Repentance from a Positive Viewpoint, Part 2

2. Repentance is a privilege granted from the Lord after one believes. “Him did God exalt…to give repentance to Israel” (Acts 5:31). “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). (See also 2 Peter 3:9 and Revelation 2:21.) When God shut the door of paradise, he opened the door of repentance. Now, as far as we know, God never granted “repentance unto life” to the fallen angels. It appears that when they sinned, they were lost forever (2 Pet. 2:4). Thank God for the blessing of repentance! Indeed, repentance is a privilege granted from the Lord to each of us.

3. A brief study of the original words translated “repentance.” In the New Testament, when the word “repent” is used as a command to an alien sinner (Luke 14:47; Acts 2:38; 3:9), which he must obey to obtain forgiveness of sins, it always conveys the thought of a change of mind resulting in a change of life, preceded by a sorrow for the past. In such cases, it is always a translation of the Greek word metanoeo. When the word “repent” is used to indicate sorrow or regret, it is a translation of the word metamelomai, a different word. By a reading of 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (KJV), the difference in these words can be seen:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent [metamelomai, regret], though I did repent [metamelomen, regret]: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance [metanoian, reformation]: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance [metanoian, reformation] to salvation not to be repented [metameleton, regretted] of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

4. Deductions: It can be seen readily that repentance relates itself to the mind, the will of man. Yes, it involves the getting of a new mind (Phil. 2:5). And, since the mind controls the actions (Prov. 4:23; 2:7), one can readily see how important repentance really is! In fact, when one genuinely repents, the battle is 90 percent over! Yes, and when one genuinely repents, he does not (1) try to rationalize himself out of sin by saying, “It’s not so bad,” nor (2) does he offer God an apology for his sin by saying, “It’s not my fault,” nor (3) does he blame someone for his sin by saying, “If it had not been for him.” Have you genuinely repented?

Wendell Winkler

From The Southwesterner, Nov 2010

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