There are three elements of genuine repentance.
1. There is the intellectual element. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia. It means a change of mind. We think differently about sin. No more excusing it, no more ignoring it, now the attitude of the heart has changed. Our thoughts are transformed from being a God hating lover of sin to loving God and desiring to please him in all things.
2. There is an emotional element to repentance. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Godly sorrow works repentance.” David in his penitential Psalm wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.”
3. There is volitional element to repentance. By an act of the will, we turn from sin and trust the Savior. Genuine repentance goes beyond mere intellectual awareness of sin, beyond sorrow over sin, to a real turning from sin as an act of the will in surrender to God in genuine faith and humble obedience.