Did I correctly repent?

Question:

I can remember on the night before I was baptized, I sinned. After that, I prayed to God, told Him I was sorry, and wanted to live my life for Him. I don’t know if I had time to turn from my sins since I got baptized the next day, but I was so disappointed that I sinned, and I prayed to God that I was going to live my life right. Repentance precedes baptism. At the time, I didn’t know what the word "repent" meant or that I was supposed to do it, but I feel like I did what God said.

Do you think I repented correctly? I know that in the Bible days, they were baptized immediately after they were told to, so I guess I did it that way. I know I changed my mind about sin. Did I do it correctly? I know I didn’t want to sin anymore and felt so disappointed after I did.

Answer:

Repentance is changing your mind about the acceptability of sin and changing your behavior. See Repentance for more details. As you noted, people were baptized soon after they accepted the truth. While some aspects of repentance may take a while, it doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out process.

Often, when a person decides to become a Christian, he knows the direction his life needs to take, but there is a lot to learn. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (II Peter 3:19). In that growth, you learn more about things like faith, repentance, and baptism. The things that you have done take on greater meaning, but it doesn't mean that you didn't do them correctly. What you described doing sounds like repentance to me.

I know you are disappointed that you had sinned before being baptized, but that was the past. Focus on the future and where you are going.

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