Quotes about Repentance-Definition


Repentance is the tear of love, dropping from the eye of faith, when it fixes on Christ crucified.


Repentance is one of the most positive words in the Christian vocabulary! It refers to turning from a destructive path and moving instead into God’s abundant life.


Repentance is the vomit of the soul.


[Repentance] is the true turning of our life to God, a turning that arises from a pure and earnest fear of Him; and it consists in the mortification of our flesh and of the old man, and in the vivification of the Spirit.


Repentance is the true turning of our life to God, a turning that arises from a pure and earnest fear of Him; and it consists in the mortification of the flesh and the renewing of the Spirit.


[Repentance] is not a merely intellectual change of mind or mere grief, still less doing penance, but a radical transformation of the entire person, a fundamental turnaround involving mind and action and including overtones of grief, which result in (spiritual) fruit.


Remorse precedes true repentance. Changed behavior follows true repentance. But this necessary prelude and postlude of true repentance are not themselves the essence of repentance. True repentance is a denial that anything in us ever would or ever could satisfy God’s holiness or compel His pardon. We humbly concede that we can offer nothing for what He alone can give. Then we rest in His promise to forgive those who humbly seek Him… Repentance, therefore, is fundamentally a humble expression of a desire for a renewed relationship with God – a relationship that we confess can be secured only by His grace.


Repentance confesses to God, “God, forgive me. The allure of this temptation was more real to me than the beauties of your promises and presence.”


What is repentance? It is turning from the sins you love to the holy God you’re called to love. It is admitting that you’re not God. It is beginning to value Jesus more than your immediate pleasure. It is giving up those things the Bible calls sin and leaving them to follow Jesus.


Repentance is a change of mind regarding sin and God, an inward turning from sin to God, which is known by its fruit – obedience (Mt. 3:8; Acts 26:20; Lk. 13:5-9). It is hating what you once loved and loving what you once hated, exchanging irresistible sin for an irresistible Christ.


It is one thing to love sin and to force ourselves to quit it; it is another thing to hate sin because love for God is so gripping that the sin no longer appeals. The latter is repentance; the former is reform. It is repentance that God requires. Repentance is “a change of mind.” To love and yet quit it is not the same as hating it and quitting it. Your supposed victory over a sin may be simple displacement. You may love one sin so much (such as your pride) that you will curtail another more embarrassing sin which you also love. This may look spiritual, but there is nothing of God in it. Natural men do it every day.


Repentance means turning from our sins to God. We need to identify the sin, confess it to God, put off the sinful practices, and put on godly practices. In this process we will feel remorse and experience the love and forgiveness of God.


To forsake sin, is to leave it without any thought reserved of returning to it again.


Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world whatever the cost, the world in its mind and outlook as well as its practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ. Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer financially, but it makes no difference. That is repentance.


Repentance as Jesus characterized it…involves a recognition of one’s utter sinfulness and a turning from self and sin to God (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:9). Far from being a human work, it is the inevitable result of God’s work in a human heart. And it always represents the end of any human attempt to earn God’s favor. It is much more than a mere change of mind – it involves a complete change of heart, attitude, interest, and direction. It is a conversion in every sense of the word.


Repentance is NOT:

1. Merely being ashamed or sorry over sin, although genuine repentance always involves an element of remorse.

2. Merely a human work. It is, like every element of redemption, a sovereignly bestowed gift of God.

3. A pre-salvation attempt to set one’s life in order. It is a command to recognize one’s lawlessness and hate it, to turn one’s back on it and flee to Christ, embracing Him with wholehearted devotion.


Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7).


The Greek word (metanoeo) behind repent means more than regret or sorrow; it means to turn around, to change direction, to change the mind and will. It does not denote just any change, but always a change from the wrong to the right, away from sin and to righteousness… Repentance involves sorrow for sin, but sorrow that leads to a change of thinking, desire, and conduct of life.


True repentance first of all involves understanding and insight, intellectual awareness of the need for moral and spiritual cleansing and change. Second, it involves our emotions. We come to feel the need that our mind knows. Third, it involves appropriate actions that result from what our mind knows and our heart feels.


Repentance is repeatedly tapping into the blessings of being united to Christ.


Repenting is telling Christ exactly why you need Him.


To repent is to accuse and condemn ourselves; to charge upon ourselves the desert of hell; to take part with God against ourselves, and to justify Him in all that He does against us; to be ashamed and confounded for our sins; to have them ever in our eyes and at all times upon our hearts that we may be in daily sorrow for them; to part with our right hands and eyes, that is, with those pleasurable sins which have been as dear to us as our lives, so as never to have more to do with them, and to hate them, so as to destroy them as things which by nature we are wholly disinclined to. For we naturally love and think well of ourselves, hide our deformities, lessen and excuse our faults, indulge ourselves in the things that please us, are mad upon our lusts, and follow them, though to our own destruction (Francis Fuller).


[Repentance is] consciousness of spiritual poverty dethroning pride, a sense of personal unworthiness producing grief, a willingness to surrender to God in genuine humility, and a strong spiritual desire developing into hunger and thirst, enter into the experience of one who wholly abandons sin and heartily turns to Him who grants repentance unto life (Byron Dement).


Repentance is more than just sorrow for the past; repentance is a change of mind and heart, a new life of denying self and serving the Savior as king in self’s place.


