Luke 13.1-5 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Repentance is not just a decision a person makes at a given point in life, but a lifetime of striving, struggling, and fighting against sin by faith in the grace of Christ. Yes, there is that initial repentance unto salvation by grace through faith in the all-sufficient sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ. But, at that moment of regeneration, there begins a life of repentance. Repentance meaning a godly sorrow for my sin, with a sincere desire to change and live according to God’s will. The root meaning of the word repent means to change. This change is mental and volitional.

The gospel is not a call to join a religious system, it is a call to change the way we live and follow Christ. But “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” A self-righteous person does not see his or her need for Jesus Christ. They have made their religion or their morality their savior.

But Jesus said, “they that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” The gospel message testifies both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Note that repentance and faith are inseparable. A person who has saving faith, is a person who will live a life of repentance. The initial act of repentance is unto salvation. The subsequent acts of repentance are unto sanctification.

What is the source of this repentance? “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 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.” Have you repented of your sin and trusted in The Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul? Are you living a life of faith in Christ and repentance towards God? Unless you repent, you shall likewise perish (Luke 13.1-5).