Discovery Bible Study

Study #6 Repentance and Belief in Jesus

  • Teaching Point 1

Jesus made it clear that every person has a physical body, but there is also an unseen part of them called a spirit. When a person dies, their body returns to dust, yet their spirit lives on, either in heaven with Jesus or in hell with the evil one.

God formed man from the dust of the ground. He then breathed the breath of life into man, making in him a living spirit. People are born spiritually alive to God and in right standing with Him. However, one day everyone reaches an age where they become accountable for what their choices. There comes a time in every person’s life when they understand what they are doing is right or wrong. When their conscience convicts them for something they do wrong, they become aware of sin. The scripture says this is when sin, found in every human being, comes alive and the spirit experiences spiritual death. Mankind's body is still living, but their spirit is dead. Spiritual death is separation from God. It is to be cut off from the life of God and enslaved by the evil one. This happens to every human being since we inherited this sin from our parents and their parents all the way back to Adam and Eve. The worst part about this is how most people are unaware of this. Many are deceived into thinking they are good because, when you are spiritually dead, even your own heart can deceive you. You can think good is evil and evil is good. You are no longer capable of having a right relationship with God. You are cut off from Him. However, Jesus teaches that there is an answer to this problem. We can (and must) be born again!

John 3:1-18 (NLT) There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” 9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. 10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.

  • Teaching Point 1 Questions…

  1. What did Jesus say a person must do to see the Kingdom of God? (vs. 3)
  2. Who did Jesus say is the only one capable of giving spiritual life? (vs. 6)
  3. What did Jesus say we must do to have eternal life? (vs. 16)

  • Teaching Point 2

Jesus didn’t come to judge the world. He came to rescue people who are already condemned, lost, and hopeless.

“Walking dead” is a callous term sometimes used to describe a person who has a terminal illness with no hope of recovery. A similar term used for a person convicted of serious crimes and sentenced to death is “dead man walking”. Even though they are still “alive” for the moment, death is inevitable and imminent. Every moment of their lives is affected by these conditions. These terms could actually be used to describe every human being on Earth who isn’t born again by faith in Jesus. Without Jesus, we are “dead men walking” without even a spark of hope, completely and utterly lost. But Jesus came to buy us back from slavery, sin, and death with the most powerful and precious payment possible… His own blood.

Why would He do this? Hebrews 12:2 says, “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” Do you know what the joy awaiting Him was? The joy Jesus looked forward to was being reconciled to you and me! All we need to do is believe and receive the gift of salvation.

Real belief isn’t just accepting the fact, in your mind, that Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead. Real belief is a condition of the heart when a person adheres to, trusts in, and relies on the testimony of Jesus as truth.

Mark 1:14-15 (NLT) 14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

  • Teaching Point 2 Questions…

  1. Where did Jesus go when John got arrested? (vs. 14)
  2. What did Jesus do when he got to his destination? (vs. 14)
  3. What was the message Jesus preached to them? (vs. 15)

  • Teaching Point 3

Jesus said, “Repent of your sins and believe the Good News.” “Repent” means to turn away from your sinful self-centered life and turn toward God. True repentance is not just feeling bad about having done something, it is a change of direction. It’s turning our hearts toward God. When we do this, He gives us the gift of repentance that results in a life change.

Repentance and belief are so closely connected they cannot really work on their own. To illustrate what I mean, let’s consider the act of breathing. To breathe, we must inhale and exhale… both are integral components of breathing. In order to exhale, you must have air in your lungs (from inhaling) and in order to inhale, you must have already exhaled to make room in your lungs for more air. Each is dependent upon the other having already been accomplished. Similarly, to be saved one must repent and believe. In order to believe, one must repent and in order to repent, one must believe… both are integral components of salvation. What must one believe? The “Good News” which is also called the “Gospel.”

These Discovery Bible Studies are designed to present all of the most integral components of the Gospel in order to equip you to decide whether to accept or reject Jesus as your Lord. These studies reveal through scripture;
    God created everything perfect.
  • Man disobeyed Him which separated humankind from God, bringing the curse of sin and death to the whole world.
  • God loved us so much that he came in the form of the man Jesus to break every curse, making a way for us to be right with Him.
  • Jesus took the punishment we deserve by being crucified, just as holy scriptures foretold He would many centuries before it happened.
  • He died, was buried for three days, then rose from the dead and showed Himself to over 500 people before ascending into heaven.
  • He told his followers to tell everyone the Good News; whoever believes the testimony of Jesus, confesses their faith in Him out loud, and are baptized in His name will be saved and made whole in spirit, body, mind, will, and emotions. They will also be given eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Being born again doesn’t require you to live perfectly. It doesn’t require you to collect enough merit by your good deeds. It doesn’t require you do extra good works to make up for your bad deeds. To be born again and begin a new life with Jesus, all you need to do is repent of your sins and believe the Good News.

If you trust your own ability and your own good works to be saved, you won't be. If you trust your own merits, you will fall short of God’s forgiveness. You must believe that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was enough to save you. When you believe God’s message of redemption through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, you will be saved.

Romans 10:8-13 (NLT) In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

  • Teaching Point 3 Questions…

  1. What is close to us, even on our lips and in our heart? (vs. 8)
  2. What two things does the scripture say a person can do to be saved? (vs. 9)
  3. Who can be saved? (vs. 13)


Salvation (being reconciled to God) is very simple. It is not complicated. Salvation is a gift from God that is received by grace through faith in Jesus. There is no long list of difficult tasks needing to be done before you can be saved. These DBS lessons teach all that is required for you to be saved. The word “saved” means to be made whole, healed, delivered, and forgiven. It can happen in a moment, because it is by grace through faith in Jesus alone we are made right in God’s sight. It is when we boldly declare Jesus is Lord, we begin to experience deliverance in our mind, will, and emotions.

When you believe in Jesus, it makes you a brand-new person and the desire in your heart for evil things goes away. You will still be tempted to do evil things, but you will no longer enjoy doing them. The Holy Spirit inside of you will lead you to turn from your sin, turn to God and obey His commands as you learn to love what He loves and to hate what He hates. The Holy Spirit will teach you the right way of living through your spirit as you submit to His written word, the Bible.

Repenting of sin, confessing Jesus as Lord of our lives, being baptized in water are all acts we do because we are God’s child. Obedience to God’s word is the evidence of a change of heart. If we have had a change of heart, we will repent. If we have had a change of heart, we want to confess how Jesus is Lord and we will want to be baptized. These acts, the Bible talks about, are different ways to show our faith. As followers of Jesus, we will do many good deeds throughout the rest of our lives, not to merit salvation or to keep our salvation but as a result of having been saved and born again by the Holy Spirit.

Application Questions

  1. What are some things we can learn about God from this study?
  2. What are some things we can learn about people from this study?
  3. Is there anything in this study that Jesus wants us to obey?
  4. What will I do now that I know this?