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Biblical Repentance

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I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

The Greek noun *metanoia* and verb *metanoeo* are composed of two morphemes meaning "change" and "mind".  Words, however, mean what they mean as used in the language in which they are used, so etymology only takes us so far. An abhorrence of sin is often identified as part and parcel of the act of repentance. "Hatred of sin" is nowhere present in the words or their usage, even though some people may repent for that reason.  The scripture makes the fear of death and judgment the catalyst for seeking salvation, and that has been the experience for many as well; for believers who have gone astray, fear of divine judgment and the sin unto death would be the parallel (cf. Acts 5:1-10; 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 Jn. 5:16; Rev. 2:5,16).  But the "change of mind" principle is at the core (Acts 3:19). Whether believer or unbeliever, looking at the world and one's life the wrong way is the problem; such an ungodly attitude often does lead to sin -- how could it not; but not always the sorts of sins that evangelical preachers have in mind. There is a great tendency in the church-visible today to make this all about emotions.  But biblical repentance is a firm decision and an ABSOLUTE commitment (cf. 2 Chron. 7:14; Isa. 55:6-7; Lk. 13:3).  I have seen plenty of people get all emotional -- and then slip right back tomorrow once the emotional high wears off.  True repentance, biblically speaking, is a complete turn around of the boat from wandering away from God to heading straight for Him in a bee-line.  That is a COMPLETE change of heart (Ezek. 18:21-23; Job 42:6; Ps. 34:14; Prov. 28:13; 2 Cor. 7:10).  If it involves little emotional display, it can still be genuine.  If the emotional display is great, it can still be not real or only temporary.  God knows the heart. In the passage, 2nd Corinthians 7:10, the emphasis is on the word "godly" more so than "sorrow" (cf. Ps. 38:18).  If sorrow is not godly, there will be no genuine repentance; if there is a surfeit of sorrow or other emotion that is not related directly to a genuine change of heart in God's direction, that is not true biblical repentance.

God Bless!
 

Edited by (Omega)

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