There are five key conditions to being repentant which you can also use as signs for self-examination to identify if your repentance is true.
The 5 Conditions of Repentance
Here are five steps you must take to be repentant. You should be able to say “yes” to all of these if your repentance is true.
1. Acknowledgment of Sin
“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
The first step towards repentance is to acknowledge our wrongdoing. We must confess our sins.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
– Proverbs 28:13
2. Willingness to Change
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
– Romans 12:1-2
We need to be willing to change. Change requires putting God’s will and plan for us ahead of our own. It requires a change of heart and mind.
But when we focus on Christ, we will be renewed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will help us develop a new outlook.
When we see our lives in this way, we will no longer have the desire to sin.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
3. Forgiveness of Self and Others
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
– Luke 6:37
Being repentant is more than just confessing our sins and asking God for his forgiveness. Before God will forgive us, we have to forgive any others we may be harboring ill feelings towards.
If we want God to love us despite our sins, we must be willing to do the same for others.
Lastly, we must forgive ourselves. We must not hate ourselves for our mistakes.
We must trust in our loving heart, our willingness to change and to do better.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
– Matthew 6:14-15
4. Submission to God’s Truth
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
– Acts 2:38
We need to yield to the authority and will of God. We need to acknowledge that God sent Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Savior.
“God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”
– Acts 5:31
5. Ceasing From Sin
“No one, Lord,” she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more.”
– John 8:11
Our repentance means nothing unless we cease from sin. Not only must we change our lives by ceasing from sin, but we need to strive to do good works.
Our efforts need to bear fruit.
“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
– Matthew 3:8