What is Repentance to Life and Salvation?
Some of the elect are converted in later years, having lived for some time in their natural state in which they have served various lusts and pleasures. Then God gives them repentance to life by effectually calling them.
There is no one who does good and does not sin, and the best of people may fall into great sins and provocations [against God] through the power and deceitfulness of their indwelling corruption and the strength of temptation. Therefore God has mercifully provided in the covenant of grace that when believers sin and fall they shall be restored to salvation through repentance.
Saving repentance is a gospel grace by which we are made aware of the many evils of our sin by the Holy Spirit. By faith in Christ we humble ourselves over our sin with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-loathing. We pray for pardon and strength of grace, and determine and endeavour, by [the power] supplied by the Spirit, to walk before God and to please Him in all things.
Repentance is to continue through the whole course of our lives because of our 'body of death' and its activities. So it is everyone's duty to repent of particular known sins with particular care.
In the covenant of grace God has made full provision through Christ for the preservation of believers in their salvation, so, although even the smallest sin deserves damnation, yet there is no sin great enough to bring damnation on those who repent. This makes the constant preaching of repentance essential.