There are many important lessons we can learn in today’s text. But we will devote this short space to the lesson of repentance.
The Jews didn’t believe that the Gentiles (non-Jews) could become Christians without first becoming Jews and obeying the law of Moses. There was great contention over this issue. But after Peter’s address to the Apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 11:1-17) it says…
“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” Acts 11:18, NKJV.
God “grants” or “offers”, “repentance that leads to life” to all who would come to Him through faith in Christ.
What a glorious truth that though no man is righteous enough to earn his way into God’s kingdom (Eccl 7:20, Rom 3:10), God offers a way through Christ (Rom 3:21-22). It all comes down to “repentance towards God” and “faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of behavior. Faith is a trusting in Christ to the point of reliance and obedience. The Apostle Paul put it this way –
“…I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, “testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:20, 21, NKJV.
Faith and repentance are spiritual Siamese twins. You won’t find one without the other. You cannot turn to God without also turning from sin. Would you come to Him today in this way? Paul also said…
“I preached … in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must turn from their sins and turn to God–and prove they have changed by the good things they do.” Acts 26:20, NLT.