We have mentioned that repentance is a prerequisite to faith/salvation; a condition that must be met before one can be saved. Actually there are several prerequisites to salvation, among them,
Once these prerequisites are fulfilled, any individual can and will truly and wholeheartedly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation. Even though repentance is not a part of salvation (Christ, Himself, IS salvation), it is one of several key requirements that precedes salvation. When one truly repents and agrees with God as to how his sins have separated him from God and how God's Christ is the propitiation for these sins, he WILL believe on Christ. One leads to the other. If he does not believe, he has not truly repented. He may have been enlightened and even convicted (John 8:9) and may feel regret and remorse for his sins and life, but until he turns in his heart and repents, his mind has not changed towards belief. Evangelical repentance demands evangelical faith unto salvation. If the change of attitude and direction is there, then the belief the mind changed to must also be there.
The fact that evangelical repentance leads to salvation is why the Jews said in Acts 11:18 AFTER some Gentiles believed, "...then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life," and Peter said, "The Lord is...not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." They knew when true repentance comes, faith in Christ also comes.
Most likely the "tied at the waist" connection between repentance and faith is what leads some to think they are synonymous terms, but as we have seen, that is not the case at all. They are quite distinct.