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What is repentance?

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by dms1972, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have some thoughts on this. But I'd like to ask in relation to a couple of thoughts that came to mind. Repentance as I see it sometimes defined is Turning to God - is that a sufficient definition? Lets say I find myself in difficulties of some kind I need help with, I could turn to God and pray - ie. "no atheist in a foxhole". By way of a personal example: I recall starting new jobs in the past - stuff I had never done before, dealing with the public etc., and feeling inadequate and asking God for help. I'd be seeking God's help each time I had a customer, then I got a bit more confident and that stopped. I personally would not call that repentance - although it gave me a bit of confidence - whether I was really in touch with God at the time I don't quite know.

    This leads me on to another question. Repentance is going to be different in its object depending on your idea of God - for instance I suppose christians who are more liberal still think repentance is necessary? - but its going to differ is it not from evangelical preaching of repentance - Do liberals (thelogically speaking) not have a different concept of God?


    So how would you define repentance, does it involve coming to a right conception of Who God is?
     
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  2. Aspzan

    Aspzan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here's a good sermon I saw recently about repentance. It states that there are three types of repentance in The Bible:



    The video should start when the sermon does. I've skipped the hymns and anouncements.
     
  3. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    I define repentance as turning away from sin......all sin.. e.g. one who believes they can never stop sinning can never repent as I define it......since they must continue sinning.

    In spiritual repentance....as in turning to God.....this would entail leaving behind all things flesh....and walking henceforth and being lead by, the spirit.
     
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  4. Mari_magdel

    Mari_magdel Bible hugger

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    There are more than one meanings to the word. Its described best in this article:What is Repentance? Biblical Definition and Meaning
     
  5. ChristianGirl_96

    ChristianGirl_96 Well-Known Member Angels Team Supporter

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    Asking Him for forgiveness is repentance.
     
  6. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    As an addendum:

    Pro. 23:7
    For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

    Therefore, if a Believer, believes in his heart, he still sins, he is in fact a sinner.
     
  7. Phronema

    Phronema Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and in Greek the word for repentance is "metanoia" or "μετανοέω". A combination of two words. Meta meaning beyond, or after, and noia/nous meaning mind. So it is literally "a change of mind". So to repent is to see the err of the sin, and to turn away from it.
     
  8. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The Greek word that is translated as repentance is metanoia, a combination of meta ("over" "beyond") and nous ("mind"), which tends to have a meaning similar to a "change of mind". That is to go from one way of thinking to another.

    Of course in a Jewish and Christian context, it also includes the Hebrew idea of teshuvah, literally "return", but which is a central idea in the Jewish conception of repentance; that one returns to the straight path.

    And so repentance in Christianity has come to cover a number of ideas, including contrition--the grief and sorrow over one's sinful actions, contrition leads to confession, and thus reconciliation and restoration can be had here.

    Repentance, in a sense, comes to saturate the totality of our life; to change the way we think and start thinking God's way, to come to have the same mind in us that is in Jesus Christ; that is the way of discipleship. And this isn't some one time act we do for God; it is instead a mark of a life that is a work in progress. Carrying our cross and following Jesus is life-long. It's all day, every day; and when we stray, when we fall, when we mess up (and of course we'll mess up because we're still very much sinners who sin) there is contrition, grief, and confession of our sin; and we have God's promise that if we confess our sin He is faithful to forgive us. And so by dying through repentance we are mortifying our sinful flesh, and through the hearing of the Gospel our faith is being nourished and sustained; that the old man might die and the new man might live.

    Metanoia means learning to do things Jesus' way, learning to have the mind of Christ, which is a life-long process, the continued work of God in our lives; by having the old man crucified through daily contrition and the new man living by grace through faith. The Law which condemns and which forces the sinner to their knees in grief over their sin; and the Gospel which lifts sinners up to be seated with Christ in heavenly places by forgiveness, mercy, grace, and the righteousness which is the gift of God.

    The one who seeks their own life shall lose it, but the one who gives their life away shall find it.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  9. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    When an Un-Believer becomes a Believer, they are forgiven their sins.

    Rom. 3:25
    Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    When a Believer becomes a Born Again Believer during Baptism, he does at that moment in time, (REPENT) of his life in the flesh, he turns away from the flesh and turns toward God through Reconciliation, only found IN Christ.

    A life in the spirit, unto Newness of Life.

    Rom. 6:4
    Therefore we are 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.
    5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:.........(Baptism)
    6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

    Gal. 2:20
    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    2Cor. 10:3
    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

    Gal. 5:16
    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  10. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) a social experiment!

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    I like Packer's definition of repentance. He says it's turning away from as much as we know of our sin, to giving as much as we know of ourselves, to as much as we know of our God. I also add that repentance is:

    Positive - It shouldn't be something we begrudge or beat ourselves over with. The Bible says that the angels rejoice over one sinner that turns from their sin and comes to God.

    Progressive - Repentance is supposed to be a continual process in the life of a believer. In other words, it's not a once for all thing.

    Possible - Without the grace of God its impossible to repent. In fact, any effort to turn over a new leaf is merely worthless self reformation and will do nothing in the grand scheme of things. The Bible says in the book of Acts that it is God that Grant's repentance unto life.
     
  11. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    Faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin, you can't have one without the other.
    Faith = turning to (God).
    Repentance = turning away from (all else).
     
  12. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

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    Scripture?
     
