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Repentance is first a decision to stop sinning. Second, repentance is the practice of righteousness instead of sin. Repentance, then, begins in the mind and afterward is demonstrated outwardly. However, repentance is neither a mental process alone nor is repentance reformation of life alone. True repentance involves the combined REFORMATION OF MIND AND BODY.
John the Baptist gave the following instruction to some who claimed to have repented. "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Matthew 3:8). He called upon those to whom he preached to repent not only in word but also in action.
Repentance is essential to obtain the forgiveness of sins; those who do not repent will be lost. "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Repentance and baptism will take away sins. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38).
Since "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23), all must repent. "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30). God does not want anyone to be lost, but he desires everyone to repent. Though God patiently waits now, someday time will cease and judgment will begin.
Study of God's Word produces faith. Faith leads one to repent. Repentance is followed by profession of Christ to others. Finally, baptism takes away sins. Dear Reader, have you repented? Repentance is part of God's plan to save us.