August 20, 2015


REPENTANCE may be defined as a God-sensitive change of mind about sin, God, the gospel and life in general in ways wherein God and His truth are thereby glorified. The Greek metanoia means just that, a change of mind or to think again. Before salvation, sinners need to think differently about their sin and about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The power of God's Word  and the Holy Spirit quicken the sinner thereby  enabling such  (Eh.  2:1). After being saved, wayward Christians need to reevaluate their lives, change their minds and realign their thinking to the Word of God. Repentance is bound up with faith and inseparable from it. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same thing, sometimes illustrated by the two sides of the hand.


1.   God is the effective cause of repentance.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”  Romans 2:4
Him (Jesus) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31
When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18                                      A pastor is to teach God’s Word  ”In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth…” 2 Timothy 2:25   (cf Acts 5:31; 11:18)

2.    Repentance is “an inward repugnance to sin necessarily followed by the actual forsaking of it.” The repentant sinner sees sin as God sees it. It is more than being merely sorry for wrong.
9 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. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

3.   Repentance is an upward embracing of God and His truth.
The Apostle Paul preached “that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Acts 26:20  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21

Illus. When Paul was saved he experienced a complete change of mind (repentance) concerning both his sin but also his understanding of the Gospel. As a scholar he knew the Bible well, but rejected it, especially as it related to the Messiah. His salvation turned the rejection into acceptance (a complete change of mind – metanoia). And so, given his vast knowledge of the Scriptures, in repentance he was able to immediately preach. “Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Acts 9:19b-20

4.   Both repentance and faith are essential aspects of the Gospel appeal throughout the Church age.
AT PENTECOST: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:37-38

 AT ATHENS:     “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” Acts 17:28-30

5.   Wayward (backslidden) Christians, in returning to fellowship with God, must repent and stay repentant.
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 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

Dr. Dick D. Christen


Jock, the painter, often would thin his paint so it would go further. So when the Church decided to do some deferred maintenance, Jock was able to put in the low bid, and got the job. As always, he thinned his paint way down with turpentine.
One day while he was up on the scaffolding -- the job almost finished -- he heard a horrendous clap of thunder, and the sky opened.
The downpour washed the thinned paint off the church and knocked Jock off his scaffold and onto the lawn among the gravestones and puddles of thinned and worthless paint.
Jock knew this was a warning from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: “Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?”
And from the thunder, a mighty voice: “REPAINT! REPAINT! AND THIN NO MORE!”