What Does It Mean
 to Repent?


Repent means to change one's direction.  It's more than just feeling sorry or changing one's mind, but it's really a change in the motivation and direction of one's life.  To the Christian, it also means a turning away from sin and a turning to God. 

Yes.  Christians do need to repent. 

If we are heading in the wrong direction, then we need to change direction.  If we are continuing in a sinful lifestyle, then we need to repent or change our ways – change our direction.

    13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or  eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:1+)

  • Here the word "repent" seems to indicate the action of actually changing.  That is it is more than just an intent – it's an action. 
  • Repent means to change ones ways or to change ones way of thinking and or acting.  If we continue in sin, even though we know better and even though we hear Gods word and tell others about it, we will perish.  It would be as if we were scorning God.  On the one hand we'd be telling others about Him, but then we'd be doing the very things that we tell others not to do.  We'd be hypocrites.
  • 36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
    37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
    38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call."   (Acts 2:36-38)

  • It seems to indicate that repentance is the first step.  Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is another step.  It's like repentance is the inward step or intent and baptism (in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins) is the outward step - the act of actually doing it. 


page updated Friday, October 13, 2017