Hebrew Roots/The original foundation/Repentance

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REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS[edit]

Repentance is a change that takes place in one's life as a result of the Holy Spirit's work to illumine one's consciousness to the state of sin in the presence of a Holy God.

THE MEANING OF THE WORD[edit]

In the Hebrew of the Old Covenant two words are used in the concept of repentance, they are -

1. NAHUM - to lament, to grieve. This word is describing the emotions that are aroused when motivated to take a different course of action.

2. SHUB - This word expresses a radical change of mind toward sin and implies a conscious moral separation from sin and a decision to forsake it and agree with God.

In the Greek of the New Covenant, there are also two words used which parallel the Hebrew usage.

1. METAMELOMAI - to have feeling or care, concern or regret which is akin to remorse.

2. METANOEO - to have another mind, which describes that radical change whereby a sinner turns from the idols of sin and of self to God.

Repentance then is the informing and changing of the MIND stirring and directing the EMOTIONS to urge the required change, and the action of the yielded WILL in turning away from sin and to God.

IMPORTANCE OF REPENTANCE[edit]

1. God commands it "God now commands all men everywhere to repent" Acts 17:30 He said that He has 'winked' at our previous ignorance - He has turned a blind eye to it, but now there is no excuse. Paul reasons that the creation itself leaves man without excuse as to the reality of God and His nature. Romans 1: 19-21

2. It is Necessary for Salvation Y'shua said, "Except you repent you shall all likewise perish " (Luke 13:3). There is no qualification - it means ALL. It is the God-appointed way of salvation - "for godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation" 2 Corinthians 7:10

3. The Reason for Messiah's coming "You shall call his name Y'shua for he shall save his people from their sins" Matthew 1:21

He Himself said, "I am come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19:10 "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" Luke 5:32 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" Matthew 4:17 John the Baptist preached the same message Matthew 3: 2 & Isaiah 40: 3

4. The commission of His people It was the original commission of the descendants of Abraham which is now conferred also upon all believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Speaking to Israel, "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" on the condition that they kept His covenant and obeyed His laws (Exodus 19: 5). And again, You also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.." - a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" 1 Peter 2: 5,9 "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations" Luke 24:47

"Repent and be baptised" - the execution of the commission by the apostles Acts 2:38

"This gospel of the kingdom (i.e. repentance and remission of sins) should be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, " Matthew 24:14

THE NEED FOR REPENTANCE[edit]

A repentance - a turning away from sin and to God is necessary, because Yahweh's law says "the soul that sins, it shall die" Ezekiel 18: 4,20 (Adam initially broke the law Genesis 2:16-17)

Death in all its aspects is now upon Adam's race - Romans 5:12 As by one man sin entered in, death passed unto all men

14-21 Death reigned. and through that state of spiritual death sin reigned, until Grace to repent was extended through the Messiah.

Romans 6:23 The wages/penalty of sin is spiritual and eternal (as well as ultimate physical death). See Romans 2: 6-12

The true meaning of 'death' as it is used in the scripture is in a spiritual sense as a state of separation from God.

Adam broke his communion/fellowship with Yahweh when he disobeyed His commandment. As a result he was severed from his life source in God, the spiritual life which had energised his being. Devoid of the real essence of life that he had known, he was thereafter a relatively empty shell. This state is called spiritual death. Mankind today without Messiah, functions like a spiritual zombie by comparison with what he was created to be. Even spiritually quickened 'man' has only a small portion, a deposit, of his originally endowed spiritual capacity.

Man without God is going his own way, setting his own standards and making his own choices, "all we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned each one to his own way" Isaiah 53: 6a

for "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Proverbs 14:12

But He laid upon Him, the Lamb of God, the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6b), to atone for our sin and make reconciliation, to restore us to life! BUT, we must turn back from going our own way, to go His way.

