the forgotten biblical virtue

A thought came to me the other day as I was in the Lords presence, that I am convinced was prompted by the Holy Spirit.  I received an impression in my spirit that many believers, those who are born again have not fully repented.  At first I was startled for I thought ‘How can this be.” As I meditated on this revelation I began to have my spiritual eyes opened to see that the Lords word to me was valid.  The Holy Spirit took me quickly on a systematic theology treatise by Yahweh.

To understand this new concept I needed to recall the Greek word used in the New Testament that is translated by the English versions as repentance/repent.  The Greek word is metanoia; simply meaning ‘a change of one’s mind.’  My New Penguin English dictionary defines repentance as ‘to be sorry.’  This difference in meanings is an huge alarming huge gulf and illustrates; that any biblical scholar needs to always go back to the Greek to find the correct biblical meaning.

Repentance is therefore to change one’s mind, to think differently, to form new thinking habits, to see the world the way God sees the world, to understand the spiritual world, to align our thinking to Gods thinking.  The bible calls this a renewing of the mind ~ Romans 12:2.  Other writers have called this change in thinking as to the need to form new habits, once you have been born again.

Repentance is so central to the gospel message that there is no excuse that we have failed to repent and live in a continual state of repentance.  Repentance was central to John the Baptists message.  Jesus began his ministry with a call to repentance: Mark 1:15.  Jesus sent his disciples out with a message of repentance: Luke 24:47.  On the day of Pentecost Peter began his message with repentance: Acts 2:38.  What was the summary of doctrine which Paul gave to the Ephesians elders?: Acts 20:21  Sixty times, at least, we find repentance spoken of in the New Testament.

So how come we have neglected this important aspect of the gospel?  How come we can be born again and not fully embrace this teaching?  Why do I believe that we have not embraced this aspect of biblical teaching?  When I took a quick inventory of my own life I recalled that for a long period of time my thinking had not changed for I still thought according to the worldly patterns and conventions.  Nor do I believe that I am not alone in this.

Do we see the fruits of repentance in the body of Christ?  Miracles, signs and wonders following?  Does the church walk and work in the power of the Holy Spirit?  Do we see the hand of God leaving his imprints in our daily life?

King Saul failed as an anointed King for he was unable to repent, whereas King David had a repentant heart.  This concept of repentance was, I believe one of the major differences between the two kingdoms.

With the power of the Holy Spirit I have begun to walk in a state of repentance and have been renewing my mind to think like my Father does.  Since I have been crucified with Christ I have been burying old habits and forming new thought patterns.  I have begun to think and therefore act like the redeemed son of God that I am.  I am more than a conqueror; I am loved even when I make mistakes; I am holy and blameless before God; I am healed; I am redeemed; no harm can come to me.  I have realized that I need to rise up in Christ and be the child of God that I am ,having a righteousness mind set, rather than a defeatist sin attitude.

This is just start to a repentance manner of thinking.  I need to move on and form new habits concerning Gods plans for the nations, my ministry, how God interacts with me, how God thinks on the morality of the nations, God plans for the great out pouring of his spirit in these end times etc. 

We need to align our thinking and though patterns to the mind of God.  1 Corinthians 2:16 ~ for we have the mind of Christ.  Therefore we need to start using Christ’s mind to renew our mind in a state of repentance..

I close with a quote from Oswald Chambers:-

The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in conscious repentance and unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance.

 John Knox
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K Reynolds (@kreynolds)

You are right. Repentance is far more than saying "sorry". It is to turn away from the old and take up the new. You know, I was only seven years old when I became a Christian but I vividly remember something else that happened later that day. A neighborhood feud amongst the children on my block ended that day as well. There was a family at the end of the block with a lot of children. They lived in a big tumble-down house that was in strong contrast with the rest of the block. They were the outcasts I suppose and the children reacted accordingly with anger. That made things worse of course and no one wanted to play with them.

My friends and I were confronted that day by the only girl in the family as well as one of her brothers. As usual, they wanted to fight. I remember standing up and telling her I didn't want to fight with her anymore but I told her more than that. I told her why. I told her about the love of God.

To my surprise my friends followed my suit, extending their hands in friendship rather than fists. She and her brother opened their hands as well and the fighting ended.

The family moved several months later but over the years I have thought about that little girl from time to time, just wondering...

Deepa N (@deepaanne)