Our local mission team are currently working through Tim Keller’s excellent “Gospel in Life” course.
Here is some classic Keller insight on two types of repentance…
There are two different ways to go about repentance – religious repentance and gospel repentance. In ‘religion,’ the purpose of repentance is basically to keep God happy to he will continue to bless us and answer our prayers. So, in religion we are sorry for sin only because of its consequences. Sin will bring us punishment – and we want to avoid that, so we repent.
The gospel, however, tells us that as Christians sin can’t ultimately bring us into condemnation (Rom 8:1) Its heinousness is therefore what it does to God; it displeases and dishonours him. Thus in religion, repentance is self-centred; the gospel makes it God-centred. In religion we are mainly sorry for the consequences of sin, but in the gospel we are sorry for the sin itself.”
Gospel in Life study guide, p28.
Oh, for a heart to grasp this more and more deeply.
You can get the course here: