Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

How often do preachers teach the gospel of Christ when someone desires to be baptized. This is a glorious occasion no doubt, but in our zeal to baptize, have we forgotten a missing step? Seriously, when was the last time you heard a preacher call for repentance before one is to be baptized into Christ? It’s something many preachers are taking for granted before one is to be baptized into Christ.

I actually heard a preacher say, “I never instruct any potential convert to repent. They can repent after they have been baptized.” Shocking doctrine coming from a gospel preacher. Shocking because without repentance, we have no remission of sins. Sins can’t be washed away if they haven’t first been repented of. Repentance it’s not optional, but a requirement before our sins can be removed.

Though its elementary in the first principles of the oracles of God, let us reexamine this too often missing step of salvation.

What is Repentance?

Repentance fully defined is a change of will or mind. This change is preceded by godly sorrow, and followed by a transformation of life. Repentance has been called our proverbial U-Turn from sin to righteousness. We see this definition of the word taught in many instances in the Bible.

Repentance Illustrated

Jesus defined repentance for us as He said,

“A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. And he answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented himself, and went” (Matt. 21:28, 29).

The young man at first refused to go work in the vineyard in compliance with the command of his father, but later he repented and went. What did he do? He changed his mind about his will toward his father’s command. As a result of his change of mind, his action also changed, but the change of action was not the repentance, but it was the product of the changed will.

Why Refuse Repentance?

The Bible plainly teaches, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:15); and “Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38). Why do so many refuse to be baptized for the remission of sins? I believe that the answer lies in their refusal to repent. A refusal to repent of their past and present practice of sin is a rejection of God’s simple counsel. The problem is not that the gospel is difficult to understand, but that they do not desire to repent (i.e. change) and live the life God has commanded.

A local musician was baptized long ago by my dad when I was only 13 years old. He was asked if he believed Jesus was the Christ, and upon his confession he was baptized. Six months later he was seen in a tavern drinking whiskey, and playing his music to a crowd filled with drunks and half naked women. When confronted the next Sunday about his actions he said with boldness, “I was never asked or commanded to repent of my sins. I was only asked if I believed Jesus was the Christ, and I said yes, and I was baptized. If I had been told I had to forsake my sins I would have never been baptized!”

Sadly, this is not uncommon, but more common than not. We have forgotten to teach repentance, and command such before we baptize anyone into Christ. The scriptures instruct us that remission of sins requires two things, and not just one, and that being repentance and baptism. Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19


Brethren, we need to preach, and teach repentance before one is baptized. To do less is not teaching the full gospel of Christ. Repentance is not something that can be assumed. If we don’t teach it, and command it, how can those hearing the gospel ever turn from their sins? Is it any wonder why so many are baptized, and continue in their sinful lifestyles.

If you are not a Christian, and you have faith in Jesus Christ, repentance for you will result in your being immersed for the remission of your sins. Christians who subsequently sin must likewise repent, and pray to God for His forgiveness. (Acts 2:37-38,41; 8:22; Rev. 2:10).

If you didn’t repent before you were baptized, who can proclaim scripturally that your baptism is right before God? There’s only two who actually know if you repented or not. God knows, and so do you. After-all, repentance is not an option, but a commandment of God.

I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Lk 13:3Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, Acts 17:30


Comments on: "Repentance is not an Option—It’s a Commandment of God!" (11)

  1. Julia - Member: Church of Christ ... Thank you Jesus! said:

    LUKE 14:25-33 ****COUNTING THE COST****

    Why do I never hear of anyone doing a study with an evangelistic student about what they are repenting? As we know, the bible has scriptures to cover all of God’s commands for our life to avoid and turn from commission and omission. Reviewing these scriptures leaves no uncertainty in the mind of the student as to what they need to repent from – why do we assume they know? After a review of these correct behavioral scriptures, we can intimately discuss these topics with our student: living outside of marriage, drinking/drugs/smoking, homosexuality, marriage directives including wifely submission in marriage, etc. This process will bring the student into knowledge without equivocation and intensify and bond and trust with the evangelist.

