Repentance

There’s no need to fear this word. But false religion has twisted this word’s meaning to cause some people to stumble. So…we’re about to interpret scripture with scripture, to find out what “repentance” actually means.

But before we get into defining the word, I want you to consider something first. Do you think that you must repent of your sins to be saved? Or at least give it your best effort? Have you attempted to repent of your sins, (to God’s satisfaction)?

The answer is: No, you haven’t, (and neither have I). You and I, and everyone else in the world, have countless sins that we don’t let other people see. Our sins of our mind are every bit as accountable and known by God as our behavioral sins, and we rack em’ up all day long…Pride, worry, greed, envy, coveting, idolatry, lust, etc. It is impossible, to meet God’s righteous standard by our efforts to be good. And our trying hard doesn’t count; God requires nothing short of perfection from everyone who belongs to Him, (Matthew 5.48). But there’s great news my friend…Our being right with God isn’t dependant on our impotent efforts, our being right with God is dependent on our resting in Christ’s righteousness. And we receive this by grace through faith only, (Ephesians 2.8,9), not from our behavior or personal merit of any kind.

While every book of the bible can reveal salvation to a person. Only the book of John makes the claim that it was specifically written for the purpose of getting people saved… “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20.31. And the word “repent,” is never mentioned anywhere in this book. So what did God say about the way of salvation in this book? It’s this: “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on whom he hath sent.” John 6.29

So forget what false religion has told you what “repentance” means. Let’s look at what God has said about this word from the bible. Enjoy the article…

First, we notice that God sometimes repented. Here are just a couple of examples, as cited from Genesis 6.6 & Exodus 32.14: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”     “And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.”

Obviously, God has no sin, so His repenting didn’t mean that He turned away from sin.

And next in Jonah 3.10 & Matthew 3.8, we get a bonanza of information about the meaning of works & repentance…

“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Here in this passage, we are told specifically, that turning from evil ways is “works.”

And,

“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”   We see here in Matthew, that our fruits should be “meet,” (fitting / appropriatefor our repentance; therefore our fruits are not repentance. An example would be: A Christian should exhibit love, (because he is a Christian). But his exhibition of loving God & man doesn’t justify him, it’s a fitting response because of, and appropriate to, his justification. (See Galatians 5.22-23 for fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, & temperance).

(And equally important), we know from the bible that we can’t contribute our works to our salvation, for example: Romans 4.5 & Ephesians 2.8,9.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 

So what are we to make of the meaning of the word “repentance?” What does it mean?

“Repentance,” means a change of mind. 

And how this repentance/change of mind applies to one’s salvation would be: To abandon unbelief, personal effort, personal merit, or false religion, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively for one’s salvation.

For example, if I were to tell a professing Jew to “repent and believe the gospel.” What I would expect for him to understand in that statement is: To abandon his faith in Judaism, and to put his faith exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

And is there a sorrow affiliated with believing on Christ/repentance? I believe that it’s normal to have sorrow over our guilt when we come to Christ, (I did) … “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7.10.

Because (after all), when we come to Christ, we’re believing on Him because we are genuinely guilty in our sins. But the degree of sorrow & guilt consciousness can vary from person to person. And I can’t make my experience of sorrow the standard for everyone else to live up to, (that was my experience). To prove this point, here’s two biblical examples of very different mindsets upon salvation…the tax collector in Luke 18 showed great sorrow in getting saved, while the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 showed only joy in his salvation. The bottom line is, some people just have a lot more guilt on their consciousness than others. So we don’t need to be in the business of trying to quantify how much guilt a person needs to feel when they come to Christ. Let’s just leave that between them and God. Better yet, let’s celebrate the beautiful miracle that they’ve believed on Christ.  😃

But I also believe that once one’s faith has consummated in their salvation, that their sorrow should end. One look at 2 Corinthians 5.21 says it all…”For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 

A heart of faith that rests in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the test of salvation anyway…His death, burial, & resurrection.

And one final thought for you as we close…You won’t find the phrase “repent of your sins” in the bible; it doesn’t exist biblically, (king James).

So what about our turning away from our sins? Yes, we definitely should turn away from our sins. It is always the will of God for His children to turn away from their sins. But just understand…it has nothing to do with our salvation; it’s the byproduct of our salvation as we do so in the power of the Spirit.

Blessings to you.

Click here for the way of salvation

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17 Comments

  1. Very good articles though, Ive enjoyed reading them. I agree with 99% …. and have been enlightned on a couple of subjects. Thankyou for this blessing and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are exactly right. I was reading from the ESV. I will note that the KJV does have the word repent all through it…but uses remission of sins not repent of sins. I stand corrected. Thankyou for your patience and understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are going to love that bible. Man it is awwwsome!
      The leather is kinda stiff. But I rolled the front & back cover backwards and forwards several times, and it now feels perfect, it gave it the right flexibility for my taste. (Although the inner liner is wrinkled), but I don’t care.
      I’ve owned Allan, Cambridge & Schuyler bibles. And that Windsor has (in my opinion) better paper than any of em. It is perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Repentance is best defined in Acts 2 how Peter uses it. He is telling the people that they helped crucify Jesus and they responded because they were cut through the heart meaning they were convicted by the Spirit, they said what must we do? Peter answered, repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The question must be asked, repent of what? Repent of rejecting Jesus as their Messiah or to change their mind about who Jesus is.

    Repentance is used to change one’s mind not to stop sinning because without the Holy Spirit in one’s life one cannot stop a sinful lifestyle but through the Holy Spirit’s power dwelling in one’s heart then it will become possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey good mornin. 😃
      Your points were very good!
      I would add one thought if I may.
      A believer doesn’t always yield to the Spirit. And his yielding varies throughout life. So an ongoing sinful lifestyle of a believer isn’t always ceased. Or it may come and go periodically. Although the power to cease is there to do so.
      Paul in Romans 7.15-25 proclaimed what we all live with. (I wanna stop sinnin, but I can’t stop). Paraphrased for humor.
      Thank you for your comment. 😃
      Holler back anytime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Lee nice to meet you.

        We have to understand by the word sinful lifestyle. In 1 John 3:9 it says, 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not sin, because His seed remains in him; he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God.

        Basically what 1 John is saying is that a sinful lifestyle (does not sin) means a pure rejection of Jesus Christ and completely going back to the world 100%. For a true believer according to that passage that is impossible because the Holy Spirit will discipline you and bring you back.

        A sinful lifestyle doesn’t mean when a Christian backslides but when a person is giving to the world wholeheartedly.

        Like

        1. I get ya. That’s one of two possible interpretations of that passage that I’m aware of, (and I don’t have all the answers).
          As far as I know, there’s…
          1. The interpretation you kindly provided.
          And
          2. Can’t sin. Meaning the new man, his spirit, can’t sin, because it’s pure from God. While his soul and flesh can sin.
          When you look at Christians in Corinth, they were into extreme sin. Emphasize on extreme.
          And yet, there are people who claim Christ, who were never born again.
          That’s why I’m reluctant to assess people’s salvation based on their behavior.
          What I look for is two things.
          1. Are they resting in the finished work of Christ. Meaning…Are they really and truly resting ONLY in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the totality of their salvation?
          And
          2. Do I see the love of God in them?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I understand what you are saying and agree.

            Interpretation of a passage means to make it plain by getting the meaning of a word or phrase in it’s full context. Context with scripture references is the key to grasping the meaning with of course the help of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

            Your blog seems very good, I will be stopping by from time to time.

            God bless you my brother.

            Liked by 1 person

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