Repentance is a supernatural act of God’s Grace working in a believer’s life:
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
In repentance many people experience deliverance from sin, some are healed and receive miracles. There is a supernatural transformation that takes place when a person truly repents. Because a person feels so clean after they have repented, they actually feel like a brand new creature, which causes them to think they have been born again. However, let’s look at some repentant people in the Bible to see if their repentance constituted the New Birth.
Acts 8 – In Samaria there was great joy, miracles, healings and great deliverances. They believed the Word of God and were baptized. However, they were still missing a vital part of the New Birth and that was the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Simon witnessed this baptism and offered money to the Apostles to buy this power. Jesus saves and His Spirit is not for sale, it’s free to all that believe His Word (John 7:38-39). That way men cannot make merchandise of His Great Salvation, like Simon attempted to do.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Acts 10 – Cornelius was a devout man that feared God, gave alms, and prayed always. He was living a repentant life. But, He needed to be born again. Therefore, God arranged a meeting with a preacher by the name of Peter.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Side note: In Romans 10:5-11, the Apostle Paul is preaching from Deuteronomy 30:11-16 almost verbatim. He is not telling anyone how to be saved, but rather how Jesus fulfilled what was spoken in the law of Moses. The book of Romans was not written to sinners telling them how to be saved, but to born again saints who were saved. Where and how were they saved?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (Read Acts to see that doctrine)
Acts 19 – John the Baptist taught repentance and water baptism was preparing the way of the Lord (Mark 1:3-4). Therefore, to be John’s disciple meant you had repented and been baptized. When the Apostle Paul told John’s disciples to believe in Jesus, they responded by being baptized again, having the Name of Jesus invoked over them. Then Paul laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. This is the consistent response to the Gospel and if anybody knew the Truth and preached it, the Apostles did. They knew what Jesus meant when he said:
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.