Repentance is not so much a doing as a depending. It is not so much a striving for pardon as a posture of humility. In true repentance we confess our total reliance on God's mercy. We acknowledge the inadequacy of anything we would offer God to gain his pardon. In true repentance we rest upon God's grace rather than trying to do anything to deserve it. Reliance on God alone for mercy is the essence of repentance. Repentance is not a work of turning to new behaviors or to any conjured phrases or emotions in us. Such human efforts cannot be our basis for being made right with God. Repentance is not a turning from one category of works to another; rather it is a turning from human works entirely to God. New obedience follows true repentance, but we put no hope for pardon in what we do.
-Bryan Chapell, Holiness By Grace