Repentance is of such importance that there is no being saved without it…It is a great duty incumbent upon Christians solemnly to repent and turn unto God…That religion which is not built upon this foundation must needs fall to the ground.
Repentance is a grace required under the gospel. Some think it legal; but the first sermon that Christ preached, indeed, the first word of his sermon, was ‘Repent’ (Matt. 4.17). And his farewell that he left when he was going to ascend was that ‘repentance should be preached in his name’ (Luke 22.47)…Repentance is not arbitrary. It is not left to our choice whether or not we will repent, but it is an indispensable command. God has enacted a law in the High Court of heaven that no sinner shall be saved except the repenting sinner, and he will not break his own law.
Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge, but what is knowledge good for without repentance? It is better to mortify one sin than to understand all mysteries. Impure speculatists do but resemble Satan transformed into an angel of light. Learning and a bad heart is like a fair face with a cancer in the breast. Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell. ~Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance Source
“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life!” Psalm 39:4
A life once spent, is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity.
The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever! All the marks which we put upon it–it will exhibit forever. Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will effect our everlasting destiny. How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness!
It is too late to mend the days which are past, but the future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night, let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone–indelibly marked!
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom!” Psalm 90:12
The second part of the gospel, then, is repentance: not that which takes place for a time, but that which makes a man who knows himself blush and be ashamed of his old life, for one reason because he sees it ought to be altogether foreign to a Christian to waste away in those sins from which he rejoiced to believe that he had been delivered…Therefore when Christ and John and the Apostles preach, saying, ‘Repent,’ they are simply calling us to a new life quite unlike our life before; and those who had undertaken to enter upon this were marked by an initiatory sacrament, baptism to wit, by which they give public testimony that they were going to enter upon a new life ~Huldrych Zwingli, Commentary On True and False Religion (Durham: Labyrinth, 1981