Repentance, confession of sins and the new birth


“We believe that under the influence of the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit man comes to a realization of his lost condition. Psalms
32:1-5; 51:3, 4; John 16:7, 8.

“Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it.… But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth.… We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” –Steps to
Christ, pp. 23, 24. See 2 Corinthians 7:10.

We can no more repent without the Holy Spirit, who awakens the conscience, than we can receive forgiveness of our sins without Christ.

Confession of Sin

We believe that all who confess their sin receive forgiveness and justification, for Jesus pleads His blood for everyone who repents. 1 John
1:9; 2:1.

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.

“The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and
wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that
confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.… True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 37, 38.

The New Birth
We believe that a person who gives his life to Jesus Christ and accepts Him as his personal Saviour will experience the new birth. John
1:12, 13.

“When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love,
humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.…
The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the
image of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 173.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

“The contrast will be clear and decided between what they have been and what they are.… In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 57, 59.

“In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God, as it is brought into accord with His law. When this mighty change has taken
place in the sinner, he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old
life of alienation from God has ended; the new life of reconciliation, of faith and love, has begun.” –The Great Controversy, p. 468.

“Regeneration is the only path by which we can enter the city of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 23. John 3:3-8; 1:12, 13; 1 Peter
1:23; James 1:18; 2 Peter 1:3, 4.

“When we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we shall have no relish for sin; for Christ will be working with us. We may make mistakes, but we will hate the sin that caused the sufferings of the Son of God.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1890

The born-again Christian does not continue to sin voluntarily, because Christ has set him free (Romans 8: 2) and helps him to be overcomer (Philippians 4:13)