    Luke 14:25-33


    Self-renunciation is an indispensable condition of following Christ, required for accurately counting the true cost of allegiance to Him. This condition of full and selfless service to God demands our hearts and minds, not just our bodies. In Luke 14:25-33, two parables and an exhortation urge us to forsake all that we have as a mandatory condition to becoming Christ’s disciples. One main lesson is emphasized in these scriptures: the nature and influence of true discipleship.

    Three times (verses 26, 27, 33) the commanding assertion is “cannot be My disciple.” One who faithfully follows Christ must be prepared to hate—or more accurately, “love less”—his father, mother, wife, and children, as well as his own life. Loyalty to Jesus Christ and God the Father must be above even the highest loyalties of earthly love, that is, all our love of self must be subordinate to our love for God, who must be first in our life.

    Read more: http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/2745/Parable-Counting-Cost.htm#ixzz1zkemmayR

  2. Josias L Aquino said:

    Great wisdom allow me to use these material in preaching and teaching for the greater glory of God.

  3. Great article, I was wondering if someone could help shed some light on my concern?

    I was baptized 4 years ago in the name of Christ because I for one believed in the gospel, felt conviction and guilt over my sins, KNEW I was a sinner and needed Jesus for forgiveness, and wanted to be baptized to change and learn God’s will for me (even if at the time I had LITTLE idea what God wanted for me considering I was new to Christ).

    I remember subtle changes like I respected my parents more, and when I swore or got feisty with them I immediately prayed for forgiveness and confessed every night my current and past sins (that I could remember).

    However, I was in a relationship where I was having premarital sex and such, I can’t recall if I made the decision to stop because I knew it was wrong before being baptized or after, But I know I had the talk with my girlfriend and let her know I wanted to stop because it was against God’s commands (which I think I said after being baptized..goodness I can’t recall).

    However, within a short amount of time I fell back into having sex with her and such, and it has taken me 3 years or so to actually stop all sexual immorality and premarital sex, and fully repent and come back to Christ, when I literally in the past year abandoned him.

    My concern is, prior to baptism did I not fully repent? I truthfully had the will and desire to change, I wanted to live life in Christ.. I might not have fully known the parameters of being a “Christian”, but I knew it was going to be a change in my life and its style. I might also have not fully understand the parameters of the sexual sins I was engaged in, i.e. I might not have known some things WERE sins.. (like I said I can’t truly remember its been so long). But since being baptized I have grown a lot spiritually and after 3 years of really some of the only sins being sexual, I finally have changed from that lifestyle.

    Did I fully repent? Is it okay that now I have repented fully and fully understand the parameters of that sin, or was my baptism in vain and I have to be re-baptized? Does God understand and forgive this?

    Please let me know thank you so much and God bless.

    • What I can understand from your circumstances you do NOT need to be baptized again. Repentance is something that if we live long enough will have to be done more than once. Acts 8:22 Repentance is the gift of being born again by baptism. We are buried with Christ by baptism unto death, that as Christ once died for us, even so we should be baptized once with Christ. Rom 6:3,4; Heb 9:27,28 There is only one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Eph 4:5

      I commend you in the Spirit that you had the courage to see your wrong and remove yourself from it. I hope and pray that you will continue to walk faithfully in Christ Jesus and resist all the temptations that shall present themselves to you. The greatest sin that we can commit is not to fall into temptation, but our refusal to depart from it. To depart from evil is understanding. Job 28:28 Blessed is the one that endures temptation for theirs is a crown of life. Jam 1:12 May the good Lord be with you always.

      • Thank you so much for your kind words and understanding. I have been seriously worried lately, but I want to do the best I can, the way God sees in me. Thank you so much and bless you 🙂

  4. OH I just wanted to add, what would be some circumstances that WOULD require someone to be re-baptized?

    • To make a long answer very short, denominational baptism is good reason to be re-baptized. If one failed to repent before they were baptized is another reason. If one was baptized, but was so young they never understood the reason for baptism is still another reason. Infant baptism is a good reason to be re-baptized. Believing one is saved by faith only, but was baptized into a particular denomination is a good reason.

  5. Thank you very much and I hope I’m okay!

  6. […] Repentance is not an Option—It’s a Commandment of God! […]

  7. Thanks JESUS for saving my soul

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