Click the Banner to Index

2 Peter 3:9   

October 28, 2015 - Wed. p.m.

Is repentance necessary for salvation?



Nobody can deny the truth and question that the Lord Jesus demands repentance.

According to 2 Peter 3: 9, the Lord “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” One of the purposes of Jesus earthly ministry was described by the Lord in Matthew 9:13 when he said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,”  We can also find Jesus emphasized its importance when He said in Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,”

Others preached and proclaimed its necessity.

John the Baptist preached it in Mark 1:15 when he said, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel."

Paul preached it in Acts 20:21, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."



             The Lord said in Luke 15:10 that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth,” That is what happened in heaven every time a soul gets saved.

             In Acts 20:21, Paul described his evangelism and preaching ministries as “testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,”



The preaching of repentance is not the problem but the giving of wrong definition to the word. The word “repent” has come with a different meaning than it was spoken by John the Baptist, Apostles like Paul and John, even Jesus Christ Himself. Surprisingly, we can find the word “repent or repentance” in a modern dictionary which mean “to feel sorry or self-reproachful,” “to be conscience-stricken,” “remorse” “contrition” ”cease from sinning”

Therefore some preached reformation instead of repentance. Repentance is not reformation. Reformation is an effort on the part of the individual to establish his own righteousness, and the Bible clearly teaches that we are not saved by our own righteousness but by the imputed righteousness of God. Look at Romans 10:1-4

The Greek word METANOEO translated “repent” used by Jesus, Paul, John and others in the New Testament, means to think differently or afterwards, that is, to change the mind.


The word “repent” or some variation of the word shows up 112 times in the Bible.

The word appears first time in Genesis 6:6-7 and is clearly defined as “change of mind.” We read that because of the wickedness of men in the earth the Lord was grieved and repented that he had made man. The Lord destroyed man with a flood as a result of His repentance. So we learned that God’s action follows His decision.


In Exodus 13:17 we see the word repent the second time, where again it is a change of mind.  In this situation, the Jews would change their mind they want to return to Egypt instead of going to the Promised Land. Then we can see that the Lord was ready to destroy the Jewish people when Aaron had made the golden calf. But, we read in Exodus 32:12-14 that Moses intercedes for the Jews and this made the Lord repented and did not destroy the Jewish people.


We therefore, conclude that repentance is clearly a change of mind which always results in an action that demonstrates the mind that changed.



In the New Testament, Paul did not defined repentance as a work when he says in Acts 26:20, “…that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance,”

Paul is showing us that if there is genuine repentance in the person’s heart or mind there will be clear evidence of changes on what he is doing.



A person is expected to repent when convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sin (John 16:8-11) and of his unrighteousness (Isaiah 64:6) that will lead him to suffer torments in hell. The change of heart and mind is evident in receiving Jesus Christ and His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 1:30). That is the action that follows the repentance. Paul preached “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Even John the Baptist preaches that there must be fruits of repentance evident before someone need to be baptized (Luke 3:7-8). We can go back to several verses given in our point number one regarding repentance demanded to emphasize that repentance is necessary to salvation.



After you got saved, still there will be need of repentance that has nothing to do for you to be saved. This happened in 2 Corinthians 7: 9-11 as the church of Corinth had to repent of being puffed up for mishandling the sin in the church properly. In that passage we can see the good fruits as Paul said, “godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance”. And notice, the Corinthians believers cleared themselves in that matter!



In Revelation 2:5 Apostle John exhorted the church at Ephesus, "Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

In 2 Timothy 2:25- 26 explains that it is possible for Christians to commit some doctrinal error or fall into sin and be taken captive by the devil snare. In such situation, according to verse 25, God will have to “give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth”. It means they “may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil” if they change their mind about the error that led them into the lie or into sin but instead acknowledge the truth. However, if they don’t repent or change their mind they will remain as devil’s captive but they are still saved.

In I Corinthians 5:1-5, here we learned that if Christians remains unrepentant of their evil doings, Paul said they will be given to Satan for the destruction of the body but the spirit is saved.



Although many are confused and considered repentance as a complicated doctrine it is not. Repentance is that “change of mind” when you realized that you are a sinner and your righteousness that you’ve done won’t save you. Repentance is that “change of mind” that leads you to acknowledge the truth after you has been aware that you believe a lie of certain erroneous doctrine. It is that “change of mind” after you realized that you are living in sin and doing something wrong that gives you a godly, God honoring lifestyle