Bible verses about repentance of sin

17 Bible verses about repentance of sin

Repentance of sin is a process of letting go of all iniquities and genuinely seeking forgiveness. Repentance of sin is when someone acknowledges that he has gone astray from the ways distinguished to be correct. It is the instant of self-realization to pursue perfection.  This is the period of deciding to abandon a distasteful manner, action, or words and genuinely seek to effect a positive change. Repentance is the desire for a progressive change towards God and man. This inner change gives rise to new God-centered and Christ-exalting behavior. Hence, repentance is forsaking the old ways to thread on a new acceptable path.

Below are Bible verses that will help you to know the principles surrounding repentance of sin.

Bible verses about repentance of sin.

Truly repent with the mindset to change positively to earn forgiveness and blot away sins, thereby accumulating the ever-refreshing goodness and blessings of God. I have carefully selected these 17 Bible verses about repentance of sin through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3:19 – Transformation and reformation from old ways.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Acts 3:19 KJV

Acts 3_19 - Transformation and reformation from old ways

“Repent” is a direct command with a reassuring pronouncement indicating that whenever a sinner genuinely repents, there’s a possibility for forgiveness. In order words, the sinner must seek forgiveness with a contrite heart. A noncommittal spirit will not be forgiven. There must be obvious penitence at the stage of repentance to be forgiven.

The admonition is not only central to repentance but also to be “converted.” There must be a visible change, transformation, and reformation from the old ways repentance was sought. The repentant sinner must strive to maintain his new status against all odds, as this will suffice for his sins being “blotted” out.

A reflection of true conversion guarantees not only forgiveness but the blotting away of the committed sins. This means that the committed sin can no longer speak against the sinner. It will forever be forgotten. However, in the absence of a possible change, there will be no refreshing in the presence of the Lord.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – Humility for repentance of sin.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

2 Chronicles 7_14 - Humility for repentance of sin

To gain forgiveness, the sinner must be humble. The attribute of humility portrays the wilful desire to let go of sin. It shows that the sinner is not coerced to enforce transformation. Whatever manner a sinner deems fit to portray humility should be displayed as a proper form of repentance. In their quest to repent and earn God’s forgiveness, the Israelites wore sackcloth and poured dust on their hairs to exhibit humility in the sight of God.

Matthew 4:17 – The desire for uprightness

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17 KJV

Matthew 4_17 - The desire for uprightness

Jesus had the mantle to die for the sins of the world. The course of pursuit was to lay his life for the remission of sins of the world. Being oblivious that repentance is an essential factor in gaining forgiveness of God, Jesus, in this verse, was persuading the people of the world to straighten their paths with God.

Jesus emphasized the need to repent sin from the people, and perhaps it would have relieved the stress of dying for the world.

Luke 5:32 – No sinner should feel worthless.

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luke 5:32 KJV

Luke 5_32 - No sinner should feel worthless

This is a message of hope to sinners. The sinners have a better chance to amend their ways. There is enough room for restitution. No sinner should feel worthless to earnestly request God’s forgiveness.

This is a clarion call to all sinners to repent irrespective of the magnitude of their sin. All sinners are invited to the enclave of mercy and forgiveness. God will never neglect a wilful repentant sinner at the throne of grace and mercy. Just accept to repent; God has counted you amongst his children. 

Matthew 21:32 – The rejected way to righteousness.

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matthew 21:32 KJV

Matthew 21_32 - The rejected way to righteousness

This verse represents the sad state of God in seeing the dimension of the unrepentant heart of man.  It was apparent that John the Baptist lived a righteous life, yet his constant warnings about sin and repentance fell on deaf ears of the chosen generation of God. He struggled to make the chosen people of God find delight in living a sinless life, but unfortunately, the root of sin has deeply positioned itself in their lives. 

If John the Baptist a symbol of righteousness, could not salvage the disturbing situation of the sinful nature of the people of God, what then would be the saving grace?

Matthew 3:1-3 – Making your ways straight.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Matthew 3:1-3 KJV

Matthew 3_1-3 - Making your ways straight

Repentance offers the platform to acquire the kingdom of heaven. Repentance of sin is the key that unlocks the unending overflow of God’s blessings.

John the Baptist, the flag bearer of the son of God on earth, keeps preaching in the wilderness about the importance of repentance of sin.

He bolsters the lampstand of Jesus Christ in the path leading to the fulfillment of righteousness and forgiveness of the world’s sins.

Irrespective of the fact that the people of the world were earlier informed about the way maker of the Lord Jesus Christ by Prophet Esaias, God still made utterances by the mouth of John the Baptist as a reminder of the prophecy. This aptly applies that God is in dire need of the repentance of a sinful man.

