REPENTANCE. (Strong’s = “a change of mind”). Admitting to one’s self that he has done wrong. It is necessary for salvation, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) Repentance alone will not save a person, as he still needs Christ as his savior. And anyone who would ask Christ to save him but does not repent of his sin, would have no room for Christ in his heart. Normally, one would not seek the Lord if he did not also believe he has a need of forgiveness. That is why repentance is usually *not mentioned together with believing in Jesus to save, as there would be no need of a savior unless one admits he has erred and needs His salvation. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations….” (Luke 24:46-47) *(The word "repent" (Including all of its forms, repentance, repenteth, repenting, repentest or repented.) is found 65 times in the New Testament. By contrast the word "beleive" is found over 250 times in the New Testament and "faith" is found over 300 times. Mentioning repentance (And all of its forms.) and faith together for salvation is found but 2 times and repentance and believe only three times.)
Repentance is not penance, where a self-inflicted punishment is done to pay for one’s sins. (See PENANCE) Repentance admits the guilt for the sin, and does not excuse it. Those who do not want forgiveness have not repented of their sins. Repentance comes when one is convicted of his sins and believes they are wrong, which is the job of the Holy Spirit. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8) But man can take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:17) and show others that they have sinned. All of us have need of a savior, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Bible repentance will regret the wrong done and turn the sinner towards God, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (II Corinthians 7:10) Judas Iscariot did penance, he brought back the thirty pieces of silver and killed himself “sorrow of the world worketh death”. There are many prisoners in penitentiaries who are sorry they got caught, but when someone is truly sorry they stole, or hurt someone, he has repented.
Bible repentance will have “fruit” (be seen outwardly). The Bible says of John the Baptist, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:” (Matthew 3:7-8) Baptism does not save and that is why John the Baptist refused to baptize these unrepentant sinners in the above verse. If a lost sinner goes into the baptismal waters he only comes out a wet sinner! (See BAPTISM.) Repentance does not mean one must stop sinning, as some habit may be too strong for him to break by himself, but he is willing and will trust the Lord to help him with this. For how could someone be truly sorry for his sin but still want to keep it?
I am a Christian, not a “Repenter.” The Bible never calls the saved “Repenters” but “Christians.” For some say they no longer do this sin or that sin and then they proclaim, “I am a Repenter,” believing that now they will go to heaven. But this would be a works salvation. In truth, I have repented of my sins and trust Christ for His forgiveness, but I do not trust what I can stop doing to save me.