Repentance, as we know, is basically not moaning and remorse, but turning and change.


The first spiritual step on the Calvary road of radical obedience to Jesus is repentance. Repentance includes remorse for inward corruption and sin. Repentance is not only remorse. It is a change of mind and heart about sin and righteousness and about Christ. It is a turning from the broken cisterns of the world to the fountain of life.


Repentance is a costly call to fundamentally say no to who you are (in your sin) in order to find an entirely new identity in who He is.


For every Christian in every culture, repentance is necessary. This doesn’t mean that when people become Christians, they suddenly become perfect and never have any struggles with sin again. But this does mean that when we become followers of Jesus, we make a decided break with an old way of living and take a decisive turn to a new life. We literally die to our sin and to ourselves – our self-centeredness, self-consumption, self-righteousness, self-indulgence, self-effort, and self-exaltation. In the words of Paul, we “have been crucified with Christ and [we] no longer live, but Christ lives in [us].”


True repentance is no light matter. It is a thorough change of heart about sin, a change showing itself in godly sorrow and humiliation – in heartfelt confession before the throne of grace – in a complete breaking off from sinful habits, and an abiding hatred of all sin. Such repentance is the inseparable companion of saving faith in Christ.


[Repentance is] a threefold action. In the understanding it means knowledge of sin; in the feelings it means pain and grief; and in the will it means a change of mind.


What is repentance? According to the Scriptures, three Greek words are transliterated “repentance.” I believe all three put together describe three truths necessary for complete repentance. The Greek word “Metanoeo” speaks of a spiritual change of the mind. Literally it means “to have another mind.” It implies a change of opinion with regard to sin and the recognition of sin against a holy God. We’ll call this the intellectual aspect. The second word, “Metamelomai,” speaks of personal grief or sorrow over sin as it has offended one’s heavenly Father. We’ll call this the emotional aspect. Finally, “Epistrepho,” speaks of a change in direction and transformation of the will. Evidence here is marked by an observable difference in conduct. We’ll call this the volitional aspect.


Repentance is the desire and ability to turn from sin. We cannot have Christ and Satan. So true believers will want to please God. They will be convicted by the Word of God. They will have a general brokenness over their sin. They will desire to turn from it. They will be able to turn from it. That’s repentance. It’s a gift that God gives His children. It initiates salvation and then continues throughout our life of salvation.


What is repentance? Repentance is understanding where we fall short of God’s expectations as they are revealed in the Bible and by God’s grace changing our mind, our heart and our actions to be more in line with God’s will. Repentance is making a complete break with sin (a “180”), and it it’s place, now the pursuit of righteousness. There is an ongoing repentance that all Christians do. That’s what it means to grow in Christlikeness. And there is a general repentance we do when we initially come to Christ as we turn from self and devote ourselves entirely to the lordship of Jesus Christ.


Repenting is neither more nor less than crying out to God in Christ, “Lord be merciful to me, a sinner.” Believing is rejoicing in the faithfulness of His promise, that as we so repent, we go home justified. It is not the depth and power of your repentance that earns God’s favor. None of us repent as deeply as we ought, and so must ever repent for the weakness of our repentance. But Jesus came to save sinners.


What is repentance? 1. Recognition – [Repentance is] an awareness of having defied God by embracing what He despises and despising what He adores. 2. Remorse – Repentance is never a pleasure. It always entails pain. It demands brokenness of heart (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 57:15). [It is not] out of fear of reprisal, rather than from a hatred of sin. 3. Request – We must ask God for forgiveness and for strength. 4. Repudiation – We must repudiate all sins in question and take active, practical steps to avoid anything that might provoke stumbling. 5. Reformation – There must be an overt determination to pursue purity, to do what pleases God (1 Thes. 1:9).


Repentance is an inner change of the mind…toward one’s self, toward God and toward others that leads to an outer change of life. It may or may not result in restitution, as required, but, when genuine, always results in the desire and the attempt to abandon old sinful lifestyles and to adopt new, biblical ones. Repentance is a precondition to all biblical change that has to do with overcoming sin.


Our Lord’s idea of repentance is as profound and comprehensive as His conception of righteousness. Of the three words that are used in the Greek Gospels to describe the process, one emphasizes the emotional element of regret, sorrow over the past evil course of life, metamelomai; Matt. 12:29-32; a second expresses reversal of the entire mental attitude, metanoeo, Matt. 12:41, Luke 11:32; 15:7, 10; the third denotes a change in the direction of life, one goal being substituted for another, epistrephomai; Matt. 13:15 (and parallels); Luke 17;4, 22:32. Repentance is not limited to any single faculty of the mind: it engages the entire man, intellect, will and affections… Again, in the new life which follows repentance the absolute supremacy of God is the controlling principle. He who repents turns away from the service of mammon and self to the service of God.


Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of true sense of his sin [intellectual aspect], and appreciation of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of sin [emotional aspect], turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience [volitional aspect].


Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of true sense of his sin, and appreciation of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.


Repentance is a conscience attitude of regret, a changing of the mind or a turning from sin to God. This includes a reorientation to God. In the Greek, metanoia (repentance) is the noun form of the verb metaneo (repent). The noun repentance indicates a reversal or turning around. The verb implies thinking differently. Repentance is active. “Producing fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8).

Recommended Books

Repentance: Turning From Sin To God

Thomas Boston