True repentance recognizes that you have broken God’s law and responds to Him in obedience. Repentance involves: confession of sin to God that results in forgiveness. To confess is to say the same thing about sin that God does; to acknowledge His perspective on sin. We recognize it is heinous in His sight because we have broken His law and offended a holy God (Leviticus 19:2). Repentance involves seeking and pleading with God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22).
To be forgiven is to have complete purification from unrighteousness on the basis of Christ’s righteousness freely imputed to us. Forgiveness from God means that He releases us from sin’s penalty as Christ has paid that penalty by bearing God’s wrath against our sin. He also sees us as holy, because He credits the righteousness of Christ to our account (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:18–19). Therefore the stain of our sin is blotted out and replaced with Christ’s righteousness. There is no limitation to His forgiveness for those who are repentant (Matthew 6:12; 1 John 1:9).
The Christian life is marked by continual turning from sin and forgiveness granted by God.
- 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Repentance does not stop with a solemn recognition of sin. Nor is it merely a decision to trust Christ for eternal life, but a wholesale forsaking of everything else we trust and a turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Saving faith is in Christ alone, not dependent on any of our abilities or efforts (Ephesians 2:8–9).