Repentance is a concept that isn’t talked about enough in some churches today. Yet it was a key point in what Jesus preached and something He specifically instructed the church to proclaim everywhere (Matt. 4:17; Luke 24:47).
Repentance is prompted by the Holy Spirit: He brings conviction concerning sin so that we’re encouraged to depend on Jesus’ righteousness. When we commit to repent—that is, to turn from sin and toward God—the Spirit supplies the power for us to do so. He transforms the inner person and gives new desires for holiness and obedience.
While salvation involves an understanding of sin and a choice to repent, some people mistakenly think they themselves must clean up their life before coming to Christ. But that is actually impossible. No one can make himself righteous apart from the work of the Holy Spirit—only God can give a clean heart, holy desires, and a transformed mind.
For unbelievers, that false assumption can seem an insurmountable obstacle to salvation. That’s why God’s children must know the truth about repentance and share it, clearing the way for lost souls to trust Christ as Savior.