The law keepers preach a repentance of works which they interpret as ceasing from sin by turning over a new leaf and then coming to God. THIS IS NOT NEW TESTAMENT REPENTANCE! Rather it is a very subtle works doctrine.
This doctrine is spiritually dangerous as it teaches that one must make Jesus the 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. The only thing that saves a person in sin is the blood of Jesus. The new covenant is not based on keeping the law of Moses. Rather the Bible says that 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 and the Bible tells us that none are good.
REPENTANCE IS ACKNOWLEGING THE TRUTH OF ONES SINFUL CONDITION ! NOT KEEPING THE LAW !
In the New Testament, the word translated as ‘repentance’ is the Greek word metanoia, which means “after or behind one’s mind”. This 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, so that the whole compound means: ‘to think differently after’. Metanoia therefore is 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 !
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
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.
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 as a gift by God. One cannot show true change in his life before he himself has been changed by God in order to bring about the fruit which reveals a changed heart.
You must be born again, born of God to be saved. God must give you 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 before God then repentance is worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit.
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)
Acts 5: 31, says it is God who gives repentance. 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.
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.
This scripture also shows us that there 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 of the humans race alienated from God, and therefore hostile to Jesus 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 only 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 on a continual basis we know through scripture that their is no godly sorrow and therefore no true repentance and thus no real conversion. That is why we must judge fruit over a period of time. However, just because some one has little green apples it does not mean that there is no fruit, only immaturity. With time fruit will either grow or it will not. Time will tell.
“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 elect OUT OF DARKNESS AND INTO HIS marvelous 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 marvelous 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 by the light of the Holy Spirit, but those who do not recognize their sinful state and are self righteous, and those 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, this is 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, (turn to God with their whole heart ) .
Blessings in Jesus brethren!