You can only hit a home run inside the batter’s box. If you’re not there and your bat makes contact with the pitch, the ball is dead and you are out. In the same way, if you have faith, yet never repented, you would constantly be swinging for the fences outside of the box. Your great swings, the magnificent flight of the ball would all be in vain.
Without repentance, we remain in sin’s on deck circle. Maybe motivated by good intentions but never in the right place to act upon and fulfill those intentions. Life is not about your intentions or imagination, anyway. Otherwise, all those practice swings would count for something.
But, they don’t.
This is why repentance is so important. Repentance puts us with God instead of our sin. Repentance gives our faith legitimacy beyond our own bias and connects us to the Truth. Repentance, as it were, pulls us out of the on deck circle into the batter’s box. Repentance then sets our stance to await the pitch.
Faith will give us our grip on the bat and that will be coordinated with our whole body as we make our swing. Contact will be made and our follow through will set us in motion down the base path but none of that can happen until we are set in the box.