Peter told Jews who were guilty of killing Christ, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). To have your sins blotted out is the same as receiving salvation from the Lord. Thus, repentance is essential to salvation.
Repent simply means a change of mind or will. However, it is brought about by godly sorrow and results in a change of action (2 Cor. 7:9-10). The Jews on Pentecost well illustrate this point. They were convicted of killing Jesus and were “cut to the heart.” They then asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). They believed in Jesus but needed to know what to do about their terrible sin. Peter told them, “Repent, and let every one of you is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). They were sorry for their ungodly actions, told to have a change of mind, and then submitted to baptism (Acts 2:40-41). Hence, repentance leads them to salvation. Have you done this?
Steven F. Deaton