DOES REPENTANCE MEAN TURNING FROM SIN?
Let’s start with some words of Christ Himself.
Luk 13:1-5, 1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, SUPPOSE YE that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
What was Jesus saying to those present? First, because our modern dictionaries define repentance and other words according to how the words are used and not necessarily what they mean according to their historical meaning and root words, we must biblically define repentance.
Jesus used the Greek words metanoeō for repentance. Strongs defines it as “to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider”. This is consistent with the root words meta (to change) and noeos (mind). Repentance here simply means to have a change of mind. What were those present to have a change of mind about? First notice that in verse 2 Jesus says “SUPPOSE YE”. He is concerned about their thinking and wants them to change their mind from thinking that they are better off than the Galileans who had their blood mingled with their sacrifices. He was saying that unless they changed their minds from thinking they were not as bad as the Galileans who they supposed suffered for being sinners above other Galileans, they too would likewise suffer and perish.
These scriptures show us in action what repentance is. The first one shows us that God says turning from evil ways is a work. So turning from sin cannot be a salvific requirement since we are not saved by works.
Jon 3:10 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.
If to repent means to stop sinning, how do you explain the 13 text that say God repented? 2 times he repented of things he had done and 11 times he repented of things he was going to do. If you will read these text you will plainly see that by saying God repented, it means he changed his mind.
All 4 of the following verses use the same Greek word with the same meaning of having a change of mind. We are to change our mind to believe the gospel and to go from unbelief to believing and having faith in Jesus.
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Also we are to repent and have a change of mind about our works. We must consider them dead.
Heb_6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb_9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The same Greek word is used in the first verse. It means we are to have a change of mind about the salvific value of our works, we must consider them dead an ineffectual. Let’s look at a couple more passages.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
The same Greek word here is used to mean a change of mind. What are all men commanded to have a change of mind about? If we go back to verse 23 we see that the writer of Acts is concerned about our thinking. He does not want us to go after UNKNOWN GOD’s but to know the true and living God.
Act 2:36=38 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And again the same Greek word is used to mean a change of mind. What were those present to have a change of mind about? They were to change their mind about the one they had crucified. They crucified him because they believed Him not, but now they were commanded to change their minds and believe in Him.
Therefore we can see that to repentance does not mean to turn from sin. Biblical repentance and faith are one in the same. This does not mean however that Christians turn grace into a license to sin. Once we become born again by faith we then begin the process of sanctification and becoming more like Christ crucifying the flesh and walking in the Spirit (Romans 7).
Posted on September 4, 2015, in Repentance and tagged church of christ, church of christ repent, church of christ repentance, repent, repent of sin, repentance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.