2 Peter 3:9 – God’s promises never fail.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9 KJV

2 Peter 3_9 - God's promises never fail

God can never fail in his promises. His word is his bond. He dignifies his words more than his name.  No matter how it tarries, God’s promises must be accomplished against all odds.

Typically, a promise is not supposed to be delayed nor denied as it often raises the hopes of the prospective beneficiary. Any delay may breed resentment, and distrust and, in extreme cases, affect the loyalty of the prospective beneficiary.

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Peace and favor from repentance of sin.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:10 KJV

2 Corinthians 7_10 - Peace and favor from repentance of sin

Being sad and ready to change from a sinful way when a sinner reconciles himself with God. This verse reiterates that it is better to be sad over an evil act and obtain peace and favor from God’s forgiveness than to be sad over earthly problems, which might lead to perpetual bondage and dwelling in Hell.

God is anxiously looking for an iota of repentance towards sin to use it as a seed to help us become upright.

Cain is an excellent example of someone who was not remorseful over the killing of his brother, Abel. This grievous sin he committed against God was not his point of concern which would have made him repent instead, he was concerned about the punishment.

James 5:19-20 – Salvation through repentance from sin.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

James 5:19-20 KJV

James 5_19-20 - Salvation through repentance from sin

“Brethren” was how Apostle Paul greeted the early Christians. This conversation pattern gave the early Christians and newly converted ones a sense of belonging.  He called their attention to certain sinful acts in which they are most liable to get entrapped. He alerted the brethren to watch over themselves and be their brother’s keeper.  “For if any of you do err from the truth,”; He particularly admonished them to look out and recover those that have gone astray from the path of righteousness.

Luke 3:8-9 – The fruits worthy of repentance.

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Luke 3:8-9 KJV

Luke 3_8-9 - The fruits worthy of repentance

Being aware of the unrepentant nature of man clinging unto the righteousness of their fathers to act as a ransom for their sins, John the Baptist in this verse is calling out sinners to acknowledge the benefits of self repentance of sin. John the baptist vehemently frowned upon the ridiculous reliance of a sinner on the righteousness of birthright, ancestry, or bloodline or gets justification before God from any situation. An acclaimed righteous man must put up actions to clarify that he has truly repented. The sinner must bear the fruits of good deeds, act righteously to prove true and genuine repentance of sin, and embrace the ways of God.

Any Christian who doesn’t bear the fruit of repentance will be cut off from enjoying the mercy and grace of God and replaced with an unbeliever who is willing to follow God. Claims of righteousness based on a particular background don’t guarantee salvation but personal repentance of sin.Everyone will be given judgment pertaining to their works which will grant eternal life or destruction.

Luke 17:3 – Forgivess necessary for repentance.

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

Luke 17:3 KJV

This verse directs that everyone must take heed to their spirits, doctrines, walk, actions, and communication so that it will not offend another person. The verse instates that forgiveness is paramount to repentance of sin. No Christian should exhibit a tough, repellent, proud and aggressive spirit in taking heed and rebuking during offenses.

Luke 15:7 – Admission of a repenting sinner.

I say unto you, that likewise, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luke 15:7 KJV

This verse bolsters the importance of repentance of sin. God lays more critical value on the repentance of one sinner against ninety-nine already saved souls.

One sinner that repents, proclaims the consciousness of sin, becomes sorrowful, gets frightened about it, and shed tears on account of it and ultimately shows outward reformation is the cause of jubilation in heaven. Without true repentance, a sinner will perish but through repentance, they are welcome to the open arms of the grace of God and become useful vessels of the decrees of Christ. The repentance of a sinner guarantees life and salvation hence the joy in heaven as God does not desire any of his children to perish in the path of iniquity.

God seems to have regard and values one repentant sinner over ninety and nine upright people who exhibit outward pretentious righteousness in the face of men, and claims that they are perfectly righteous without sin, so, therefore, has no need of repentance.

Luke 24:46-48 – The Remission of sins.

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:46-48 KJV

The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ have achieved the salvation of the souls of sinners. The blood of Jesus Christ intercedes, sanctifies, purifies, and transforms sinners to be worthy in the presence of God. Since it was decreed that Christ must suffer and die, no matter how he prayed for God to take away the bitter cup of death, he still died.

The Son of God manifested in human form and live among men in obedience to the will of God to redeem the world. At the set time, he suffered and died on the cross and bore the guilt of men, and prevent God’s wrath upon them. Jesus Christ became a sin for sinners to become a pleasing sacrifice unto the Lord and that the name of God might be exalted and his people become saved.

Proverbs 28:13 – Sins are not to be covered.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Proverbs 28:13 KJV

Whosoever does not divulge his sins to God and man whenever the need arises as in the case of Adam, Eve, David, and other biblical personalities who refused to acknowledge their sin shall not prosper. Whosoever that conceals his sins just like Achan in order to avoid punishment shall not find compassion. But whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins with a sincere heart and resolve to walk in an upright way shall have mercy. It must not be just a forsaking of sin but rebuff an old sinful self, abandon the association with immoral men and refrain from all aspects of evil.

Luke 15:10 – Joy over a sinner that repents.

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Luke 15:10 KJV

Note that there is “joy” in the presence of the angels of God over the repentance of one sinner. This implies that there is often a grand reception in heaven to welcome a repentant sinner. The retrieval of even one rebellious soul is hailed with joy. The basis of this jubilation is that there is one disciple delivered out of the hands of Satan and his cohorts. Christ’s kingdom is enlarged and this is the dire need of God; the prosperity of the kingdom. An heir has sprung out to profess the work of Christ on earth and this joy is said to be insurmountable.

Acts 8:22 – Repenting from wickedness.

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Acts 8:22 KJV

The verse, “repent therefore of this thy wickedness” is a strict condemnation of the sinful state of man. The call to repentance brings forth hope as it did to the penitent thief on the cross. A sinner is admonished to be humble and shows a sense of shame for his sins. The sinner is obliged to own to his guilt and deeply regret it and most importantly amend his ways and become a new being in Christ.

Again, the sinner must pray to God for grace and compassion upon repentance if perhaps, the thought of his heart may be forgiven. Without a doubt, this signifies that the state in which the sinner purges his heart determines his forgiveness which leads to salvation.

1 John 1:9 – Being cleanse from all unrighteousness.

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 KJV

God in his infinite mercy gave the sinful world testimony by surrendering his only begotten son as a proficient sacrifice to suffice the sin of all ages. God is faithful and just to forgive the sinfulness of believers who profess it. God requires sinners to regularly confess their sins and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice. It is necessary to plead guilty before God and exert humility.

<“And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  connotes that God has forgiven sinners of true repentance to the point of forgetting all their past and giving them a royalty treatment of righteousness and basically blot all the stench of blemish from the soul.

Acts 17:30 – Repentance for mankind.

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Acts 17:30 KJV 

Paul the Apostle refers in this verse to the ages when people were ignorant about the true God and resorted to worshipping graven images, God overlooked sins and did not punish them. God pretended as if he has no knowledge about the sins of men and gave a waiver on the grounds that they were not enlightened about sin and its consequences. There was no revelation to guide them nor were there prophets to awaken them to the reality of their sin hence God left them to their stupidity and ignorance without punishment.

God has commandeth all men with restrictions to no one to repent. This command is binding on all irrespective of status. It is the responsibility of Christians to disseminate the command to the unbelievers and summon them to the blessings and compassion of Christ.

Matthew 3:8

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

Matthew 3:8 KJV

This verse talks about the change in conduct and behavior which inhibits the forsaking, confessing of sins, and consistently threading the path of righteousness which portrays the sincerity of repentance.

The fruits of transformation will be evidence to prove that a sinner is sincerely repentant. Let there be no deviousness and pretense. Every act of hypocrisy must be eradicated when a sinner professes his sins.  The fruits of repentance must be acceptable and expected to emulate characteristics of true repentance.

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38 KJV

A sinner has to be sorrowful towards his sins as a sign of repentance and also abandon his old ways. The repentance of sin should not be exerted based on impending repercussion or eternal destruction in hell. Whenever a sinner sees sin as a destructive evil, he will hate and forsake sin wholeheartedly.

Putting aside the imagination of the underlying punishments associated with sin, a penitent sinner will never abhor sin. Even though to commit sin would serve as a source of joy or gratify his needs and its unattached with the sanction, a truly penitent sinner would never commit sin for the mere fact that it is contrary to the will of God.

After repentance of sin, it is also important to get baptized. Baptism is the use of water as a symbol of purification and an emblem of the power of God to cleanse the soul. Jesus Christ gave this directive of baptism after repentance to his disciples. Baptism of an unbeliever signifies his embrace to the body of Christ and also accepts Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour. All converted sinners are mandated to make this declaration. If anyone is unwilling to make this profession it means that they have not genuinely repented.

The profession is simply the confession of sins with a contrite heart to genuinely turn away from perpetuating evil. It is a proclamation and resolution to become a devoted follower of Christ and to his service.

Any sinner who comes to be baptized must come with remission and a professed conviction that he is a sinner because there is no other way of compassion but in a professed acceptance to conform with the terms and conditions to receive salvation through Jesus Christ.