FACTORS THAT BRING MEN TO REPENTANCE[edit]

Preaching of the Word[edit]

The gospel/good news is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe" Romans 1:16

"They went out and preached that men should repent" Mark 6:12

"Testifying .. .. .. repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord, Y'shua the Messiah" Acts 20:21

"the gospel came in word and in power, and in the Holy Spirit in much assurance, ... .... how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God " 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10

It is His ordained method to use preaching for the salvation of souls. 1 Corinthians 1:21

Rebuke[edit]

"If your brother trespasses against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him " Luke 17:3 It is rebuke born out of love with the object of effecting repentance - not condemnation. Hebrews 12:11 & Proverbs 3:11,12

The Goodness of God[edit]

"the goodness of God leads you to repentance" Man's sin deserves judgment, but He extends His mercy to us. Romans 2: 4 "Good and upright is Yahweh, therefore He teaches sinners the way" Psalm 25:8 "While we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us " Romans 5: 7, 8

Divine Enabling[edit]

"By grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" Ephesians 2:8

Grace is the unmerited intervention of God on our behalf to impart by His power a spiritual enabling. Minds of men are blinded to the truth - 2 Corinthians 4:4

They need instruction - "If perhaps God will grant them repentance, so that they might know the truth" 2 Timothy 2:25

Y'shua has God exalted .. .. to give repentance unto Israel" Acts 5:31

"God has also granted to the Gentiles (nations) repentance unto life" Acts 11:18

THE NATURE OF REPENTANCE[edit]

Repentance involves all the components of our being, Mind (Intellect), Emotions, Will and our Spirit.

Mind[edit]

A person must understand the real nature of sin, to forsake it and turn to God. This is where the operation of God's word is effectual to bring to the sinner's mind the understanding of sin in the sight of a Holy God. Within the faculties of a person's mind, the 'turning' begins in a change of thinking and evaluation of oneself from viewing the particular thing as acceptable or pleasurable, to seeing sin as sin, agreeing with God and saying the same thing that He says about it. This is true confession of sin, not merely verbally pleading for forgiveness of what we have done. This requires the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to bring God's perspective on it and agree with His judgment on it.

Notice the prodigal son in Luke 15:21, David in Psalm 51:4 and Saul in Acts 9: 4-6

Emotions[edit]

Emotions are an important aspect of repentance. True repentance involves godly sorrow for sins committed.

For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation .. .. but the sorrow of the world (remorse) works death" 2 Corinthians 7: 9,10

Remorse for the consequences of our sin, being self-centered, will only bring reform - a temporal effort of self improvement. It will not produce a true change of heart resulting in a character change.

True repentance includes deep humiliation and utter dependence upon God in our need for deliverance from our sinful state (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15) and includes a sense of shame (Ezra 9:6).

A genuine hatred for the sin and a loathing of our sinful ways will be experienced. Psalm 97:10 Luke 18:13

Will[edit]

From a heart being broken before God in contrition, the will is engaged to resolve a change of course, forsaking the old way and turning in a new direction in which the determination is to please Yahweh. It is a deliberation to turn from sin and pleasing self, to pleasing Him. The prodigal son is an example - "I will arise and go" Luke 15:18-20 A repentant person accepts responsibility for their sin, and does not blame others. James 1:14-15

It is "I" who sinned and needs to do something about it, calling upon the mercy of God to break old habits, make straight paths for their feet and receive the Spirit's enabling to live a holy life. Psalm 38:18; Hebrews 12:12; 2 Peter 1:5-9 & Romans 13:12-14

So repentance is a process which commences with the mind being informed so as to effect a change of attitude toward sin, and an exposure and realisation of the nature of it in one's life, which brings a change of heart - an emotional response of turning to hate what was once indulged, and a decision of will to forsake it.

Spirit[edit]

This 'turning' on our behalf, through the illumination and empowering of the Spirit of God, effects a change in our spirit-being, whereby we are initially 'born again'. Thereafter the Spirit continue to illumine areas of our life which will need change.

EFFECTS 0F REPENTANCE[edit]

1. Conversion - We become new creatures "Repent and be converted" Acts 3:19 Repentance is our response to God - Regeneration is God's response to us

2. Changed from Death to Life from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:13,14

3. Forgiveness and Remission of Sins Sins are blotted out and times of refreshing come from Yahweh. Acts 3:19

4. Cleansed Conscience Dead works keep alive a consciousness of sin from which the blood purges us (Hebrews 9:14), to have confidence toward Yahweh. Hebrews 10:22

5. Rejoicing in Heaven over every sinner who repents Luke 15:7-10

6. Good Works - the Fruit of Repentance A requirement for a converted life is to have an outworking of spiritual fruit in one's life Matthew 3: 8; Acts 26:20

True repentance brings a change in lifestyle from disobedience and lawlessness to the obedience of Yahweh and His holy precepts.


"Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" Matthew 7:14