528. ACTUAL REPENTANCE IS EXAMINING ONESELF, RECOGNIZING AND ACKNOWLEDGING ONE'S SINS, PRAYING TO THE LORD, AND BEGINNING A NEW LIFE.
That man ought by all means to repent, and that his salvation depends thereon, is evident from many passages and plain sayings of the Lord in the Word, from among which the following shall at present be mentioned:
John preached the baptism of repentance, and said, Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance (Luke 3:3, 8; Mark 1:4).
Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent (Matt. 4:17).
And He said, Because the kingdom of God is at hand, Repent ye (Mark 1:14, 15).
Except ye repent, ye shall all perish (Luke 13:5).
Jesus commanded His disciples, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations (Luke 24:47; Mark 6:12).
Therefore Peter preached repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Luke 2:38).
And he also said:
Repent ye and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19).
Paul preached that they should all everywhere repent (Acts 18:30).
Paul also declared in Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance (Acts 26:20).
Again he testified both to Jews and to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
The Lord said to the church at Ephesus:
I have against thee, that thou hast left thy first charity; repent, but if not I will move thy lampstand out of its place, except thou repent (Rev. 2:4, 5).
To the church at Pergamos:
I know thy works, repent (Rev. 2:13, 16).
To the church at Thyatira:
I will cast her into great affliction, except they repent of their works (Rev. 2:19, 22, 23).
To the church of the Laodiceans:
I know thy works, be zealous, and repent (Rev. 3:15, 19).
There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:7).
(Beside other passages.)
From all this it is clear that men ought by all means to repent; but the quality and mode of their repentance shall be shown in what follows.