What is Repentance? Why is it Important?

Repentance is the desire to turn away from sin and restore one’s relationship with God. Repentance is a decision of the mind and the heart from a genuine sorrow over sin. It is an initial first step when a person decides to put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is not necessarily a one-time event. In fact, it is an ongoing process after a person has been saved or born-again and becomes a new creation in Christ.

(Romans 10:9&10) Why is this true? It is true because we still have a sin nature and do sin from time to time. So, in order to keep openness and joy in our personal relationship with Jesus and experience peace with God we need to repent. Repentance clears away any barriers that can inhibit a truthful dialogue and intimate personal conversation with God. That communication is called prayer and we offer our prayers in Jesus’ name because he is the only advocate and intercessor for humans with God.

John, one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus, expressed this clearly in a letter he wrote near the end of his life.

“If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9

This confession is the way we clean our hearts and our minds before God much in the same way as we keep our bodies clean by washing them regularly. But the idea of repentance goes beyond confession. It incorporates the idea of turning around and walking in the other direction. Once we confess our sins, we also ask God to help us avoid sinning in that way again. As we continue our conversations with God (prayer) and allow His spirit to guide our paths we will discover that resisting temptation and turning from sin becomes progressively easier. In other words, sin loses its power over us. Our conscience is the best indicator of this transformation.

Conscience – Your Mind’s Partner

Your conscience is an essential component of being created in God’s image. The conscience is present in every human being from birth. It is the soul’s warning system, which allows human beings to contemplate their motives and actions and make moral decisions/evaluations of what is right and what is wrong. It allows and it enables a person to discern between good and evil, fact and fiction, truth and opinion and what is real and what is not .

The conscience is a companion of the mind and the heart in the soul of every person. The conscience must be informed to the highest moral and spiritual standard, which only happens when it is submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit through knowing God’s Word. The conscience plays an important roll in developing a Biblical worldview. God’s Holy Spirit is the agent that opens the conscience to truth .

(Source- John McArthur Bible Commentary, Page 1617)

Having clean minds and clean hearts is what God wants for all his children. Remember only those who have trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior are God’s children. Are you a child of God? If you’d like to learn more about how you can become part of God’s family, read our answer to the question: How does One Become a Christian?