Repent Part 1: A SERIES OF MEDITATIONS ON THE WORD
June 26, 2014 at 9:50am
Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
People generally don't read really long articles so we will explore and discuss what it means to repent together, in parts.
In the days after creation the number of people grew. Mankind was wicked and God was "angry" that the internal thoughts of man were constantly about doing hurt to other people. So the Bible says that "it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
We see that the word repent in Genesis 6:6 has a primary feeling of REGRET and God has redecided, essentially changed his mind, about creating man.
Now move the picture to Exodus. Moses and the Israelites are heading to the promised land. Moses is in the mountain in the presence of God. The people get impatient and make a golden calf and they begin to treat the golden calf as their deliverer from Egypt. God led them out of Egypt strongly and they are crediting a statue! They had a pagan style party and a celebration with the calf overlooking the festivities. In Exo 32:10 God says he is ready to "consume them." Moses intercedes and verse :14 "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." The "evil" was not a sin but God was ready to kill those people.Then God changed his mind. In this case there is no regret (he is ready to consume them) but he decided not to do it.
We now see in one verse repent is regret with a change in another it is strongly a change of mind. In none of these cases is it turning away from sin. Repent has a range of meanings. The semantic range will grow as you read all 109 verses the word appears in. I will link all the verses using repent at the end.
The Israelites are in the promised land. The people start doing what they think is right instead of what God says is right. The Israelites also failed to drive out all the inhabitants of the land. So God stirs up the inhabitants against the disOBedient Israelites. We will recall the Philistines were one of the peoples that gave the Israelites trouble in the book of Judges. The Israelites groaned and complained about all the inhabitants of the land giving them trouble. God's response is, in Judges 2:18, to give the people leaders called judges, to lead and help them and "delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them" In this case we see there is a temporary change of mind about allowing the oppression of the Israelites (the judges weren't permanent) and there was only some regret (the oppressors were not fully dealt with).
We now see here that repent is some change of mind and some regret. In another repent was mostly to regret. In another repent was strongly a change of mind.
Now, one day a man (Levite) and his "wife" are traveling. It is late and they arrive at a city in the tribe of Benjamin's territory. There is no place to stay but an old man is kind and helps the travelers out. Soon a loud banging is heard where the Levite is staying with his "concubine." The Benjamites forced the stranger to give his "wife" and they abused her all the night long. The nation of Israel is angered and gathers an army and asks for the wicked men that abused the woman. Benjamin refused to turn the men over and Israel goes to war with Benjamin. Nearly the entire tribe of Benjamin is wiped out in the war. When the israelites finally realize the degree of the slaughter they exclaim in Judges 21:6 "And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day." Primarily this is regret a "what did I do! I can't believe we wiped them out!." They certainly did not change their mind about the war but they regretted the degree to which they defeated the Benjamites. You can say they reconsidered wiping out the Benjamites. But again we see the degree of "change of mind" and "regret" implied by the word "repent" is different.
One more illustration. The Judges situation isn't working and the Israelites want someone more permanent. People like Samson were just a temporary solution. God gives them a king instead of judges like Samson. God chooses Saul to be king. Saul messes up and the Bible says (1 Sam 15:35) "the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel" Now, the primary meaning here is regret but includes a change of mind.
NOW, BASED ON WHAT WE READ FAST FORWARD TO A VOICE CRYING "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand"
Interpreting the above words in light of what the word repent means in our study so far:
In this case "for" is a way of saying "because." Also, KINGdom indicates the system and rules and regulations coming under the just and good rule of Jesus Christ. So that verse currently interprets as "change your mind about the system and regulations of this world, possibly regret you even live under the world system, and point yourself to the kingdom under the Lord Jesus Christ". Based on what we studied so far the is no way to get repent of your sins out of that word. Stay tuned as I plan to develop the definition of the word repent with further installments of this meditation on the word repent.
Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You think that there is no captivity in sin? Are you unequal/unjust/unrighteous with people? Engaged in premarital sexual relations or married and having relations with others or lusting after men or women other than your spouse? Do you corrupt God's law as explained in the King James Bible in your actions? Do you have a strong desire for things that you don't posess? Do you do things that hurt others physically or emotionally? Does the success of others bother you? Are you an angry person? Do you have a habit of arguing? Do you mislead other people? Are you spiteful or mean? Do you reveal the secrets of others? Do you speak bad about people when they are not present? Are you an enemy of God (if you are not for God's program as explained in the King James Bible then you are God's enemy, see James 4:4)? Are you mean or hateful without being provoked? You think alot of yourself (are you the big man/woman in your universe)? Like to tell people how wonderful you are? Spend your time thinking of bad things to do (things that may hurt others)? Ignore what your mom or dad says (disOBedient)? Can't comprehend this list or your King James Bible? Make commitments and break them? No desire to do the right things? You can't be satisfied or come to resolutions in a conflict? Are you cruel or unforgiving? Well, the Bible says about me, you, and anyone else who does this (Romans 1:32) "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death." and (Romans 2:5,6) "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:"
If you want to know where that list above came from then look at Romans 1:29-31 at http://av1611.com/KJBp/KJV-bible-text/Ro-1.html and compare the words to their definitions in Websters 1828 dictionary at http://webstersdictionary1828.com/
if you have a prOBlem with the above then may I invite you to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has the power to set the captive free. John 8:
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
The book of Romans has a lot about this. When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ who was made (2 Corinthians 5:21) "to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The spotless Lamb of God who shed his blood on the cross, the crucifixion, and John the Baptist said of Jesus (John 1:29) "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." is the same Jesus Christ that had victory over sin and death and rose from the dead and (Ephesians 4:8) "he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive". The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ , can make you free indeed.
Once you trust Jesus Christ you must ask (Romans 6:1,2) "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?...How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" When you trust in Jesus Christ you are (Romans 6:4) "buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" So you should (Romans 6:11) "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." being freed from sin you should CHOOSE to (Romans 6:12) "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should OBey it in the lusts thereof." Thus don't (Romans 6:13) "yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Paul clearly indicates that on whomever has put their faith in Jesus Christ is no longer captive to sin but (Romans 6:14) "sin shall not have dominion over you." and you are now (Romans 6:18) "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" Thus it is now a CHOICE where in the past (Romans 6:19) "ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." REJOICE! For (Romans 8:1-2) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8: 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Ephesians 4: 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Psalm 68: 18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
Now make your choice. through the Lord Jesus Christ you are set free and should
Romans 12: 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We are out of time and (Romans 13:12-14) "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Yep, MAKE THAT CHOICE!