Repentance is the remission of sins. When you repent, you change the way you think: I was living for me, now I’m not. I was the sole attention and focus of my life, now I’m not. It’s simple: repentance.
They crucified Jesus, He was raised from the dead, then the day of Pentecost came and Peter preached, “You killed the Son of God. Pilate was going to let Him go, but you had a murderer, Barabbas, released” in Acts 2.
They were cut to the heart and said, “What should we do? We’re cut to the heart!”
Peter simply said, “Repent.”
What is he saying? They were just judged guilty of the death of the Son of God! This wasn’t a minor charge. This was a charge against them from a major court: You just killed the Son of God!
The Holy Spirit shined light on Peter’s words, and they saw it: they realized that they had the blood of Jesus on their hands! Imagine the horror of that in your soul. They fell, “Oh my God! What did we do?” They were thinking, “It’s hopeless: we killed our hope!”
Guess what Peter said? Essentially, “Just wish you didn’t do it! Get baptized, and you’re in! Just be His kids!”
“But we KILLED HIM!”
“Yeah, but you wished you didn’t, so you’re no longer the person that did! So come on in and be a part of the family!”
See why guilt, condemnation, and shame is such a lie? You say “Yeah, but I did this horrible thing!”
“Yes, but it’s breaking your heart! Come on, why are you still wearing that old identity? The person that I’m talking to now didn’t even DO that!”
“Yeah, but nothing! REJOICE! THE GOSPEL HAS CHANGED YOUR HEART!”
That was regret. Regret produces death. Godly sorrow, on the other hand, leads to repentance; it changes you, it vindicates you, it clears you in the matter – Second Corinthians 7.
This is clear gospel. Repentance is the REMISSION of sin!
(From the brief YouTube video “Repentance, It’s Simple – Dan Mohler.” My transcript, modified slightly for easy readability)