Repentance is a necessary step in becoming a Christian. It not only requires a turning away from sin, but it also requires a change of heart, mind, and action. Throughout the New Testament, we see this necessary step demonstrated.
In Acts 16, as Paul and Silas teach the Philippian jailor what he “must do to be saved” (Acts 16:30), they made it clear that believing “in the Lord Jesus” (v. 31) was necessary. After then speaking “the word of the Lord to him” (v. 32), we see the jailor’s demonstration of repentance. “And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized” (v. 33). His heart, his mind, and his actions had changed.
Acts 19, Paul is preaching and “performing extraordinary miracles” in Ephesus. Numerous people who had practiced and invested in sorcery came to fear God and believe. The text tells us that “those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone” (v. 19). Their hearts, their minds, and their actions had changed.
Repentance is more than recognizing sin or feeling sorrow for committing sin. Repentance involves and requires changing the sinful practices in our lives. It may be difficult, embarrassing by worldly standards, or even extraordinarily costly, but it is always necessary.