DOES REPENTANCE MEAN TURNING FROM SIN?

repent and belive the gospel

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).

About Damon Whitsell

Hello, my name is Damon. I have been studying Christian Cults since 1985 and doing Cult Apologetics online since 1998 because I grew up with Mormons, Oneness Pentecostals and Bible Missionaries in my family. All three of these groups (or Cults) think they are the One True Church and the Only True Christians and to be Saved you must join their Church. So as a result I started studying the Bible for myself to try to determine which of these groups had the truth. After much praying, reading and studying I decided the Mormon, Oneness Pentecostal and Bible Missionarie churches are not real Christian Churches at all, rather they are Christian Cults because they do not line up with what the bible really teaches about Salvation and they are not in agreement with other Essential Christian Doctrines. I found that according to what the Word of God teaches, and Historic/Orthodox Christian Teaching, Salvation cannot be earned by any form of human works or efforts I found that Salvation is ALL by the Grace and Work of God and that Salvation and Eternal Life are a Free Gift from God (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 6:23, John 3:16) to all who will Trust in Jesus Christ and the atoning sacrifice He made for us by dying on the Cross for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). The Word of God is clear and plainly says “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Because I know what it is like to be targeted by Cult Groups and to suffer from the spirtual confusion and frustration brought on by their false teachings, I have endeavored to help others find True Eternal Life in Jesus Christ and to break free from the clutches of, and to be healed from the damage done by, Cult Groups who claim to be the One True Church. So it is my hope and prayer that the Lord will use my Websites to help those that need help and that some who use my websites will be helped by them to find the Free Gift of God’s Salvation, that is only found in His only begotten son Jesus Christ.

Posted on September 4, 2015, in Repentance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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