That is why the apostle Paul preached: “ … REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, and FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” Acts 20:21
Through the fall, man is spiritually dead, and his soul (the seat of his emotions and his will; the place of his decision making) now dwells within his decaying mortal body as a defenseless prisoner, controlled by its sinful desires. Though he would repent, his conscience recognizing and bearing record of his sin as an offense to God; he cannot perform that which he would choose. Though he might desire good, within himself he cannot overcome the sin that keeps him in bondage. Repentance simply cannot save him from his sins, nor pay the penalty they bring, for it cannot even free him from its power.
He finds that he must look outside himself for help to overcome his sin. In desperation he looks in faith to the sinless Savior, who alone can do for him what he could not do for himself. That is to save him from the power AND the penalty of sin; to free his soul from the bondage of sin within his flesh, and empower his soul’s decisions with the life giving, indwelling Spirit of God, enabling him to overcome the sins which once held him bound.
Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
In our flesh, we cannot please God. Our repentance, although commanded cannot save us but is simply a willingness to turn to God and receive through faith the precious gift of salvation he offers through his son, Jesus Christ.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;