Acts 26:20 - Repent, Turn to God and Do the Works of Repentance.

Acts 26:20; Repent, Turn to God and Do the Works of Repentance.

Acts 26:20 (KJV)  But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at 
Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the 
Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for 

Acts 26:20 (NIV)  First to those in Damascus, then to those in 
Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they 
should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their 

Acts 26:20 (NASB)  but kept declaring both to those of Damascus 
first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of 
Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to 
God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. 

Acts 26:20 (NRSV)  but declared first to those in Damascus, then 
in Jerusalem and throughout the countryside of Judea, and also to 
the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do deeds 
consistent with repentance. 

Acts 26:20 (TEV)  First in Damascus and in Jerusalem and then in 
the whole country of Israel and among the Gentiles, I preached that 
they must repent of their sins and turn to God and do the things that 
would show they had repented.  

Acts 26:20 (NCV)  I began telling people that they should change 
their hearts and lives and turn to God and do things to show they 
really had changed. I told this first to those in Damascus, then in 
Jerusalem, and in every part of Judea, and also to those who are not 

Acts 26:20 (EAV)  But made known openly first of all to those at 
Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and 
also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and 
do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their 

Acts 26:20 (CWB)  Since that time, I have preached the good news 
of salvation in Damascus, Jerusalem, throughout Palestine and in 
many parts of the Roman Empire to anyone who would listen.  
Everywhere I've been, I've urged people to change their ways, to repent of 
their sins and to live for God. 

Acts 26:20 (TLB)  I preached first to those in Damascus, then in 
Jerusalem and through Judea, and also to the Gentiles that all must 
forsake their sins and turn to God--and prove their repentance by doing 
good deeds. 

Paul is not here advocating righteousness by works, but the kind 
of "works" that characterize a life that has attained to 
righteousness by faith in Christ. He does not mean that it is possible to earn 
righteousness by the performance of certain deeds, but rather that true 
righteousness automatically produces deeds commensurate with, and that attest 
to, the presence of the grace of God in the life.... The man of faith 
establishes the law (Rom. 3:31), for he is "created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works" (Eph. 2:10). Whenever there is true righteousness by 
faith, that righteousness is evident in good works. "Faith without 
works is dead" (see James 2:14-24). [SDA Commentary] 

People should "repent and turn to God," language which appears 
both in Acts (see 3:19) and in Paul's letters (see 1 Thess 1:9).26-11 
Beyond this Paul declared that his preaching of grace did not involve 
salvation without obedience. He preached that converts should "prove their 
repentance by their deeds," that is, demonstrate by their obedience that 
their repentance was sincere. This concept does not contradict Paul's 
doctrine of justification by faith through grace, since Paul's doctrine 
of faith always required a faith ready to obey the will of Christ 
(see Rom 1:5). [College Press NIV Commentary] 

The Greek word for repent literally means change one's mind. To 
repent means to realize that the kind of life we are living is wrong 
and that we must adopt a completely new set of values. To that end, 
it involves two things. It involves sorrow for what we have been 
and it involves the resolve that by the grace of God we will be 
Turn to God. So often we have our backs to God. It may be in 
thoughtless disregard; it may be because we have deliberately gone to the 
far countries of the soul.... Paul calls on us to let the God who was 
nothing to us become the God who is everything to us..... 
The proof of genuine repentance and turning to God is a certain 
kind of life. But these deeds are not merely the reaction of someone 
whose life is governed by a new series of laws; they are the result of 
a new love. The man who has come to know the love of God in Jesus 
Christ knows now that if he sins he does not only break God's law; he 
breaks God's heart. [Barclay Commentary] 

Now a man must try to be good and keep God's law, not because he 
fears God's punishment, but because he feels that he must strive to 
deserve that amazing love. He strives for goodness, not because he is 
afraid of God, but because he loves him. He knows now that sin is not 
so much breaking God's law as it is breaking God's heart, and, 
therefore, it is doubly terrible....  
It is not the law of fear but the law of love which keeps him 
right... We are rid forever of the terror of God, but that is no reason 
for doing as we like. We can never again do as we like for we are 
now for ever constrained to goodness by the law of love; and that 
law is far stronger than ever the law of fear can be. [Barclay 
Commentary re Rom.3:31] 

Do works meet for repentance; that is, show by their conduct 
that they had contrite hearts, (Adam Clarke Commentary) 

It is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must 
have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to 
light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. . 
[Matthew Henry Commentary] 

Paul never separated the preaching of repentance from good 
works. Deeds of Christian love show a person has repented, that is, 
turned from sin to God. This means repentance is a change of direction 
in one's life, not simply a statement made once and never acted 
upon. [Disciple SB] 

Obedience is the proof of repentance. [Disciple SB]

Faithfulness to Christ is an evidence of true salvation. 
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

The assured Christian is more motion than notion, more work than 
word, more life than lip, more hand than tongue. Thomas Brooks 
[Passages Of Life SB] 

None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven 
we must be first saints on earth. [Matthew Henry Commentary] 

There is constant danger of falling into sin, for Christ has 
warned us to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. If we are 
conscious of the weakness of self, we shall not be self-confident and 
reckless of danger; but we shall feel the necessity of seeking to the 
Source of our strength, Jesus our righteousness. We shall come in 
repentance and contrition, with a despairing sense of our own finite 
weakness, and learn that we must daily apply to the merits of the blood of 
Christ, that we may become vessels fit for the Master's use. ST05-19-90 

He who is truly penitent does not forget his past sins, and grow 
careless about them as soon as he has obtained forgiveness. On the 
contrary, the clearer the evidence he has of divine favor, the more he 
sees to regret in his past life of sin. He loathes, abhors, and 
condemns himself, and is more and more astonished  that he should have 
continued in rebellion so long. He renews his repentance toward God, while 
he grasps more decidedly the hand of Jesus Christ, and finds that 
repentance is a daily, continued exercise, lasting until mortality is 
swallowed up of life. He who thus repents, appreciates the righteousness 
of Christ as above silver and gold, above every earthly tie and 
affection. ST11-26-94 

"You can say you are a Christian, but that doesn't make you one. 
The true Christian will give evidence of faith by a transformed 
life. The kind of faith that will take you to heaven is the kind of 
faith that will produce godliness in your life here and now." Charles 
H. Robinson [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary re Jam.2:14-24] 

Luther called James an "epistle of straw," and was upset by what 
he viewed as its works/righteousness teaching. Really though, this 
critical segment of James does not teach works/righteousness, but asks a 
vitally important question. And that question is--what kind of faith do 
you have? 
Abraham had a very real faith. We know that Scripture says, 
"Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" (v. 
23). In one sense of that legal term "justified," Abraham was 
justified at that moment, declared innocent in the sight of God. 
But Abraham was not proven righteous until he subsequently 
obeyed God's command and came to Mount Moriah, ready and willing to 
sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. In that act he was justified in another 
vital legal sense: his innocence was displayed! 
What James tells us is that the kind of faith that makes us 
righteous before God will also make us righteous before men. A true faith 
in God will transform us within, and the new person we have become 
will act out a relationship with God. 
Even as Rahab showed that she had a true and saving faith in God 
by hiding the spies that had entered Jericho. 
Even as you have shown that you have a true and saving faith in 
God by many of the choices you have made since you became a 
What a joy it is to know that our faith is real. What a joy it 
is to have a faith that works. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary