Why do we need repentance before we can receive salvation?
Turn to God in repentance (Acts 20:21). God commands people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
Repentance means turning back from the wrong way (Jas 5:20) and from evil (Acts 3:26). This is the right attitude for those who have come to believe..
Inspired by the truth, we should realise that we are rebellious sinners against God, confess our sins and repent (Lk 19:8-9). We should change our thoughts and behaviour in keeping with repentance (Lk 3:8).
Without true repentance, belief in God is superficial and the believer does not share in the truth like Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-24).
1. Repentance means fearing God: “Surely his salvation is near those who fear Him…” (Ps 85:9). We can learn from the devout Jews at Pentecost who, when cut to the heart by the gospel accepted salvation through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-41).
2. Repentance means humility before God: The Bible says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet 5:5; c.f. Prov 3:34). In a parable spoken by Jesus, we learn of a tax collector who was accepted by God because he asked for mercy with humility. In contrast, God rejected the proud and complacent Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). Pride is the greatest hindrance to receiving God’s salvation.
3. Acknowledge that we are sinners: We should confess our sins before God (Acts 2:38; Lk 19:8-9) and change our ways (Lk 3:8; Acts 3:26; James 5:19-20). Without repentance, our faith in God will be superficial and lack grounding in the truth.
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