Repentance is turning from evil and turning toGod.

“Turn now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the land the LORD gave to you and your fathers for ever and ever” (Jeremiah 25:5).

“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened” (Jonah 3:10).

“I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20b).

“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).

“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21).

Repentance is caused by the kindness of God and godly sorrow.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

God’s kindness causes us to turn to Him. Godly sorrow is an emotion about our evil ways, which causes us to turn from them. Continued sorrow or remorse has no virtue; it is worldly. With this kind of sorrow we will die in our remorse, not saved.

The New Testament describes repentance toward God with several different verbs:

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believedin his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).

“I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21).

These verbs (receive, believe, come, take, call, repent, turn) are not synonyms. However, all of them have the same object—the Lord— and they all have the same result—salvation.

In order to be able to turn to God, you must be cut to the heart by the preaching of the gospel. You must be convinced that you cannot save yourself by any means. You must realize that you are a slave of sin, under the power of Satan, an object of the wrath of God, and that Jesus, His Lordship, death, burial, and resurrection are the only way to salvation.

“But only the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 35:9b-10).

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).

To be continued next Wednesday.

Excerpted from Repentance & Restitution—the Missing Ingredient in Repentance, available at and