The Missing Element Today
On the day when the Holy Spirit empowered the early Church, Peter stood up and said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." The following day, Peter was on his way to the temple with John and saw a beggar sitting there. In God's power, he healed him. Then he challenged the people who were there, saying, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refeshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus" (Acts 3:19).
Did you notice how Peter prefaced his short but powerful messages? "Repent!" he cried out. They knew what he meant and didn't like it. Did Peter know something that we have forgotten or neglected, that repentance is an element in the transaction of rebirth?
Do we understand what Peter was talking about? First, repentance is not confession to someone, outlining your human failure. It is more than that. Neither is it penance - doing something to atone for what you have done. Neither is it shame over what you have done.
Additionally, Repentance isn't just sorrow that you were discovered. A person can really be sorry that he or she got caught, yet feel neither ashamed nor repentant.
When Jesus and the disciples talked about repentance, they meant a change of mind, a sorrow for the consequences of your sin and a determination, with God's help, to be a no-repeat offender.
It is this attitude that allows the Holy Spirit to help you understand that God will receive and forgive you that results in forgiveness, restoration and spiritual healing.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you towards repentance? Romans 2:4