Acts 11 “18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!””
Cornelius was the first Gentile to be saved.But interestingly the Jews said that this event was the “repentance to life”.
What was this repentance? Was it trying to stop sinning?
Cornelius was previously trying to attain salvation by prayer and charity in Acts 10.
But he was not saved by those deeds.
His repentance was to believe in Jesus and be saved instantly on the spot.
Acts 10 “38 even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of everything he did both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they also killed, hanging him on a tree. 40 God raised him up the third day, and gave him to be revealed, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen before by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that this is he who is appointed by God as the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him, that through his name everyone who believes in him will receive remission of sins.” 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. 45 They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles.”
Repentance before salvation is the change of mind – to believe in Christ to be saved.
Repentance after salvation is the change of mind to know Christ’s love that manifests in the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, etc.
In all cases, repentance is to change our mind by the love of Christ – His personal unconditional love for us.