Repentance that Leads to Life
Acts 11:18 "When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."
This is the way of the repentance that God grants that leads to life. First, we are going our own way, standing in God's way, opposing him and others. Then, we hear the Gospel truth, and we come to a crossroads. Still opposing, our minds change. We seem to have come to our senses in the twinkling of an eye. God is behind it. We now head in the opposite direction. The right direction.
At the same moment, upon realizing that the truth is true, we cease opposing and begin praising God for his goodness. Our heart is changed. We now love God. We now love to reconcile with those we were opposed to. It is a beautiful process; all a gift from God. And it is not just a one time occurrence. God in his kindness leads us to repentance again and again. Upon conversion to Christ a person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit forever. And in this new relationship comes the God-given ability to change course as we are exposed to new light. This God pleasing change of direction is called repentance.
When God calls it "the repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18), he is referring to the fact that true repentance leads to an acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross on behalf of lost sinners. The salvation of the lost and the sanctification of the found are both characterized by God-given repentance.
All praise to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone.