2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
The only 'act' of repentance that saves, is the repentance (change of mind) from unbelief to belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The TURNING to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
What is the connection between repentance and salvation? The Book of Acts seems to especially focus on repentance in regards to salvation (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; 17:30; 20:21; 26:20). To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind in regard to Jesus Christ. In Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), he concludes with a call for the people to repent (Acts 2:38). Repent from what? Peter is calling the people who rejected Jesus (Acts 2:36) to change their minds about Him, to recognize that He is indeed “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Peter is calling the people to change their minds from rejection, unbelief of Christ as the Messiah to faith in Him as both Messiah and Savior.
Many understand the term repentance to only mean, “mournful turning from sin” or "to be sorry again". This is not the only biblical definition of repentance. In the Bible, the word repent can also simply mean: “to change one’s mind”, in particular in the going from “unbelief” to the “belief” of Christ as Savour.
In the New Testament, the word mainly translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). Metanoia implies that one has later arrived at a different view of something. While this new view may produce an emotional response, emotion is not the focus of the word.
There is another Greek word, μεταμέλλομαι, metamelomai (from meta=with; melei=to care), which means to have remorse or regret. Metamelomai means, "to rue, regret; to have dissatisfaction with one's self for what one has done, to change or alter one's purpose, have anxiety consequent on a past transaction; to have pain of mind, rather than change of mind; and change of purpose, rather than change of heart."
The Greek word with the meaning “to be sorry”, to “have remorse” or “regret”, (metamelomai) is used of Judas in Mt 27:3.
Mat 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented (μεταμέλλομαι) himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Metanoya (repentance) means a change of heart either generally or in respect of a specific sin, whereas metamelomai means `to experience remorse.' Metanoya implies that one has later arrived at a different view of something, metamelomai that one has a different feeling about it."
2 Cor7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance (μετάνοια) to salvation not to be repented (ἀμαμέλητος) of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.Many mistake sorrow for repentance. As this verse shows, godly sorrow leads to repentance, but they are not the same thing.
The English word "repent" is derived from the Latin repoenitere (re=again; paenitere=to be sorry), and inherits the default meaning of the Latin. But the exhortations of the ancient prophets, of Jesus, and of the apostles show that the change of mind is the dominant idea of the majority of the words translated.
This changing of the mind is also something that God gives:
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance (μετάνοια) to the acknowledging of the truth;
It is crucially important that we understand repentance is not a work we do to earn salvation. No one can repent and come to God unless God pulls that person to Himself (John 6:44). Acts 5:31 and 11:18 indicate that repentance is something God gives—it is only possible because of His grace. No one can repent unless God grants repentance. All of salvation, including repentance and faith, is a result of God drawing us, opening our eyes, and changing our hearts. God's longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), as does His kindness (Romans 2:4).
Complete list >>   Here   << all "repent / repentance" verses in the New Testament.
Biblical repentance is simply TURNING UNTO THE LORD.
Salvation is of the Lord, not man. A changed life is the result of genuine repentance. We don't give up our sins to get saved; we give up our sins because WE ARE SAVED. God makes the change. Salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their guilt of sin, coming to God on the basis of being a hell-deserving sinner; believing on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, for forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:43, “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.”
There are no prerequisites or conditions for salvation. God will save any guilty sinner who trusts upon Jesus Christ for salvation.
The only thing that we need to repent of, and turn from to be saved is our unbelief. Do we have to realize our sinful condition to be saved? Of course, yes! Unless you find out that you are sick, you do not realize the need to go see a doctor. And in the same thought, we do not 'heal' ourselves first, before going to the doctor. Especially if that doctor has a 100% record of success to all that ask of Him. (John 6:37)
Once a person is saved, they begin to grow in grace by feeding on the Truth of God's Word (1st Peter 2:2). As a believer grows in the Truth, he or she realizes that there are changes in their life that need to be made. God's Holy Spirit works in that person's heart. Thus, we begin to see the FRUIT of genuine repentance. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and NOT a prerequisite to salvation or a part of saving-faith. The change comes as a result of true repentance; not as a means to it.
In the Gospel of John, the word “believe” is mentioned 85-times; but the word “repent” is never mentioned even once. This clearly evidences that the sinner who believes on the Lord for salvation has also repented.
The Change Comes AFTER a Person is Saved, NOT before:2nd Corinthians 5:17 reads, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Please notice that a man does NOT become a "new creature" until AFTER he is in Christ (saved). The change comes after a person is saved; NOT before, but AFTER.
Salvation comes through childlike (simple) faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing may be added. Once a man becomes a new creature in Christ, then he begins to change. A person who has truly repented from rejection of Christ to faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19-23; James 2:14-26). Repentance as the change from “unbelief” to “belief/trust in the LORD”, properly defined, is necessary for salvation. Biblical repentance is changing your mind about Jesus Christ and turning to God in faith for salvation (Acts 3:19). Turning from sin is not the definition of repentance, but it is one of the results of genuine, faith-based repentance towards the Lord Jesus Christ.
Righteous B. Goat
"Even the demons believe!"That's the refrain of critics responding to ‘God’s Simple Plan'. Jesus tells us that "whosoever believes" is saved. Jesus doesn't go much further than that in his declaration in John 3:16. He doesn't add any "ands, ifs or buts." He merely says "whosoever believes" in him is saved. But, as our critics love to point out, even the demons believe -- and shudder!(James 2:19) Simply believing is not quite enough, they tell us. Anyone can believe -- the demons are proof!
Why even the faith of some men has not gone as far as that of the demons. They believe and tremble. Some men say they believe, but have never trembled before the Lord at the thought of the seriousness of sin. Many have never trembled at the thought of being called into account by God. There is no mercy for a trembling demon, but when a human trembles before the Lord, he is nigh unto salvation. "But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Is. 66:2). Remember, there are no unbelievers in hell, however by then it will be too late. Weeping and gnashing of teeth will be the lot of the unsaved forevermore.
What fact can you, and only you, believe about Jesus, that no devil/demon can possibly believe?
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Every Demon in hell, believes that Jesus saves, knows that Jesus saves, but not one of them can know in their heart and say "Jesus has saved me".
Has Jesus saved you? Or, are you still trying to clean up the outside first. Matt 23:27