16
Romans 11:36 - 1 Corinthians 8:6
"Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" James 1:21-22.

A Command from God

"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent" Acts 17:30.
Repentance is a decision that we make, a "turning around" away from the world, to face God. There are two kinds of repentance that God requires, pictured in Jesus' parable of two sons (read Luke 15:11-32):

Living separate from God

The younger son walked away from his father, just as most of mankind has walked away from God. This son finally "came to his senses" (revelation) and returned to his father (repentance). Like this, our initial repentance is a decision to turn around and come back to God.

Turned away from God

The older son never left his father, yet he was not with his father. The separation he experienced was not physical, but it was just as real. In the same way, many Christians have not left God, but they are facing away from Him. Their eyes are on the world. Repentance, for them, means a turning around to face God, not the world (read Zechariah 1:3; James 4:8).

Repentance means responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, as He pinpoints areas in your life He wants to change (Ephesians 4:30). Repentance is the gateway into the fullness of life God has planned for you! (John 10:10).

"...In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..." Isaiah 30:15.

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