When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”
Acts 11.18 NLT
Luke sometimes uses repentance to stand for man’s whole response to God. See Luke 24.47. Luke doesn’t demean faith or baptism, but he knows that without a person turning his life around, deciding to leave sin and follow the Savior, faith is hollow and baptism is but an empty act.
This was the great lesson learned by the Jews on hearing the story of Cornelius. We can learn it, too.
Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of repentance, of the possibility of (re)turning to you.
Hold this thought: For eternal life we must repent, / deciding to go where the Savior went.