(Repentance For Lost or Saved?) Bible Question
“Is repentance only for those who are not saved, or does it apply to those who are already Christians?”
Repentance applies to every person who sins, whether saved or not. To devout Jews who had traveled far and wide to come to Jerusalem, the apostle Peter said, “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; New International Version). These people stood guilty of the sin of crucifying the Messiah (Acts 2:3). They needed to repent and be forgiven of their sins.
But later the apostle John writes to the church in Ephesus in the book of Revelation, telling them to repent. “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Revelation 2:5). Notice it is Christ who is speaking. This church (a body of saved people) had wandered from the right path and needed to change by repenting and turning around.
So, repentance is for everyone who has sinned. Christians still struggle with sin and still commit sin. . .
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8 – 10
John tells us we never escape the problem of sin. In this life we will come up short. If we think we no longer sin, we are lying to ourselves and we are not being honest with God’s message. Christians will always have the need to repent. If we think we don’t need repentance, we must think we no longer sin.