pdf of Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 9 link to Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 9
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 9
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 9
What Is Real Repentance?

What does it mean to repent? Is it “accepting Christ”? Is real repentance merely an emotional feeling? And is repentance really necessary for salvation? The answers to these crucial questions are found in your Bible.

BEGINNING with Adam and Eve, every human being, except Jesus Christ, has walked contrary to god’s way of like. We have all contributed our share of this world’s sins (Rom. 5:12).

We have all performed “the works of the flesh” – fulfilling the inordinate desires of our minds and bodies – because we have all walked according to the course of this world as set by “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2-3).

Since all human beings have sinned, all have therefore earned the penalty of sin, which is eternal death – cessation of life forever! As the Apostle Paul expressed it: “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death... For the wages of sin is [eternal] death” (Rom. 6:21, 23).

All human beings who have not repented of their sins are on spiritual “death row” awaiting execution of a justly deserved capital punishment. This eternal penalty was earned simply by “doing what comes naturally” – sinning!

Divine Pardon

But God, in His great mercy toward mankind, has provided a way by which we may avoid paying that ultimate penalty: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

A loving God wants all of us to eventually claim the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the remission of our personal sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:8-10).

There is only this one way to have our sins blotted out – only one way to enter the Kingdom of God as a glorified member of the God Family. And this way involves repentance!

Acts 2:38 summarizes the salvation process in just one verse. And the very first word of that crucial passage is “Repent”! Recall also that Jesus declared: “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). So repentance is a vital step to salvation.

But what is real repentance in God's sight, as revealed in His inspired Word? What does it involve – what must we DO?

A Change of Direction

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…" Peter told his listeners in Jerusalem (Acts 3:19).

God tells us there is something we must do before He will apply the sacrifice of Christ to pay the penalty of our sins. We must demonstrate that we no longer wish to continue in the way of life that leads to eternal death. We do so by changing our way of living. That change of direction is “repentance.”

But what, exactly, do we repent of or change from?


Actions and deeds which are contrary to God's law are “sin.” Sin is the violation or transgression of any of God's commandments. Notice the Biblical definition of sin: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

To repent of sin, then, simply means to change. We turn from the way of self-indulgence and “get” to the way of “give.” We turn from selfish ness to selfless ness. We turn from our way to God's way.

When we begin to demonstrate our heartfelt desire to change, and ask God to forgive our past way of life, He applies the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. We are then forgiven and freed from the guilt and penalty of our past sins. The penalty of eternal death no longer hangs over our heads.

Paul explained it this way: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14.)

How merciful is our loving Creator!

Let's begin to understand the details of this vital step toward salvation.

But before you begin this study, be sure to get your Bible so you can turn to each scripture reference given in answer to the questions. Always read these verses to benefit fully from your study. Many also find that writing out the verses helps them to concentrate on their studies.