As previously noted, forgiveness is mandatory for Christians. When we talk about forgiveness, we often note that it’s really hard…but really good. Life is beautiful on the other side of forgiveness. In the same way that forgiveness is mandatory, so is repentance:
“Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations...” (Jesus, in Luke 24:45-47)
“They… glorified God, saying, ’God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.’” (Acts 11:18)
“The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation…”(2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first...” (Revelation 2:5)
Though God uses his Word, his Holy Spirit, and sometimes his people to move us toward repentance, we must remember our limitations. Repentance is primarily the work of God. We cannot change hearts; only God can do that. Repentance ultimately comes from the Holy Spirit’s transformation.
So, what is necessary to experience genuine, healthy repentance?