One necessary step in becoming a Christain is repentance. A person must repent of sin, that is, to turn away from sin and turn toward God to have those sins forgiven. In Acts 2, Peter preached, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Repentance comes before baptism and before the forgiveness of sins.
In some cases, repentance is easy to see in a person’s life. For example, maybe some of their sins were well known by others, so it is obvious when they turn away from that sin. In other cases, repentance might be more difficult to see. For example, all of us have struggled with private or secret sins, and repenting of those may be something that is known only between God and us.
Regardless of how public or private our sins might be, true repentance is a necessary part of obedience to God, and true repentance must always involve a change. When we repent, as Peter preached and as God’s word commands, we will not only change our actions, we will experience a change of heart. We will not only stop practicing whatever sinful behavior has separated us from God, we will also feel sorrow for the sins that we have committed.