In this episode Saso and Ben talk about the topic of repentance. Below are some notes and thoughts directly derived from this episode. Enjoy!
Repentance is a very important topic because the Bible mentions the word repent over 100 times (depending on Bible version). The word repent in relation to sin has sort of a dual meaning but in the end really means the same thing.
Before we get into the discussion, I want to take a moment and layout an important consideration before we get into the topic of repentance. I want to make it clear how God views sin, because repentance has everything to do with our mindset on how we view sin which causes us to act out in sin or to refrain from sin.
God literally hates sin. But why? It is the very antithesis of God’s nature. The bible tells us that God is holy, which simply means he is pure and there is no wickedness in HIm.
- Psalm 92:15
- I Peter 1:15-16
The Definition of Repentance
Repentance – Is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction(surrender) that is has offended God.
1828 Webster’s Dictionary
In the old testament the word repent as mentioned in Ezekiel 14:6 in Hebrew is the word shub and means to turn back or turn away from.
In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter uses the word repent. The word repent here is in the Greek which is metanoeho which means to think differently or to change your mind. But what are we to change our minds about? About sin and how we think about sin. In other words its our mindset on how we view sin.
The Mindset of Repentance
The mind makes everything change, the mind changes our actions for example, when COVID-19 hit, many things changed. Our minds changed due to the circumstances around us. Our mind is the control center that determines how we will behave.
- Romans 6:1-2
- Proverbs 8:13
- John 4:10-29
- John 5:24
- Acts 26:18
God Gives Repentance (God’s Gift)
Would you ever have considered repentance a gift?
Is repentance something we should be praying for?
Let’s take a look at a few verses here and see if this is the case.
- Romans 2:4
- Acts 5:31
- Acts 11:18
So now to answer the questions, should we be praying for repentance. Yes! Absolutely. Another thing worth noting is that repentance is a life long mindset we must have at least until we reach glory.
Accounts of those who rejected repentance and thus, rejected salvation
Acts 24: 24-25
What a sad case of someone who had the opportunity to repent but sought a convenient time which it is not noted that it ever came.
Are you waiting for a convenient time to repent to God?
Paul would also be given an audience before King Agrippa who desired to hear Paul as he was a bit of a celebrity.
King Agrippa was given the gospel, but what did he do with what he heard? In verse 24 Agrippa accuses Paul of being mad which disrupts Paul, but Paul continues and an embarrassed Agrippa responds with Acts 26:28, mockingly as to say he almost was persuaded to be a Christian.
Paul was repentant and set the world on fire, but Felix and King Agrippa denied the power of repentance and denied the gospel.
These men were devoid of: II Corinthians 7:10.
Christians who reject repentance, do not see spiritual victory in their life. His repentance was outwardly only as he was made
I Kings 21:17-29
Elijah tells Ahab of his death, which is pretty gruesome, because of Ahab’s wickedness.
Ahab had what you would call a “fox hole” conversion. He is given a reprieve because of his humility but his heart was unchanged. He did not repent as seen in the following chapter where he tricked King Jehoshaphat into a twofold compromise which showed he was not truly repentant.
I Kings 22:37-38 is the consequences of the wickedness of Ahab. Matthew 7:21 is a sobering example that all Christians ought to consider.
Examples of True Repentance
The first example we can look to is King David. Remember David’s sin with Bathsheba and Bathsheba’s husband Uriah? David basically had an affair with Bathsheba getting her pregnant and then had her husband killed. Sounds pretty bad right? Yes, it is pretty bad. We call that sin or lawlessness, and in God’s eyes it’s wicked and evil!
But we read about David’s repentance in Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. Pay attention to the mindset and heart of David from each of these Psalms.
- Psalm 32:5 (David’s mindset is acknowledging his sin)
- Psalm 51:3-4 (Again David’s mindset is acknowledging his sin)
- Psalm 51:10 (David asks God for a change of mind)
Friend do you acknowledge your sin to God? Do you ask God to renew or change your mind?
How about the prodigal son in Luke 15? You remember right? The son goes to his father and asks for his inheritance. The bible tells us that the son went off to a far country and spent his inheritance on reckless living. Then a famine hit and unfortunately the son had spent all his money. So he went off to find a job and got a job feeding pigs. He was so hungry he wanted to eat the pig food but nobody even gave him pig food. Then we see the repentance happen in Luke 15:17-19 which leads to action in Luke 15:20.
Another example in scripture is our little wee friend Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a rich tax collector and he’d heard about Jesus. He knew Jesus was coming, and wanted to get up close but he couldn’t see cause he was a short little guy so he climbed the tree. Jesus knew that Zacchaeus was seeking him and Jesus went right up to him and told him to come down because Jesus was going to visit Zacchaeus’s house. Then we see that Zacchaeus was ready to receive Jesus as it reads in Luke19:6.
So how do we know that Zacchaeus repented? We see the fruit of genuine repentance In Luke 19:8.
Then Luke 19:9 is Jesus response which is priceless.
What about Saul’s conversion to Paul?
Acts 7:58-60 Saul is at the stoning of Stephen, he was persecuting Christians, leading the pack and did not believe Jesus Christ was God.
He was a persecutor (I Corinthian 15:9), a blasphemer, and injurer to Christians and most of all he was an unbeliever. His mind was against God as he was not a believer.
You can read about Paul’s account of his conversion which he was presenting before an enraged multitude in Acts 22:1-11.
The Damascus road and Paul’s surrender and repentance occurs in Acts 22:6-11. Paul’s repentance is seen here as he goes from what he wants to do to asking the question, “What shall I do Lord?” True repentance is a turning away from our journey and turning to God.
Paul is speaking of his conversion, however, he would be given the great opportunity to present his case before Felix who was the governor of Judea and Samaria. Felix was known for his evil deeds but Paul would give him the gospel which would literally make him tremble.
Was Felix the same as before or did his life display a change of mind? He trembled, but he was not repentant.
Sorrow vs. Repentance or Judas vs. Peter
- Matthew 26:14-16 Judas betrays Christ for thirty pieces of silver
- Matthew 26:25 Jesus identifies him
- Matthew 26:33-35 Peter identified as a betrayer as well
- Matthew 26:49 Judas betrayed him with a kiss
- Matthew 26:73-75 Peter remembers the word of Jesus and he wept bitterly
- Matthew 27:3:5 Judas “repented” because he felt sorry for what he did but he did not change his mind, and he went and hung himself.
God used Peter and he had a ministry where God used him as we read in the first 12 chapters of Acts. He sought forgiveness and had a change of mind. He was sorrowful like as Judas but Judas never had a change of mind.
According to tradition, it is said (but not recorded) that Peter was crucified upside down because He felt he was not worthy to die as the Savior.
Matthew 7:1-6 Godly sorrow which will allow us to see the beam in our eye.
Do you have Godly (Peter) sorrow or worldly sorrow (Judas)?
Fruit of Repentance
There is a huge difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow. But how do we know? How do we know if we’ve experienced true repentance?
We must look for evidence or fruit of our repentance.
- Matthew 3:8 John the Baptist challenging the Pharisees
- James 2:18 Works are the evidence
- Acts 26:20 Deeds of repentance are evident
- II Corinthians 5:17 True repentance makes you a new man
- Galatians 5:19 – 23 Fruit of the Spirit
Are you sorrowful or repentant?
What will it be today?
Will your sorrow pave your way to hell or will you repent (change your mind) to the truth of God’s Word?
Does your life reflect a change of mind or does it show sorrow which soon dissipates once the storm is over?
Don’t be almost persuaded but be changed unto salvation by the gospel!