Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
When about 3,000 people on Pentecost each realized his or her personal responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ, they were “cut to the heart” and asked, “What shall we do?” (verse 37).
Repentance means turning to God and turning away from sin, surrendering completely to God. It is not just regretting being caught or a shallow emotional experience. It is a gift from God that produces a powerful change in our lives.
As Paul wrote, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
Repentance is not a one-time thing, though, since sin can creep back into our lives. John encourages us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Study more about repentance in our article “What Is Repentance?”