Jesus’ church is a place where sinners repent of sins, with their heart and their mouth. Indeed, the apostle Paul attests: “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).
Simply put, we are brought to salvation through our open confession of repentance. Jesus states, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). And, he says, repentance is how we’re healed and restored: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).
Beloved, this is good news! Jesus is telling us, “In my church, everyone is healed through repentance. It doesn’t matter who you are — the physically broken, the mentally ill, the spiritually sick. Everyone must come to me the same way and all find healing.”
Repentance was at the heart of the very first sermon after Christ’s resurrection when Peter told the crowds gathered at Pentecost: “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you … you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:22-23). When the people heard this, they fell under powerful conviction. The preached Word pricked their hearts, because the Holy Spirit had come in all his power. And according to Jesus, that’s precisely the Spirit’s work. He said the Holy Spirit comes to “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
The crowds were so stirred when they heard this that they couldn’t move. Suddenly, before them were the very issues of life and death. When they cried out to Peter and asked what they should do, he answered, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins … Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).
As Christians, you should be immensely grateful for the presence of the Holy Spirit as you allow him to do his true work in you. Jesus wants you to walk in his peace as you live out repentance.