Repentance and faith

Unrecognizable young man praying, kneeling on the floor, hands clasped together. Bible and burning candles next to him. Close up.

I … taught …, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:20.21

Today’s verse from the Bible shows us two necessary steps, without which it is impossible to be saved: repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ. 

Repentance means a radical change in one’s way of thinking. It is not an outward exercise, but an inner process that affects a person’s heart. Whoever repents turns to God, not sparing himself nor his past.

Repentance leads to a radical break with sin and a confession such as the prodigal son made in Luke 15: “I have sinned.” Whoever has repented thinks henceforth quite differently about himself and his life. 

Repentance signifies that someone looks back over his life and judges it anew. By faith he turns his eyes to Christ, the Son of God, and His work of redemption. In Jesus Christ sinners recognize God’s great love and grace in sacrificing His son to save us. Christ is the Saviour of the world, who made atonement for sin and grants eternal life to everyone who believes on Him.

Faith looks to the cross of Calvary, where Christ took our guilt upon Himself through His sacrificial death and bore the punishment for it. This brings rest and peace into the heart and conscience of the believer. He knows that he has been justified before God through the precious blood of Jesus Christ and cleansed from all sin. Consequently he will not be brought into judgment.