  13. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Repenting is not a conception (idea) ... it's a deep heart felt emotional response with an action.

    The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 NLT

    Acts 3:19
    New International Version
    Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

    repent ... is to be genuinely sorry

    if one is genuinely sorry... they will turn to God for forgiveness ... if they turn to God He forgives them (they become refreshed) and He will help them turn away from their sin (causes change)

    According to His Word ... not theological liberals or anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  14. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What leads to this change of mind? Can a person bring about a change of mind in themselves? Lets take pornography as a example, if a person goes and reads about the harm porn causes, how it affects the brain, and the way people who are trafficed are abused, that might lead to a change of mind, but is that biblical repentance?
     
  15. Phronema

    Phronema Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I would like to direct you to a book called "Thirty Steps to Heaven", by Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou. I'll leave a link to the book at the bottom if you'd like to have a look. I can recommend both the kindle, and paper editions. While these 30 steps sound like a title meant for a terrible attempt at a New York Times best-seller it is actually very useful. In this writing he takes the great work by St. John Climacus called "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" which was originally written for monks, and nuns and applies the ideas found in the original writing, and explains them in a way that makes sense for those of us who are not monks, or nuns. Keeping in mind the great ascetics of early Christianity spent their entire lives dead to this world, and in constant prayer while seeking the Kingdom they have very useful information for us when it comes to applying what we read in the Holy Scriptures to actual practice.

    So, more to your question. In Step 5 of the book he analyzes the Holy Mystery of repentance. He starts by saying this :

    "The Greek word for repentance, metanoia, means “to have a change of heart or mind,” while the Greek word for sin, hamartia, means “to miss the mark.” Now if sin means missing the mark, then repentance means getting back on target. It is only when we understand repentance in this way that we can comprehend it as an ongoing, positive, and creative process.

    Repentance lies at the very heart of Christian life. The preaching of our Lord Himself began with repentance: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). All orthodox Christians have taught that there is no salvation without it. St. John of the Ladder is no exception: It is impossible for those of us who have fallen into the sink of iniquity ever to be drawn out of it unless we also plumb the depths of the humility shown by the penitent.

    It is clear that repentance, like obedience, is rooted in humility. A proud person cannot repent, for repentance allows no room for ego and conceit. Pride blinds us to our own sins, while we go on hating those very same sins when we see them in others. Humility alone is capable of seeing the truth, of enabling us to see ourselves as we really are
    .

    The end of repentance is to behold the face of God and to hear Him say, “Your sins are forgiven”; “Go and sin no more” (Matt. 9:2; John 8:11). “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50). Repentance springs from humility, and humility makes us free. As St. John writes: Where there is real humility, all bonds are made free."

    Papavassiliou, Vassilios. Thirty Steps to Heaven . Ancient Faith Publishing. Kindle Edition.


    So,
    we see here that humility is the beginning or repentance. Humility is the mother of all the virtues, whereas pride is the root of all sin. To affect the change you're talking about we must humble ourselves before God, and understand the root of why we sin, and intend on meaningful change. We achieve this through living a sacramental life. We pray as often as possible, partake of the Holy Sacraments (to include confession), read the Holy Scriptures often/daily, and the lives of the Saints as they are our guides to application of what we're learning.

    I'd also add that confession is an important step to repentance, and both the Archimandrite, and St. John Climacus talk about this in that same area of the book though I know as a Protestant this is something you may, or may not partake of, and of course in this I mean you no offense, but it needs to be mentioned as confession and repentance go hand in hand. I'd also mention that it's helpful because it causes us to be accountable before not just Christ in our confession, but to our Spiritual Father who can also recommend helpful ways to overcome recurring sins. But I'll stop there out of love as I truly don't mean to "convert" you, or offend you.

    Last, I'll mention that different things can assist us in the change though it depends on the sin. One that I return to is the Final Judgement. While God is love ultimately that doesn't mean that we're given a pass to heaven. We are to strive for the Kingdom, and work out our salvation with fear, and trembling. (Philippians 2:12). In particular if you're referring to pornography which is so prevalent in our society today unfortunately there is an idea that usually helps me. I think of the man as an image of Christ, and the woman as an image of Christ's Mother (the Theotokos which is Greek for God-bearer as decreed in 431 A.D at the Council of Ephesus) as we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). This helps any of those images to immediately become repugnant. In addition during those moments always call to Christ for help, and pray. He will help you, and remember that invoking the name of Christ will cause the demons to retreat. The sign of the cross, and the Jesus Prayer burns the demons.


    Edit : I forgot to add the link. My apologies; here it is.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J8XP5XM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  16. Justified_By_Christ_Alone

    Justified_By_Christ_Alone New Member

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    It depends on the context. For salvation it is changing your mind onto believing in Christ. Nothing to do with turning from your sins, that is keeping the law Jesus fulfilled (sin is transgression of the law). You come to the cross as you are. Why would Jesus have to die if you were able to repent of all your sins to get saved. When you have admitted you are a sinner in need of a saviour and believe Jesus Christ to be your saviour you have repented.

    For your sanctifying walk, it's about Godly sorrow over areas in your life that the Holy Spirit reveals to you. It's not about condemnation or anything like that. Confessing and forsaking our sins is about strengthening our relationship with God. We should serve God in our life and not serve sin, we shouldn't be in bondage or else we will be ineffective servants. That doesn't mean we will ever be completely sinless in this life. But we should strive to sin less knowing who we are in Christ and walking out our new identity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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