Law keepers preach a repentance of works by ceasing from sin, turning over a new leaf and then coming to God. THIS IS NOT NEW TESTAMENT REPENTANCE but rather a very subtle works doctrine, called in theological terms,”The Lordship salvation doctrine”
This doctrine is spiritually dangerous as it teaches that one must make Jesus Lord of his life before he can become Saviour. That is the opposite of the gospel. The gospel says Jesus must become Saviour in your life and then he will become Lord in your life !
Repentance is a gift of God. If you feel you repented of your own ability then you are in pride and obviously in works. The only thing that saves is the blood of Jesus and this new covenant is not based on keeping the law…which is the type of repentance that the law keepers preach. Rather the bible says repentance is granted by the Lord, it is not turning from sin of your own ability because that would mean you must be good before you can be a Christian. The Lordship salvation doctrine is false doctrine as the bible says there is none good, none seeks after God, they are unprofitable and all corrupt.
Act 11:18 When they heard these things they held their peace , and glorified God saying. Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE unto life
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 .
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering not knowing that the goodness of GOD LEADETH THEE TO repentance ?
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves ; if God peradventure WILL GIVE THEM REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth
REPENTANCE IS ACKNOWLEGING THE TRUTH ! NOT KEEPING THE LAW !
The New Testament, the word translated as ‘repentance’ is the Greek word metanoia, “after or behind one’s mind”, which is a compound word of the preposition ‘meta’ (after, with), and the verb ‘noeo’ (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing).
In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by ‘after’ and ‘different’; so that the whole compound means: ‘to think differently after’. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, “change of mind and heart”, or, “change of consciousness”. (Wipekedia)
When one becomes born again of the holy Spirit he then becomes repentant !
The Gospel of Jesus Christ which calls for repentance also produces it. When the people of Nineveh (Jonah 3:5-10) heard the preaching of the word of God by Jonah they believed the message and turned unto God. Not any message, but the Gospel is the instrument that God uses to bring about repentance,
God calls all to repent through the hearing of the Gospel. God grants total repentance as each individual responds to repentance through faith in the the sacrifice of Jesus for all sin.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
Repentance is given by God. One cannot show true change in his life before he himself has changed [repented] to bring about the fruit of that change/repentance.
You must be born again, born of God, given a new nature in Christ before a life of repentance can be manifested !
“And you hath he quickened,(made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” Ephesians 2:1,2
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” 1st Corinthians 2:14.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23
When we have acknowledged our sin and confessed it then we have come to a place where repentance must be worked in our hearts by the holy Spirit. According to Matthew 9:13, God calls us to REPENTANCE. (metanoia- change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done)
According to Acts 5: 31, it is God who gives repentance. Give in this scripture means didōmi in the Greek….to bestow a gift. Just as God gives the holy Spirit to those who obey him (receive the truth)so does he give repentance. It is the same word used.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for TO GIVE REPENTANCE to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Acts 5: 31
And again in Acts 11: 16-18 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.For as much then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE.
Now having established through scriptures that repentance is a gift bestowed by God on an individual how exactly does one receive repentance from sin you may ask. TRUE REPENTANCE according to scripture is brought about by having godly sorrow for sin(s)…..GODLY in this verse is theos -(refers to the things of God, his counsels, interests, things due to him,likened unto God, or resemble him in any way.) So we can see that godly sorrow is wrought by God to bring the heart into conformity to the things that are God like as shown in this scripture.
” Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.For GODLY SORROW worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:9-11.
That scripture also shows us that their is another type of sorrow for sins and that is the SORROW OF THE WORLD which works death in an individual. The word sorrow in this verse is lypē-pain, grief, annoyance, affliction ,of persons mourning.
The word “world” kosmos -in this verse means the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ, world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly.
So we can see that worldly sorrow is not repentance because it produces no Godly characteristics and it leads to death.
Godly sorrow on the other hand produces repentance unto life. so if we do not see Godlike fruit produced in the person by the turning away from his/her sin we know through scripture that their is no godly sorrow and therefore no true repentance. More tomorrow on this subject where we shall talk about how exactly God works out his repentance in our hearts according to scriptures. “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:46,47
So now that we have learned from scriptures that repentance is a gift bestowed by God and that true repentance produces godly character,we need to know how repentance is wrought in our hearts by the holy Spirit. First of all scriptures say that God the Father calls us to repentance. The Greek word for call is kaleō which means to call out with a loud voice as well as to name some one. If you remember when God called Abraham , he called him OUT of the land of UR and by faith Abraham went out.In the same way God calls his chosen OUT OF DARKNESS AND INTO HIS marvellous LIGHT according to scripture. ” But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light ” 1 Peter 2:9
Scriptures also tell us that God calls sinners to repentance BUT he does not call the righteous or in other words he calls those who recognize their sinful state but those who do not recognize their sinful state he does not call. ” When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. ” Mark 2:17
So we can see that repentance first of all comes about by recognizing one’s sin and then being CALLED TO REPENTANCE. This is confirmed by the fact that when the gospel was preached by the apostles they TESTIFIED ( diamartyromai-attest to, confirm, cause to believe. ) concerning REPENTANCE TOWARDS GOD and faith towards Jesus Christ. ” And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” 20, 21
The disciples testified that God was granting repentance unto life. Repentance is a part of the gospel message. When God calls someone to repentance (change of heart) he gives them the ability by his Spirit to recognize their sin and repent towards God.