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Definition

True Christian repentance involves a heartfelt conviction of sin, a contrition over the offense to God, a turning away from the sinful way of life, and a turning towards a God-honoring way of life.

Summary

Genuine repentance is not simply a “rethinking” of one’s relationship to sin and God. Repentance must be first rooted in the realization of how sinful an action, emotion, belief, or way of life is. Then, one must be grieved by how offensive and grieving sin is to God, not simply afraid of God’s retribution for your sin. In other words, repentance must be rooted in a high value on God, not a high value on oneself. Only then can turning away from sin towards holiness truly be called repentance. The failure to repent is thus a form of idolatry. Refusal to repent is to elevate our own souls above God’s glory, but when one does repent, it leads to the forgiveness of sin, the removal of divine discipline, and the restoration of one’s experiential communion with God.

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